While search engine optimization (SEO) is a hot topic in marketing, many businesses still don't, well, optimize it. Believe it or not, 57% of businesses lack an SEO strategy altogether.
So imagine how many still ignore off-page SEO. Hooray because that may be some of your competitors!
Whether you're trying to build your SEO strategy or not, there's one off-page factor you can't neglect: Online directories.
Here's what you need to know about online business directories and five of the top resources to use when listing your business!
Why Are Online Directories Important?
Online business directories are an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. They can directly drive traffic to your website with minimal maintenance or activity on your part, and they allow users to check out a small business before shopping with them. Did you know that nearly 90% of consumers read online reviews before doing business?
Rightfully so! They want to know what to expect, good or bad.
On top of that, directory listings are essential for building an SEO strategy. If you want to rank higher on search engines and build online visibility, brand awareness, and trust, you need to apply directories into your strategy.
Otherwise, Google and other websites may not find your website. In that case, it will be hard to build backlinks or rank in the long run. Which means very little to no traffic to your website, yikes!
Moreover, directories and listings serve as great business tools. They allow you to communicate directly with your intended audience, respond to questions, and potentially generate leads.
Clearly, online directories serve an important role in your strategy, but it's nearly impossible to get your business listed on all of them. Here are the best online directories to choose from for a US-based business!
1. Google Business Profile
If you'll only have one, it should be Google Business Profile or GBP. This is easily the best online directory for any business seeking to build organic traffic, grow its SEO strategy, and build an online presence. Formerly known as Google My Business, GBP is the most important business directory online.
When you create a Business Profile, you're essentially prompting Google to index your site, which can boost your overall SEO results.
Having a GBP also allows you to skip the line in your SEO strategy while proving to Google that you are who you say you are.
When we say "skip the line", we mean that your Business Profile will likely rank above your website. Google shows carousels of businesses when you search for certain terms, often before any other websites.
This is a great way to effectively get ahead of your competitors!
However, you can only do that with an optimized listing! Make sure to fill out every prompt, keep the information accurate and uniform, respond to customer questions, and remain active on your GBP at least once a month!
If you expected this to be next, we're not surprised. Yelp is arguably the most well-known business directory online, and it's critical for your online reputation. The website gets 69 million visitors every month from consumers seeking information on businesses.
A great benefit of Yelp is that it can help drive more organic traffic due to its high volume, much like GBP. It also allows you to communicate directly with your customer base either publicly or privately, and you can easily dispute negative reviews.
Also, creating and maintaining a Yelp profile is easy. It's very similar to creating and using a social media platform. Like GBP, just remember to fill out all applicable prompts!
(Editors note: Yelp will attempt to sell you other services of theirs when you setup your profile. They also aren't great when it comes to false negative reviews, just wanted you all to be aware.)
3. Yahoo Places
Assuming you have a physical location for your business (store, restaurant, office, etc.), make sure you get on Yahoo Places. While Yahoo isn't a major search engine anymore, it is an important place for business listings.
Also, it's very similar to GBP. You can essentially copy and paste all of your GBP information onto Yahoo Places. That may actually be in your best interest, as uniformity is critical across these platforms.
4. Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages is no longer the physical book that it once was. It is now essentially Yellow Web Pages.
While it doesn't hold the same form, it still holds the same status in today's business world.
Surprising? Not really! Yellow Pages is the most time-tested and trusted business directory for US-based businesses, so don't neglect it.
YP also has strong ties to search engines, so this is an easy boost to your SEO strategy. Make sure you get on YP as soon as you can!
This is a great one for new websites looking to have Google index them. It's entirely free and it only takes a couple of minutes to get your website on the platform. Search engines regularly index WebWiki, so make sure that your website is on there!
WebWiki is a very simple website listing. It offers very basic information about websites and businesses. If you have a content marketing strategy like a blog, this should be your first stop.
Also, remember to improve your website. Your website is the de facto center of your entire marketing strategy, and nowhere is that more true than your directory listings. For the best results, direct users to a high-quality site!
Increase Your Visibility Today
Now that you know some of the best online directories to list your business on, why wait? The sooner you get them up, the sooner you can build traffic and increase your search engine rankings. With the right help, you can see results quicker than you'd think!
Stay up to date with our latest tips for your business, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or for help with your strategy! (Schedule a call to learn how we can help put you into over 50 US based directories, which will increase your SEO inbound link strategy and increase your website traffic.)
Top 5 Online Directories for US-Based Companies Summary
• Online business directories are an essential part of any digital marketing strategy, driving traffic to websites and building SEO.
• Nearly 90% of consumers read online reviews before transacting with a business.
• Five of the top resources for listing businesses include Google Business Profile, Yelp, Yahoo Places, Yellow Pages, and WebWiki.
• For best results, make sure that directory listings are uniform and direct users to a high-quality website.