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.