Directories are an underused resource for companies. Registering your company with a related directory can work as a citation or link building. It’s another opportunity to get your business in front of potential customers, while building your SEO.
NAP: The Most Important Factor for Website Directories
Your NAP, or name, address and phone number, is what Google uses to determine just how local you really are. These need to be exactly the same everywhere on the Internet. Since directories are an essential part of local SEO, it is extra important that you double check your listing on any of these sites for accuracy.
Tips for Directory Listings
Like most SEO tasks, adding your site to directories can be tedious and boring, but there are a few tricks for speeding things up.
- Work assembly line style. You’ll find things go faster if you spend a day looking for relevant directories, then submit your listings over a few days or weeks, depending on how many directories you plan to submit to.
- Use an auto-fill plugin. You will save quite a bit of time if you set up an auto-fill application. Every time you need to input your NAP, the application will automatically add the information. Just make sure it’s definitely correct the first time or all your listings will be
- Be patient. It takes time for directories to approve the listings, so you shouldn’t expect instant results. You may need to wait even longer for Google to index the page you are listed on, as well.
10 Local Directories You Should Use
Many business directories online are general, but if you are running a local business, it is more valuable to have links from a local directory. Here are ten of the sites you should make sure that your website is on.
You need to have your business set up on Google+ or you will miss out on a large number of benefits. Google’s search engine rankings depend heavily on its social media side and will use ratings and reviews, as well as local information from the page to help figure out where you are. Your latest Google+ posts are also useful in the search results, as well as the Local Knowledge Panel.
Bing has also jumped on the website directory bandwagon. This means you have another place to list your business for free. You will need to verify your listing by mail, to prove that you really do work at the given address. This can boost your Google Authority, as well.
Once you have verified your address, your listing will go live. Take the time to edit the information and ensure that it is all high quality and correct. If you have multiple businesses, it’s permitted to list them all on the same dashboard.
Yahoo has been around for a long time, but it is still a little behind Google in terms of rankings. That being said, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to get your business listed on Yahoo Local.
The basic listing is free and will allow you to display your phone number, address, website and store hours, along with one photo and a list of your products or services. If you are willing to pay a fee, you can add a tagline, description and more photos. For the most part, the basic listing is good enough to increase your SEO.
Yahoo Local allows your customers to leave reviews, as well. This can be quite valuable, though the site should be considered more of a directory than a review site.
Another good place to get your business listed is on Superpages. The site is similar to the Yellow Pages, where you can search for businesses by industry or name. Adding your listing is very simple. Click on the link and do a quick search for your business name. You can claim your company if it is already there, or you can add it as a new listing.
The Better Business Bureau is a trusted resource for many consumers. You can take full advantage of this by becoming accredited or simply add your free listing. Getting accredited is costly and requires a full review of your business. However, it also guarantees that you are trustworthy. You get a link along with the listing.
The free listing is much simpler, but it is still very useful for citations, since it will not link to your website. Head to the site and find the nearest BBB chapter to you. You can do this by simply entering your zip code. Do a quick search to see if your business already exists, in which case you can claim it. Otherwise, you will need to submit your business. Look for a link that says “Request BBB develop a business review” to do this. Fill in the forms and you’ll be ready for the review.
Getting listed on the local BBB website is not instant, but it will lend some powerful credibility to your company. There are multiple verifications that need to be passed to ensure that you are the real deal.
The Yellow Pages were originally a paper book but the online version gets far more searches these days. Anyone can search for a business quickly and easily in their area. Coupons and collections make the site more appealing for customers.
Getting listed is free, though you can also set up an ad with Yellow Pages to take advantage of their traffic. The site offers apps for smartphones and mobile devices, which means you can increase your visibility even more. Just scroll down the main page and click on Get a Free Listing to get started.
This directory site is extremely useful for local businesses. InfoUSA provides 90% of in-car navigation systems, so it is well worth being found on their directory. In addition, InfoUSA provides 85% of the information found in directory searches.
Adding your listing is very simple and only takes a short amount of time. However, the benefits are great and you should see more traffic. In addition, you’ll have another citation available to your company.
Listing your company on LocalDatabase is free if you go for the simplest listing. Your business name and basic contact info will be included on your custom page, but if you want to include a link, logo or be featured on the city or state page for your area, it costs more. There are three plans that you can choose from.
Even if you are only interested in creating a basic listing, you will find that having your business name and information on another directory site can increase visibility and search rankings.
On top of the SEO advantage, people can also search for your business through the LocalDatabase system and find your company on the actual site. This gives customers an extra way to discover your products.
MerchantCircle can help you become more noticeable in the search results and may improve your rankings. Not only do you get a local listing with a blog and coupon or newsletter options to add to it, you also can have customers rate your business. Adding images and video makes it very simple to impress Google.
You can include your business on MerchantCircle for free and adding a listing is quite simple.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of directories available for listing your business. Not all of them are high quality, however, so be careful to gain links from the best ones, such as those listed above.
Shortcutting The Hard Work of Directory Management
You could always shorten the somewhat ardous process of managing your directory listings by using a service like Moz Local to manage the listings for you. All you do is make sure your physical location is listed on Google or Facebook and sign up with Moz Local. Then from there you check your listing for accuracy and they do the rest. There are minor manual updates you’ll need to make to some sites, but for the most part your listings are managed for you.