In the early years of SEO, directories were a popular ranking tactic. They were a very popular way of obtaining links for a number of reasons. Not only was it very easy to submit websites to dozens of directories at a time, but it was also a low-cost tactic and it worked. Google even encouraged directory submissions.
Times have changed, however. Directories have become less of a ranking factor over the last year. In fact, Google is continuing to remove many of the free website directories amounting to approximately 50% of directories from their index in recent years. That being said, the largest and most trusted directories will remain a ranking factor and have some impact on your Google rankings.
But directories offer much more than just ranking bonuses. In fact, when used correctly, they can be incredibly valuable for your business.
Directories and local SEO
As smartphone use grows, searches are becoming much more localized. Maps and voice search are allowing users to find businesses close to them far easier than ever before. As a result, local SEO is a crucial part of any SEO strategy. Improving your business’ local SEO is key if you want to appear in Google map results and on the first page for Google searches related to businesses in your area.
There are several ranking factors when it comes to Local SEO, but the most important are the quantity and quality of your business’ citations. A citation for your business is any instance of its name, address and phone number (NAP). But your business doesn’t just need to be listed, it needs to be listed with the exact same information every time. That means the same name, the same address, the same opening hours, etc. The more times these elements are listed correctly in high quality, well-moderated directories, the more Google trusts your business. The more Google trusts your business, the more likely you are to rank for local searches.
What directories do you need to be listed in?
It’s not the number of directories that your business should be listed in, it’s the quality of those directories. As such, you should focus on the following:
• Google My Business
• Bing Places
• Yellow Pages
• Yahoo Local
How do your citations stack up?
At this point you may be wondering how your business is listed in directories. Lucky for you, we’ve got an easy way for you to find out. Simply head on over to our Directory and Citation Checker to see where and how consistently your business is listed. If you don’t like what you see or you are not happy with your local rankings, our team will be able to develop a custom Local SEO strategy for your business. Get in touch to find out more.