Local SEO campaigns are ideal for small businesses. The majority of consumers make use of SEO tips to find local information. For this reason, having your small business adequately optimized will influence how well your business is found during local consumer searches. This is a crucial factor in your business remaining relevant.
SEO campaigns help businesses in promoting their services and products to their local consumers. Local SEO campaigns make use of social links, profile pages, and local content to provide local consumers with up-to-date knowledge of local small businesses.
Many factors will assist your small business in successful local SEO.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your local small business:
Google My Business Optimization
This is one of the popular uses for local SEO. Google My Business requires a verified business Google account for optimizing SEO. With the use of Google Posts, your consumers have direct access to your business account. By using this platform, you can encourage all your consumers to share their reviews and respond to them.
Improve the Linking Structure of Your Business
External links are great for local SEO; however, they are not as effective as internal links.
Internal links not only improve your local SEO rankings, but it has many other benefits for your small business including website navigation, website hierarchy, website ranking, and many more.
Like our friends from Painting Services Newcastle have done in their business, they trusted in the process of SEO and now they’re making leads happen.
Optimize Title Tags, URLs, Meta Descriptions, Headers, and Business Content
When it comes to business content, each blog post will count in your favor. New posts will bring traffic to your pages by targeting new search phrases. This further allows your business page to be found during consumer searches.
For maximum SEO results for your business, using keywords in title tags, URLs, meta description, and headers are important for getting the best results.
Attach Location Pages to Your Business Website
If your business has more than one location, then location pages are perfect for SEO. The location pages provide your consumers with information on your address, contact numbers, name, store operating hours, promotions, store descriptions, and customer reviews.
Avoid duplicating your content across your location pages. Make each location page unique and descriptive.
Constantly Develop Local Content for Your Consumers
Creating new content is a highly recommended tool used for local SEO campaigns.
Write for your users, not for search engines. Provide your consumers with relevant news about the local industry as a means to attract local audiences.
Constantly Engage Consumers Via Social Platforms and Upload Posts to Google My Business Account
The use of social media has increased over the past few years. This has become a new way for people to engage and communicate.
Use these platforms to promote your business and products to ensure that your local consumers are up-to-date and engaged with your business.
If you are considering giving your business a boost, then local SEO campaigns are a great way to start. Local SEO will help consumers find your business easily and will draw them to your business when they search your keywords on Google.
The online business directory is a blast from the earliest eras of the internet and search market. Their place as the go-to portals when searching for business or services has since been surpassed by the ever-sophisticated search engine algorithms. Yet, they still have a role to play in the current search and SEO ecosystem. Not all online business directories are the same, so it is important to know the main types that you can work with to power your internet business to greater success.
Just like in the early days, online business directories still serve as repositories of information for internet users. The niche directories are still popular with users as they provide highly relevant information promptly. Information that would take you several minutes to sift through in the SERPs can be accessed in a matter of seconds by simply performing a category search. For example, a local city guide or local restaurant directory can quickly direct you to the precise listings that you are looking for.
Business directories are also advantageous as they can include listings that you are unlikely to find in the SERPs. For example, a business might create a listing on a niche directory even it doesn’t own a website or where its website is not ranking at the top of the SERPs to attract enough visits. Here is a look at the different kinds of business directories that you should know about if you are planning to leverage this channel for your online marketing efforts.
Comprehensive Business Directory
This works just like the traditional offline Yellow Pages. It includes the names and details of all the businesses in all categories in a locality. The business directory will include details such as the name of the business, address, contact details, location, type of product or service, number of employees, website address, and other important details.
Niche Business Directory
With the fall of the general business directories, niche directories catering to a particularly small niche or industry have become quite popular with users. As the name suggests, a niche directory targets one niche or category, such as restaurants. These niches can include: –
- A local restaurant or cuisine directory
- Automotive or auto repairs directory
- Events directory
- Travel directory
A review directory refers to a directory that is focused on crowdsourcing reviews from users or customers that have transacted with a business. Reviews directories are built around clients posting honest reviews about a product or experience with a service. Some review websites have front-end submission system while others don’t. The common thread is that they all enable unfiltered comments and reviews as well as a rating system that clients can use to rate their experience with the brand.
Many article directories were abandoned by SEO experts over a decade ago and are no longer recommended for SEO purposes. Subsequent Google algorithm updates that treated “ezines” as webspam dealt a death knell in this once popular corner of the internet.
Coupons or Deals Directory
These are business directories that add the latest deals and coupons from a business in a certain niche or locality. The deals are added by webmasters and businesses, but they can also be crowdsourced business directories where the general community hunts for deals and shares them on the directory.
Yellow Pages Directory
Yellow pages are very similar to business directories, but they are more of an advertising platform featuring various kinds of businesses. They provide the details about the business listed, including the name, a brief description, contact details, location, website URL, and some photos.
The yellow pages are generally quite extensive as they contain all kinds of business listings. It is like an amalgamation of all the other directories. They typically feature a front-end listing submission portal.
There is still a place for business directories even in the age of the Google Core Algorithm update and the BERT update, Google’s most significant over the past few years. The search engine and its fundamental ranking factors hold the pride of place in the race for rankings, traffic and exposure online. Most businesses may even have forgotten about business directories altogether. Yet, they still play a crucial role in internet marketing.
You should consider reputable and high-quality business directories as part of your internet marketing staple. They are the Yellow Pages of the web, and you will be surprised to learn just how many people still rely on them to search for products, services and gage the user experience that customers have had with the brands listed in the business directories.
For a business listing to have an appreciable impact on your internet marketing efforts, you have to ensure that it is added to the right directories. In this article, we look at some of the key factors to consider when looking for the right online directories for your business.
The main things to consider when shopping for the best business directory include the following: –
- Content: What Can You Add in the Directory? Does it Accept More Information?
- Domain Authority
- Qualitative Aspect: No link spamming
- Domain Age
- Is the Directory Moderated?
- Is it Ad Spammed?
- Trust Rank
- Web Page Indexing
- Is it a niche directory?
- Categorization: Are listings categorizable?
- Do they ask for a reciprocal link?
- Can you edit your listings?
What Can You Add to the Directory?
Generally, if a directory requires a lot more content and fields to be filled, the higher the quality standards will be. It will also have a better impact on your search, exposure, and lead generation efforts if the directory allows you to add as much information as possible. More data added will also boost the ability of your directory listing to rank at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Ideally, the directory should enable you to add the following: –
- Your business logo
- Business name
- Phone number
- Email address
- Website URL
- Map and Directions to the business
- Business category
- Business photos
- Business opening hours
- Description of the Business
- User Reviews of the Business
- Payment Methods the Business Accepts
- Social Media Links
Unless the directory is very local or highly relevant to your niche business, you should go for directories with a Domain Authority of at least 25. The higher, the better. Domain authority expresses the relevance of the website in a particular niche. A higher DA, therefore, means the website is highly relevant, and your listings are, therefore, likely to get a top ranking in the SERPs.
No Link Spamming
A website directory that is spammed with thousands of low-quality outgoing and incoming links is likely to be penalized by Google. You don’t want your URL listed in a site that is penalized by search engines, as it is likely to hurt your SEO.
The older the domain name, the better. Domain Age is a ranking factor. It is also a trust factor. Users trust websites that have been around for quite some time.
Is the Directory Moderated?
Determine whether the business directory is moderated and listings have to be approved by the webmaster or administrator or whether anyone can just sign up and submit listings which are accepted automatically. If its moderated, expect the quality of the listings to be very high.
Is it Ad Spammed?
If there is more content on the directory, than there are ads, then that is a good thing.
Web page indexing
Is the directory indexed by Google or has it been deindexed? How many pages of the directory have been indexed? That will tell you whether your listing will get a favorable search engine treatment.
Consider user-friendliness from the perspective of your business and the audience. Is the platform easy to use both for you and your prospective customers? How easy is it to submit and edit listings? How easy is it to find your listings in the directory?
Is it a niche directory?
Directories can be niche-based or all-encompassing for all business categories. Either of them can serve your business marketing needs if they check all the right boxes. Don’t forget to exploit the power of niche directories, even if they are small and low-traffic business directories.
Can you edit the listings?
Business information can change over time, which will necessitate a review of your business listings. Check if the directories you are planning to list on permit you to make controlled edits of your business listings.
Google’s AI-powered contextual search engine algorithms have improved to a point where some businesses no longer see the need to list their businesses on web directories. Google’s own Head of Web SPAM John Mueller has stated in the past that business directories “in general” are no longer relevant as a ranking factor.
Yet, veteran internet marketers still see business directories as important in enhancing trust, credibility, exposure, visibility, and to an extent, SEO, particularly local SEO. It all comes down to what kind of directory you opt to list your business on.
You also have to factor in the large number of web users who still rely on business directories or web directories such as FourSquare, eLocal, CityOf, Google My Business, YellowPages, Yelp, WhitePages.com and MerchantCircle among others.
Many of these directories have very high rankings and attract loads of organic traffic, the kind of which your business might be looking for. This ensures that your business can still get plenty of exposure and lots of traffic even if you are unable to attain top rankings for specific search terms. The business directories with your business listings, as well as the relevant business data such as phone number, addresses, product, and service offerings, can still rank well for highly competitive search terms enabling you to beat the competition and gain greater visibility in the search engine results pages.
How Business Directories Help Your SEO Efforts
Local business directories can improve your search engine performance considerably, and it is important to incorporate it as part of your overall business marketing strategy. Add your website to the online business directory as an off-page search engine marketing strategy that has the potential to positively influence your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The more you put accurate information about your business out there on the web, the more that the search engines will leverage this data to analyze your business and assign you a ranking in the SERPs. The ranking performance will depend on the quality and relevance of the information that you put out.
Search engines index and rank websites by crawling disparate information sources that match the index. If you are providing a more active, consistent, comprehensive and accurate detail about your business, the search engines begin to treat your listings as high-value information. This will result in higher rankings, which has a net positive impact on your business online. Higher rankings mean more eyeballs, more visits, more conversions, more sales, and greater credibility.
Impact on Local Search
Local business listings have the potential to boost your local search strategy. Having high-quality local business listings will improve your rankings, business reputation as well as conversions.
This will work well if you are running a small business that caters to the local community in a niche-focused directory. In local search, your business is searched at a certain level that puts you at a search advantage if you are targeting a particular local ZIP code or even town.
If you are running a business in multiple locations, ensure that you create separate listings for each of those locations. The listing should also be optimized for its unique location or branch. This will enable you to cast your net wide and attract traffic and leads from multiple search phrases and location-focused searches.
Even more important for your local search and organic ranking efforts are the links from the directories to your websites, as well as the mentions of your business name or brand name. These are known as Local Citations. These citations can significantly boost your ranking efforts in both the “local” as well as the broader organic search. They also help with Google My Business Listings. Google My Business is of course, the best business directory on the web at the moment. Adding your business to Google My Business can dramatically improve your visibility, taking you to the first page with little effort. Like in other business directories, you can create separate listings on Google My Business if your business has multiple branches.
In the early days of the web, being listed in the top web directories was the thing. A high listing on the popular website directories was akin to gaining top rankings in the major search engines like Google today. It contributed significantly to top search engine rankings, and the directories drove loads of high-quality traffic to the listed websites.
During the early days of the SEO, Google was rising as a significant search engine, but its algorithm was still easier to game. The algorithm treated websites ranked in the top web directories as more relevant to the user’s search objectives.
The number of high-quality directory links that a website had had a positive influence on their search engine rankings. Online marketers were in a cut-throat competition to add their sites to online directory listings. The subsequent race by internet marketers to earn a top spot in these directories led to webspam while also diluting the quality of the lists as a reliable source for relevant recommendations.
The Google algorithms got more sophisticated and nuanced over the years, and with it, the primacy of the website directories began to decline. Are web directories still relevant in the 21st-century landscape? What are some of the reasons to use web directories in your internet marketing in 2020? Do they have a positive influence on your search rankings? Could they have a negative impact on your rankings and brand image?
Website Directories Send You Lots of Traffic and Bestow Trust
While authoritative backlinks are still among the most important ranking signals, Google no longer places a premium on website directory links. A highly relevant contextual link from high authority websites in your niche is more influential as a ranking factor.
Website directory listings can be a great source of traffic and trust in your target audience’s minds. Web-users will search for your business and read online reviews before they proceed to transact with your business. Finding your business listed in the top directories restores trust and may also send some residual and high-converting traffic to your website.
The Importance of Website Directories for Local SEO
Website directories, particularly local business directories, can be important ranking factors and also drive traffic and leads to your local business. Local citations and local web directories are a small ranking factor for local businesses that can provide your business with a competitive edge. In a hyper-competitive niche in the internet marketplace, that extra boost could make a difference.
If you are running a business with a local presence, it is prudent to maintain your local citations in the web directories with a consistent NAP (Name, Addresses, Phone Number). The real tangible benefit of local citations is not the SEO value but the traffic and credibility that your business derives from.
Gain More Exposure
Local directories may not necessarily drive traffic to your website or contribute to your SEO efforts, but they can give your site more exposure. Exposure is also an essential online marketing strategy, just like the SEO and social media marketing strategies. More exposure means more eyeballs looking forward to trying out your product. Exposure also contributes to familiarity with your brand, and familiarity always generates trust and credibility.
Putting your online business in the website directories taps into a unique niche of web users who still rely on these platforms to search for related services. By adding your business to these directories, you can secure a place in the shop-fronts where these users can see your brand or website address and potentially visit.
Receive Feedback and Reviews
As their relevance has diminished, online directories have undergone innovations over the years to keep up with the changes in the web marketplace. Some, such as Google My Business, now include online reviews. Businesses are hungry for reviews and customer feedback. Most prospective buyers trust the reviews posted by other users who have tried out your products and services. Adding your website to business directories enables you to collect reviews and generate the social proof that will be an essential conversion factor for your business.
Reviews posted by other customers serve as a trusted source and unbiased testimony for potential prospects.
Reviews can also fortify your SEO efforts. When customers post reviews as well as photos and videos of your products and services, it further boosts your SEO relevance. Search algorithms rely on positive, active, and high-quality business information to determine relevance and award a higher ranking.
Take time to visit these directory websites, sign up as an owner, and respond to the various reviews posted by customers, including the negative feedback and reviews.
Directories as Reputation Management Tools
Directories can serve as effective online reputation management tools. You boost your profile and solidify your credibility when you respond to customer concerns. Putting your business in trusted directories also establishes you as a credible, transparent, and respectable business.
Business Directories Improve Your Online Presence
When your business is listed in multiple top directories, prospective customers get to see more of your brand, including the logo, services, contact details, and other details that you have shared in your listings. This will significantly boost your online presence in certain niches. Make sure that the keywords in your directories are well-optimized to fully take advantage of this opportunity.