Directory Listings For Local SEO: Why They Are So Important for Your Business
A developing digital world has led to intense competition throughout all business industries as consumers rely heavily on digital channels to access different products and services. This requires small and large businesses to have a robust online presence in order to reach their customer base. While having an attractive website, a functional social presence, and an effective branding campaign is crucial to bringing in customers, it may not be enough to put your business over the top.
The importance of local directory listings is becoming more well-known, but some business owners still haven’t placed a large emphasis on listing their businesses. It is critical for businesses to submit their information to local directories and continue to optimize their profiles for increased results. This article will explain what local directories are and why they are crucial to helping you grow your business.
What Are Local Business Directories?
Local business directories are websites that list companies and their contact information to help customers find reliable candidates for the services that they are seeking. Directory listings can be free or paid. Examples include Yelp, YellowPages, Google Business Profile, Bing, and Yahoo Local. While these major directories have existed for a long time, there has been a large boost in the number of new directories available recently. The rise in the number of new directories conveys that more people rely on these platforms to find information on local businesses.
Why Just Listing Your Business It Not Enough
Submitting your business to local directories is important, but making sure these listings are correct, up-to-date, and optimized is just as vital. By not submitting listings to popular and niche (industry-specific) directory sites, a business is making it harder for customers to find their services digitally. Moreover, what’s even more detrimental is if the business has a few directory listings but they are incomplete or outdated.
For example, customers (and search engines) depend on directory listings to get relevant information about the business and the products or services they offer. By submitting an incorrect or incomplete listing, the business is confusing and frustrating customers before they even consider doing business with them.
Problems such as inconsistent name, address, phone number data, and duplicate listings can harm the credibility of the business and reduce its web visibility altogether. When listing errors cause search engines to become uncertain about a business, they feel less confident suggesting it to potential customers.
Benefits of Local Directory Listings
It is easy to ascertain the significance of directory websites for consumers, but what does it do for businesses? Do these listings really help companies grow? The easy answer is yes! Read more to discover the benefits directory listings can offer to business owners.
Increase Website Ranking, Domain Authority, and Visibility
Most business owners know the importance of having an online presence but typically don’t understand the value of increasing their website’s ranking. Placing a focus on developing professional, informative content is a great start, but it can only take you so far if you don’t invest in building quality backlinks. Ensuring that your business is listed correctly in several high-authority local directories is important for two significant reasons:
- Increases your website’s visibility in search results (leads to increased traffic quantity and quality)
- Increases business authority and credibility (among search engines and consumers most importantly)
But how do directory listings provide these benefits? The main factor that contributes to these added benefits is that search engines respect business directories with high standards and detailed business listings. Businesses that appear in these local directories are able to earn the trust of search engines, which leads to higher rankings that attract more website visitors.
It is important to note that not all directories are created equal. The more trustworthy the directory, the more value it adds to your website in terms of SEO. The best way to maximize the impact of backlinks is to list your business in the most credible directories to increase the odds of appearing in a multitude of search results.
Build Brand Reputation
Local directory listings go a long way in building and securing the reputation of your business. When your business isn’t listed online or doesn’t appear in category searches, it can portray a negative image to customers.
Many free directories provide brand awareness for your business even if they don’t immediately generate leads or conversions. If a consumer uses several different directories and encounters your business in each of them, they will begin to associate your business with the quality product or service you provide. The more your business appears on credible directories, the more likely consumers are to trust your brand.
Local directories also provide a platform for generating online reviews, which are crucial to your company’s reputation. A survey conducted by Statista revealed that more than 90% of consumers admitted to reading online reviews to gain insights into the brands they are interested in prior to making a purchase.
As a business, this means that if you aren’t getting reviews then you won’t be able to draw the attention of potential customers regardless of the quality of the services or products you offer. Being listed on directories is another way to generate reviews, and when potential customers see these reviews, they will be more inclined to believe that your company is legitimate and worth doing business with.
Bottom Line, End of Story – Directory Listings Make A HUGE Difference!
In order to make meaningful connections with potential customers and grow your business, you must have the correct resources in place to back up your plan. In addition to having a strong digital foundation (website, content strategy, social media strategy, email marketing plan) it is pertinent to take advantage of directory listings and backlinks.
Correctly listing your business in a wide array of directories will attract new, qualified customers by helping you increase your website ranking, build your brand reputation, and generate reviews. By increasing traffic to your website and cultivating more leads, you will notice that online directory listings are indirectly helping you make more profit.
Online directories are not just a mecca that connects companies and consumers, they are one of the most powerful marketing tools business owners have at their disposal. Regardless of your business industry, you will be able to widen your customer base and produce more income by taking advantage of these directory tools.