Before we get into why online directories are important and how they are beneficial for local search engine optimization, we’re going to give you the list.
The top 5 are the ones everyone knows about.
If you don’t have your website and business information listed in these already, you have a lot of work to do.
The 5 free directories you must list your local business under include:
1. Google Business
2. Bing Places for Business
The remaining list contains more popular options, but also some you may have not heard of.
8. Get Fave
9. Merchant Circle
14. City Slick
15. Local Database
18. The Business Journals
23. Show Me Local
25. US Directory
27. EZ Local
28. Angie’s List
31. Magic Yellow
33. Discover Our Town
35. American Towns
Submitting website information to directories is a pain in the ass.
But if you want your website optimized for local SEO, it is a necessity.
Online directories are one of the best ways to attract more organic traffic to your website and get it noticed by potential customers.
Not only is this method effective, it is also free with the right directories.
Free directories means free exposure and not having to spend any more of your much-needed marketing and advertising budget.
Obviously, the internet is becoming more and more competitive everyday.
If you are able to take advantage of the free marketing, you are getting your online visibility started off on the right foot.
A combination of advertising and marketing, having a strong social media presence, and regular SEO maintenance are all important to help your business stand out.
If you have any familiarity with SEO, you probably know the importance of backlinks.
All of these directories are SEO-friendly directories and are a free and easy way to get a high quality link back to your website.
Quality link building can be extremely beneficial but also extremely dangerous.
If you are adding your website to directories that are spammy, this can damage your domain authority and your overall ranking in Google.
This is when quality over quantity definitely comes into play.
Check your backlinks using a backlink grading tool or a toxic link check to make sure the directory doesn’t damage your website.
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number.
If you want to get the most out of your local optimization, and directory listings, you want consistent listings across the web.
This means you want you want everything to be exactly the same.
For example, if you use LLC at the end of your name on one page, make sure you use it on the others.
With all of the benefits listed above, there are still marketing benefits for these online directories.
The more places you can put your business in front of your customers, the better.
If your customers, for some reason, search different directories for reviews or local businesses, and your business is listed under all of these places, the more trustworthy and reputable your business will look.
It can be the next best thing to a direct referral from a friend.
Almost all of these free online directories offer some type of paid enhanced listing option.
A lot of our customers ask if they think they should dedicate a portion of their online marketing budget to advertising in these directories.
Our answer is always, “it depends on the industry and it depends on the directory.”
You need to get into the head of your customers, do research on your industry, and make a judgment call.
We always put Google Adwords as our top advertising choice due to Google’s popularity. However, if our research tells us we can increase sales by using part of our advertising budget on a different outlet, such as Yellow Pages or Yelp, then we certainly won’t miss that chance.