What is an online directory?
Do people remember the phone books? An online directory is basically the same thing, just on a virtual level. Online directories are web listings where businesses can list their company contact info, location, and links to their website and social media accounts. These citation sites tend to be free, making them accessible to small local businesses in advertising their company amongst many search engines.
Google isn’t enough.
When it comes to putting your business out there in the virtual world, Google isn’t enough to cover all of your bases.
Every search engine, like Yahoo or Bing, counts on companies to put their information onto directory websites. The less information a listing has on their company the less likely that company will be found by potential customers. The same goes for the credibility of your website. The more listings your business is on the higher your brand will be recognized.
Not only is putting your website onto all different types of web listings important but adding it to directories specifically pertaining to your company is beneficial. These are called niche directories and they will help you reach out to your targeted audience.
An example would be if you have a contracting business then you would want to add it to Angie’s List. If you own health practice, Zocdoc would be most helpful for you to join. Or if you are a realtor agent then Zillow is a great directory to get your name out there in the real world.
Consistency is Key
The more you feature your business on multiple directory sites (there are more than 200) the greater your business will be seen on search engines like Google. With multiple directories housing your listing you must make sure all of your information about your business is the same on every directory. Having your business’s information be the exact same for every directory will help with rankings, achieve less confusion, and strengthen the legitimacy of your business. It can be a little tricky on remembering which directories you have already added your listing to, so thankfully there are certain services, such as Maptimizer, to keep you organized.
A backlink is a URL linking your website to the one you don’t own. These backlinks provide opportunities for potential customers to find your page organically, creating link/SEO juice. When claiming your business on a directory, and submitting your business’s URL and social media, you are creating a solid backlink profile with reputable and authoritative backlinks.
Online directories are a free and simple way to extend the information about your business across the virtual market. With over 200 directories out there you can put your website on every one of them, especially the niche directories that pertain specifically to your business. By consistently keeping your information about your business the same in each directory as well as creating backlinks there is no doubt no one will dismiss your company.