What Is Online Directories
In terms of digital marketing, a directory or more specifically a business directory is an online listing of businesses. The listings provide information about specific businesses such as the name, address, contact information, associations, and the services and products offered. These businesses are usually categorized, by location, activity, or size. It is important that your business ensures that all your company information is up to date on every directory listing. Failure to do so can cause confusion for potential customers resulting in less trust and lost sales.
The benefits of using local SEO directories
In their humble beginnings, web directories aggregated businesses into one convenient online location so that the general public wouldn’t need to slog through search engines or guess at a web address to find the business they needed. Twenty-five years ago, plugging in “coffee shops in my town” might have returned coffee shops in any town. Web directories, particularly local directories, could cut through these weeds.
Eventually, search engines got better at recognizing users’ true intentions, while some directories became less reliable. Even reputable websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List found their direct traffic being bypassed — instead of typing in the sites’ basic URL, consumers would run an internet search on “coffee shops” or “plumbers” and maybe get the directory high up on a search engine result page (SERP).
In this way, the linking benefits for individual businesses became less important, but the local SEO stakes shot far higher. When a potential customer searches for a random business, ideally, your client comes up early — if not directly, then at least through a directory result. Therefore, web directories, as antiquated as they in some ways seem, still matter in initiating or reinitiating people on a buying journey with a business. The following tips can help maximize the local SEO that such directories produce.
On-Page SEO – It includes providing good content, good keyword selection, putting keywords incorrect places, giving appropriate titles to every page, etc.
Off-Page SEO – It includes link building, increasing link popularity by submitting open directories, search engines, link exchange, etc.
Of course, there are location specific directories that are only applicable in certain areas, but there’s also a general list of directories and listings that are important regardless of your location:
Google Local is a listing aimed towards local businesses where users can get place recommendations, publish their own photos and reviews, view a business’ Google Plus page with posts and other useful information.
Bing Places for Business is a free Bing service that enables businesses to add their listings to Bing. Bing Places for Business can help local, small and chain businesses by: Showing the business listing in local search results, making it more visible to online customers.
Yelp.com, is a crowd-sourced local business review and social networking site. The site has pages devoted to individual locations, such as restaurants or schools, where Yelp users can submit a review of their products or services using a one to five star rating system.
A Facebook business page serves to help people learn about your business in terms of what you do, how you can be contacted, and where you’re located. Your Facebook page will have a menu on the left side that allows your customers to view information such as an about page, photos and videos, events, reviews, and posts
LinkedIn creates Listing Pages to help members and customers have a better experience on our platform. All Listing Pages have a banner indicating that it was created by LinkedIn. You may receive an email to claim a Listing Page for an organization if it’s listed in your profile work, education, or volunteer experience.
Angie’s List is an American home services website. Founded in 1995, it is an online directory that allows users to read and publish crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses and contractors.
Through the support of their BBB Accredited Businesses, BBBs work for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses, and providing information to consumers before they purchase products and services.
Yellowpages.com is a United States-based web site operated by YP Holdings that provides listings for local businesses. In 2013 it was re-branded as YP.com or simply “YP”. It currently offers a broad range of marketing tools including online presence, local search, display ads and direct marketing.
MerchantCircle is one of the more widely-known business listings directories out there, so it’s no surprise that everyone from restaurateurs to plumbers want their businesses listed there. Beyond that, it’s a valuable citation that helps improve your business’ local listing health
Whitepages is the authority in people search, established in 1997. With comprehensive contact information, including cell phone numbers, for over 275 million people nationwide, and Whitepages SmartCheck, the fast, comprehensive background check compiled from criminal and other records from all 50 states.
Foursquare is a social networking service available for common smartphones, including the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android-powered phones. To use Foursquare on these devices, download the free app. The app’s purpose is to help you discover and share information about businesses and attractions around you.
Local.com is a free local directory that helps consumers find the best local events, products, and services. The site contains more than 16 million business listings in every zip code across the United States. … The site also garners traffic from users looking to purchase products and services