Unconventional Guide to Best Local Directories
What are Local Directories in 2014?
Every business owner is aware of local directories and the effect they have on acquiring new customers. This has led many business owners to focus their efforts only on the best local directories. However, local directories carry more value to companies other than being a tool that places them on the consumer’s map. They have a large effect on how a company is ranked for local searches on search engines.
Before the Internet was heavily integrated with business, Yellowbook ruled the local directory world. Small businesses paid a good penny to place their advertisement in the Yellow pages. Now, consumers search primarily for businesses online and local directories have shifted to meet the consumer’s where they prefer to operate. This has led to the creation of numerous companies similar to Yellowbook, making it difficult to understand which are the best local directories? On the contrary, I am going to challenge you and say that it does not matter.
Why is More Better When it Comes to Local Directories?
If consumers only find your business on the “best local directories” then why is it important to be listed on as many as possible? Well, it all comes down to the link. Links are not easy to come by, especially for small businesses. According to Moz, links have 19.15% weight in how your website is ranked on Google. Back links tell Google that you are active in the online community, and you bring value to your industry in the region that you operate. However, since Google has cracked down on linking schemes, it has become costly to receive a good back link. Local directories provide a free link that connects back to your website!! The more local directories that you list your business in, the more back links that are going to your website.
– Posted by Rand Fishkin to Moz
For the “Best Local Directories” the Link is only the Beginning for the Ranking Potential
When I say the “best local directories” Yelp is probably what comes to mind. Even though, for majority of you business owners, “best” is probably not an accurate description of your opinion of Yelp. Local directories that inquire reviews like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google Places are the most popular directories that consumers use to search for local businesses. It is important to be listed on these and make sure that you have good reviews because it carries weight in Google’s algorithm to rank for your website. If you are having a difficult time getting good reviews on these local directories, here is a form to hand to your consumers to give them easy directions to give you a review.
How to List a Business in Local Directories?
1. Use the “Company Information Template”
This template only takes 10 minutes to fill out and it will make the listing process go by 10 times faster. Once the template is complete you can use the document to copy paste the information into the local directories as you go. The pink arrow stresses the importance of the top four categories. SEO companies call the first three the NAP. It is important to keep your name, address, and phone number consistent throughout each directory. This cannot be stressed enough because inconsistency in this step will make the whole process worthless. Furthermore, do not forget to list your website URL. This is the link, and the reason why you are doing the local directories in the first place. The template is also a good tool to keep track of the login information. There are a few local directories that have different requirements for passwords and it is important to remember that information.
*Tip: When finishing a template, I prefer to drag the document into a Google tab. It makes it easier to copy paste.
2. Local Directory Checker
I prefer to use the Yahoo Local Listing Checker. This tool shows me the local directories that the company is currently listed in, and it checks the NAP consistency throughout all the local directories. As you can see, arrow 1 is indicating that the company name is displayed incorrectly. This means that the company needs to be claimed, and the name changed. The second arrow indicates that the company is not currently displayed in that local directory and it must be created by you, the business owner.
Where Can I Find a List of all the Best Local Directories?
I am glad you asked! Directive Consulting has provided “The Best Local Directory Checklist.” This checklist will save you hours upon hours. It provides a link straight to the local directory “business listing page,” and it excludes all of the local directories that are not free or do not provide a link to the website.
When should I Begin to List my Business in Local Directories
The sooner the better! Remember that listing your business does not only put you on the local directory map for customers to find you, but it also provides links that put your website on the Google radar. This is even more crucial. Inbound Marketing is key! The best marketing is being in the right place when customers need your products or services. Your website’s position on Google determines that place. Begin listing your business in the best local directories today.