Essential Local Directories for Visibility
Local search results and directories, in fact, work hand in hand to increase a company's online visibility. For example, if you search for a merchant in your town on Google, chances are that a directory will be included immediately below the local search pack and much higher than an actual business listing. For instance, the "shoe repair san diego" query provides four directories before a merchant.
It appears that both search engine and users trust local directories to access a list of quality providers for a query, but which directories are most important for providing a visibility boost? Last summer, Yext used WhiteSpark’s lists of top citation websites to put together a list of the top 100 directories for SEO. The list can be accessed here, but we are going to add our anecdotes about optimizing, reviewing, submitting, etc., for the top five directories, below.
Before we begin, however, it's important to note that while Google My Business (shown) isn't included in the list below, your local directory initiatives should begin there to ensure name, address, phone number, hours, photos and other information are all up to date for the company's best chance at appearing in Google Maps and in its local search results.
Many local merchants have a love-hate relationship with Yelp, as it can help boost customer acquisition efforts since 'millions of people turn to Yelp every day to make spending decisions.' There are also, however, frustrations like with filtered reviews. By claiming your business, you can respond to customer reviews (a best practice), measure visitor activity on your page and create a Yelp deal. In the spirit of Yelp for SEO, ensure your profile is complete, use keywords that people are using to search for you, pick the right category when initially setting up and add captions to your business photos (must be added on the desktop site).
+ Some of the best recent advice about Yelp comes from Moz Local's Miriam Ellis, which we recommend reading here.
Most of you likely do not need a refresher on why Facebook is important for local business (e.g., reviews, check-ins, businesses nearby, recommendations, events, etc.), but new features like Marketplace, more targeted ad options, Messenger response rates and times and even local social activism are keeping the network as a top local directory. To increase the chances Facebook can boost visibility for a brand off the network, businesses must treat Facebook like a customer service channel, update it frequently, post regularly and explore the new features added monthly.
According to Manta, 1,000 businesses join its local directory every day. By adding your company, you better the chances it will be found by consumers and you get stats on who is visiting your profile. Similar to other directories, Manta reports that completed and managed business listings receive 347 percent more searches on average than incomplete or inaccurate listings - so keep them complete and updated.
Manta also has a suite of small business marketing products, including listing management (to deliver automatic updates to more than 70 online business directories), Google AdWords help and more.
It would be easy to forget about job aggregator sites when thinking about boosting online visibility, but that would be a mistake. These directories not only allow companies to post their job openings, but they also typically allow for a Company page where details about products, services, culture and other notable features can be posted (and indexed by the search engines).
Here's the rest of Yext's very helpful list (use it as a starting point to ensure you have a current and optimized presence on any of the directories that make sense to your industry). It would also be beneficial to use this list to reach out to any directories in your industry that may accept guest blogs, as a link back to your site from one of these properties could prove to be valuable.6. www.angieslist.com