Getting your business listed on relevant online directories may be the least glamorous type of local SEO, but it is also one of the easiest, most-proven ways to get more traffic to your site, better search engine ranking, and more people walking through your door. Where do you start?
What is an online directory?
There are thousands of directories online, from well-known listing like Yellow Pages to old, out-dated clone sites that simply copy or compile information from other directories. Directories can serve a number of different purposes, but they generally help users find useful listings of businesses or websites. Some of the best directories also offer other features, including related content, reviews, and maps.
Why should I list my business in a directory?
There are two big reasons to list your business in directories: listing often helps your search engine optimization and listing also helps users find your website and your business. In short, being listed in directories makes you more visible and easier to locate.
Which directories should I list my business in?
As we mentioned above, all online directories are not created equal. In fact, you shouldn’t waste your time getting your business on every directory. Instead, put your time and effort into a handful of important directories. Make sure your information is correct. Claim your entry if possible. Add pictures, a summary, and fill out all of the information fields that you can. And visit your entries sporadically to make sure everything is current.
You should focus on the following types of directories:
- Popular and well-established directories, including Google Places, Facebook, Yelp, and SuperPages.
- Local directories, such as your local Chamber of Commerce directory.
- Industry directories, such as AVVO, FindLaw, and Nolo.
Before you choose to list your business in a directory, consider the following questions:
- Is the directory original, or does it clone information from other directories?
- Is the directory active, and are most of the directory’s links still working?
- Does the directory itself rank well in Google searches?
- Does the directory also offer relevant and original content?
- Is the directory relevant to your website and business?
- Is the directory 100 percent paid listings – or do they list some relevant sites without charging?
- Would your ideal client use this directory?
Should I pay to be listed in a directory?
The answer to this question depends on many of the answers to the above questions. While paying for a select number of directory listings may be a smart choice, paying for any and every listing you can find is surely a poor choice. Before paying, do your research and ask yourself if your money might not go farther invested in another SEO or marketing project.
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