If You Do Nothing Else… Optimize These Listings!
But First… A Quick Business Directory Refresher
Don’t worry, if you’ve been paying attention or have already read our local SEO services page, you can skip this section.
If this is your first time hearing about local online directories, though, here’s what you need to know: local online directories are sites like Yelp, Google+ Local (formerly called Google Places), and Superpages. These sites post business information, like address and pictures, and allow users to search for businesses near them and review businesses they’ve visited.
The more consistent listings you have, the better the chances of search engines pulling your business up in search results. The “consistent” part of that is very important: sometimes even the slightest change, like writing out Street in your address in one place and abbreviating it as St. in another, can confuse search engines and injure your rank. And you need hundreds of these perfectly consistent listings to be competitive.
But if you don’t have that kind of time, start with these five.
The Top 5 Local Search Directories
1. Google+ Local/PlacesThis is the big one. This directory allows you to upload pictures, descriptions, and all sorts of additional information that most directories simply don’t include. What’s more, and this should come as no surprise, this is the directory most favored by Google – the most used search engine.
For a more in-depth analysis of how to use Google+ Local and why it’s important, you can check out our blog dedicated to Google+ Local and our local search services page. But trust us when we say that this one is important.
Yelp is a great place to get reviews and interact with your customers. Like Google+ Local, Yelp allows you to upload pictures and descriptions, and also includes owner/manager bios. Definitely fill out this section (and yes, you do need a picture) if you want to respond to reviews.
The other reason Yelp ranks as #2 in this shortlist is because Siri, Apple’s hot new personal assistant, gets her data from Yelp. Apple’s new maps app will also be using it.
3. Bing Local and 4. Yahoo Local
These two are basically Bing’s and Yahoo’s versions of Google+ Local. They’re relegated to spots 3 and 4 because not as many people use Bing and Yahoo as use Google and Siri.
Coming in at slot 5 is Superpages. Superpages is a pretty basic directory – you can pay to get a more complex, enhanced listing but you don’t really need it to help your SEO.
The main reason you want to get your business on Superpages is because it is one of very few directories that allows users to submit reviews anonymously. That means that your customers don’t have to create an account to leave a quick review, and you don’t have to give a complicated explanation as to how they can review.
What About All the Other Directories?
They matter, and we definitely encourage you to enter your business in as many as possible. Find8 offers a service that will get you a professionally optimized entry in over 500 directories, including Google+ Local, for $697 – it’s worth it if you don’t want to spend a week typing your information into 500 different directories.
For now, though, we hope you’ve found this top 5 list to be helpful. Before we conclude this week’s blog, however, we want to leave you with one piece of advice:
Nothing is Ever Permanent on the Internet
Just because these are the top 5 today doesn’t mean that the next big tech update won’t shuffle the whole list around. Like we mentioned earlier, Apple, with Siri’s help, is getting ready to make a serious attempt on Google+ Local’s superiority as a local directory.
Even Facebook is starting to make waves with its business directory; don’t be too surprised if it appears in a similar directory round up at this time next year!
Keep an eye on Find8 to stay abreast of all the latest – and of course, if you’d like any more information on any of these directories or some friendly advice on getting your business found locally with SEO, you can always contact us!