A common misconception many business owners have is that they can get local search engine optimization by simply optimizing their website to be visible in search engines like Google. While this is true, it isn’t the whole story when it comes to local SEO. Just as you have to be listed in the phone book to be found in the yellow pages, you need to get listed in local directories if you want to do well in search results.
Do you want people in your local area, who search for your services or products on Google, to find you? Local SEO is the process of attracting customers to your website, brick-and-mortar business, or other place of business by using strategies such as local directories and directory listings. At present, it’s the best way for local businesses to rank high in search engine results pages that cater specifically to their location.
How does it look in practice?
A local directory is a list of businesses and people within a geographic location. Whether it’s your town, city, or any other part of the world, there is bound to be a directory for it. With reviews, phone numbers, and other details listed on the site, you can make sure that customers are able to find what they’re looking for while they’re in the neighborhood. Directories are also used as research when locating venues in unfamiliar areas.
Local directories are one of the best ways to optimize your online presence. What may not be obvious is that there are two different types of directory listing sites. Local business directories are independent and free, while social media directories rely on a company or individual’s social media following. More than likely, you’ll want to submit your business’ information to both types of directory listings sites.
People have been using directories since the invention of the phone book and they’re still valuable today. They can help you rank higher in local search results pages and increase your visibility, which will then lead to more customers.The directory listing also gives you a chance to establish yourself as an expert on a subject.
A niche specific directory is an online directory that offers a list of businesses organized by category. The categories are often sub-categories of business type. In contrast, a general directory listing offers a list of businesses without distinguishing the business type. Generally speaking, the more people who visit your listing on a niche specific directory, the higher ranking you’ll have in search engines.
There are a number of free and paid directories you can list your business on. We recommend going through the following list and finding one that suits your needs best.
Local listings sites offer the most popular and easiest way for your business to get found. One of the biggest sites is Yelp, which covers a wide range of geographical areas but only includes locally owned businesses. TripAdvisor, on the other hand, has a broader national reach but doesn’t strictly rank based on location. Google Maps offers an option for users to search near me in their app or browser. While this isn’t as comprehensive as Yahoo’s local directory service, it does allow you to easily find phone numbers and addresses for many businesses that aren’t listed on any other site.
As long as you own the domain for your site, it is possible to have more than one listing for that site on local directories. It’s also possible to have listings on different sites across the web for the same business location and directory type.
When listing your business on local directories, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the appropriate keywords. Otherwise, you might end up getting listed on a directory that doesn’t fit your business. This will have an impact on your visibility online, and can lead to low rankings in search engines. Find your audience and try to understand their serach intent.
Selecting the right category and subcategory can help your business get found in more searches. Google typically indexes pages from directories such as Yahoo! or Bing, so if you have a listing there, it will show up when people search on Google. If you’re using a directory that is new or less popular, consider reaching out to them about adding your listing for increased visibility in local search results.
On-page optimization is essential. You must take care of the title tag and meta description – they explain who you are and what you do, and at the same time encourage you to click (try to make the title tag a maximum of 60 characters, and the description should be between 150-160). The photo is also important – it shows that you are credible.
The green padlock SSL certificate is a universal symbol of trust that users can rely on when browsing the web. When you run a site or online store, it’s important to obtain an SSL certificate that tells browsers that your site is encrypted and it is safe for them to transfer data such as their credit card information. A company’s reputation can suffer when they fail to meet customer expectations in this area.
When listing your business in directories, make sure you update your listing regularly. Even when the information is up-to-date, regular updating will show your search engine crawlers that you are still a relevant and active business in the local area. If your company has been around for more than six months, then you should update monthly. Otherwise, go every two months.
In summary, directories can be a good way to start improving your local SEO and online presence. They often provide deep web coverage and they are an effective tool for building your local authority. You should research the directory you’re interested in, have a goal when you’re filling out their submission form, and use the social features on their site to build connections in your local community.
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