From the global standpoint, the main role of business listings and local directories for SEO is contributing company’s professional reputation, wider public awareness, as well as Google's search rankings of its website, and finally revenue-generating potential of the whole commercial project – disregarding whether it’s a brick-and-mortar venture or a completely virtual digital project. That being said, below I’m going to show you the right way of using local directories for SEO and efficient business promotion, particularly at the level of locales. So, let’s delve.
All You Need to Know about Local Directories & Citations for SEO
Modern Reality of Digital Marketing
Let’s face it – now local business owners aren’t betting on a formerly popular set of offline publicity options anymore. Why? Simply because print marketing (i.e., brochures, coupons, etc.), real postal mail marketing, newspaper and TV advertising have already become abandoned by the lion’s share of digital marketers – mainly due to much higher advertising cost, as well as booming popularity of Google’s online search, and the world of the modern Web at the whole. Nowadays, when browsing for a brick-and-mortar business location or, for example, a proximate service provider nearby, as people simply expect it to be always found in Google’s online search. And here is exactly when big data aggregators, business listings and local directories for SEO come into play.
How It Works
Pulling together mammoth amounts of different NAP-based data (a.k.a. Business name, address, and phone number) – these online sources keep their data not only for the live people visiting them for direct inquiries, but are commonly used by the major search engines (like Google itself) to request and categorize all primary descriptional data on each venture and service provider within its index. Ultimately – to provide more accurate local search results with matching locations displayed in Google Maps, as well as to gauge the user trust and popularity for each enterprise or any other commercial project people are actually looking for. That’s why business listings and local directories are important not only for SEO itself, but for all online marketers and online entrepreneurs targeted at a certain city/town or a given locale. That’s it.
Using Local Directories for SEO
All those guys still getting by without claiming their small business even on a single business listing or related online directory – are simply missing a really huge opportunity to benefit from a stronger exposure to online search. If your brick-and-mortar company can’t be found online, the very physical existence of your local store or, say, a legal agency actually becomes highly questionable, and its business reputation seems at least doubtful.
To avoid such unfortunate course of “development,” consider the following:
Keep your NAP data always consistent, mainly due to potential discrepancies emerging when your business is submitted throughout hundreds of different listings and data aggregators.
Consider getting listed on top online directories like Citysearch, Yelp, Merchant Circle, etc. That way, keep discovering new opportunities and browsing for another new respectable source of free local advertising.
Claim your listing on the world’s leading data aggregators, such as Infogroup, Localeze, Factual, Acxiom, etc. Remember to keep your business information always correct – otherwise, mistakes like a misspelling issue or a lack of digit number, may cause havoc when Google is trying to show up only flawlessly correct search results, hence preferring not to show you in the relevant SERPs at all.