Have you ever wondered if it’s worth it to list your business in local directories?
Business listings may not seem as relevant as they were in the days of white pages and yellow pages listings.
The thing to remember is that even though the technology has changed, the concept is still the same. It just that people turn to their phones or computers to find businesses instead of a heavy book.
Google found that 50% of people who searched for a local business on their phones visited a store the next day. Same with 34% of people who searched on a desktop computer.
Keep reading to learn about even more advantages to listing your business in directories.
What Are the Top Local Directories?
There are hundreds of local directories online today. You could list yourself in all of them. However, it makes sense to start with the top ones and then add more directories periodically.
Google MyBusiness: If you’re going to choose one listing for your business, this is it. Google owns about 90% of all search traffic.
Yelp: Yelp is a site that many people use for reviews, especially restaurants and retail businesses.
Better Business Bureau: Many people will turn to the BBB for reviews and check a business’s rating.
Bing: Bing may be thought of as the other search engine, but having your listing here can reach millions of people who still use it.
Yahoo: Yahoo is still considered one of the big search engines, even though its market share was taken by Google.
Angie’s List: This is a perfect fit for home or healthcare needs. Angie’s List has become a resource for homeowners looking for contractors and healthcare professionals.
Manta: Manta serves as a listing directory and an opportunity to network with other businesses. They claim to have over 20 million users, so it’s worth a look.
Yp.com: Yes, people still do turn to the yellow pages. They’re mostly older consumers who are used to using the book.
White Pages: This is a massive directory that reaches people in the U.S. and Canada.
What Do They Cost?
Most of these directory listings are free. You’ll want to read the fine print to make sure you’re just listing your business. Yahoo offers a listing service that costs $29, which is prominently displayed on their page. However, just a regular listing is free.
There is one caveat to these free listings. You should be prepared to get phone calls from representatives from online directories to sell you advertising.
Otherwise, you have an easy and cost-effective way to make an impact on your business.
Local Directories Help with SEO
One of the main reasons why you want to take the time to list your business in online directories is to improve your search rankings.
If you’re just starting a new local SEO campaign, you’ll know that it can take time to build up your website and appear in organic search results.
With online directories, you’ll piggyback off of the SEO and authority of the online directories.
You’re also going to build valuable backlinks to your site, which will have a positive impact. Backlinks are still one of the top factors that Google uses to determine if a website should be listed towards the top or not. The more quality backlinks you have, the better.
Enhances Your Referral Strategy
Does your business depend on referrals?
If it does, you’ll want to make sure you’re listed in local directories.
A typical referral path looks like this. A person searching for products or services you provide asks friends, neighbors, or poses a question on social media about good providers.
One of your current or former customers chimes in and mentions your business.
Since he or she can easily look up contact information on their phone, that person will go to a search engine to look up your business.
How your listing appears will make a good or bad impression. If there are positive reviews with your listing, they’ll most likely call.
If they can’t find your business, or if there are negative reviews or multiple numbers, they may try to go to your website to find out more information. They may also give up and move on to the next possible business.
When someone uses Google or local directories and sees your listing, your business will appear when they search for certain products or services.
Even if they don’t click on your listing, you still made a connection.
The more someone sees your business, the more likely they will be to remember your business. They’ll want to learn more about your business and perhaps visit your website.
Making the Most of Your Listings
With some listings, such as Google MyBusiness, there’s a lot of real estate to tell your story and let people know more about your business.
You should add plenty of quality photos and make sure you have online reviews. Your content should give people a reason to visit your location and be engaging.
The key to making all of your work worthwhile is to ensure that your listings are correct. They all need to have the same address, business name, and phone number.
An old phone number or address in a few listings could prevent search engines from showing your correct information. Not only will people searching for your business not trust your business listings, search engines won’t either. They don’t want to give users incorrect information.
That could result in not gaining the full benefits of listing in a local directory.
The Benefits of Local Directories
Local directory listings are an easy and cost-effective way to improve your brand’s visibility, get found by search engines, and make it easy for referrals to find you.
The only drawback is that it can be a time-consuming process to enter your listing information and review your listings for accuracy.
OnPage Optimized can help you We have several packages available that range from citation audits to listing your business in over 90 directories.
Want to learn more? Set up your SEO consultation today.