Online directories can provide businesses with increased visibility and a greater number of leads. But as online marketing has evolved, a seemingly infinite number of directories have come along that you can use to grow your business.
Local directories can make up an essential part of your comprehensive local SEO strategy. There’s a right way (and a wrong one) to use local business directories to improve your local SEO results.
The Most Important Directories First
Listing your business in local directories requires an investment of time and financial resources. Directory listings must be managed over time to get the best results for your investment.
So the first step in determining which directories to use is to find those directories that have already listed your information.
It’s important to claim these listings so that you can update them with the information that’s current and relevant to the needs of your users.
Directory listings include information related to your website, services, operating hours, and more. Updating these listings ensures that users find your business easily while providing you with updated information related to new reviews and ratings you receive.
Don’t Just Think Local, Think Hyperlocal
Local SEO is also evolving. It’s no longer enough to target your city. Even neighborhoods are difficult for search engines to include in their algorithms, making it difficult to rank for areas that are often referred to differently by residents.
You can improve your SEO results by optimizing your citations and website pages with locally used reference names along with those designated on directory listings.
For example, include your neighborhood name in your Google My Business page, website tags, and Google MapMaker listing so that users in your immediate area find you first.
Using hyperlocal listing gives you greater results as local search evolves and search engines improve their ability to provide results that are relevant.
Other Local Listings You Need
Other important local directory listings include those that rank for targeted keywords. A keyword search gives you the highest ranked directories to consider when optimizing your local SEO campaigns.
Remember that mobile search results provide a unique set of directory listings as well. So you need to consider which ones to use to reach the increasing mobile market.
Don’t ignore your competitor’s’ listings either. Find the directory listings that are ranking industry competition and target those to increase your own site’s traffic.
Local directory listings offer paid options that position you above competitors. Although this requires a larger investment, it can be an effective way to achieve more visibility in a highly competitive local market.
Consistency is Key
Local directory listings must be consistent in order to positively impact local SEO results. Search engines use your business name, address, and phone number to validate it is a business to include in their search results.
This information should be consistent across all local listings, citations, and directories. You need to regularly update the information related to your business across Google Maps, Google+, Yelp, and all other listings.
Users are more likely to do a Google search before visiting your website. Using local directory listings increases the visibility of your business and ensures that the information users need most is provided in the search results.
Local SEO is becoming hyperlocal. If you’re not sure how to get your business’s products and services in front of your potential customers, let us know in the comments below.
We’ll help you decide if local directory listings should be an integral part of your SEO strategy so that you can gain a competitive edge in your local market.