Directory Submissions for Local SEO
Local SEO is required to establish the visibility of a local business in the Local Map Pack or the top three organic search results. Google algorithms determine how the websites should be listed in the search results. The higher the ranking the more traffic.
Local businesses need to prove to the search engine that they are physically located near their customer base, they provide products and services that come under certain categories and they are a trusted and authoritative content source and they answer their customer’s questions.
Local businesses can address all these requirements through local directories. Directories submissions are required for Local SEO. Though you should review the directories for the weight they offer. Not all directories carry the same weight or authority.
Two points of web presence
For a business to rank in a particular location it must prove that it exists and can provide services within a specified area. The two ways to establish a business location are its website and Google Business Profile(GBP).
A local business website should have the business's physical address included wherever required. You can tag it with a local business schema to make it easier for Google to find and index it. Some of the websites also include a Google Map which can be used for location validation. You can add geographic details in the title tags and heading tags where it is appropriate. This will help to show the local focus of the business.
To reinforce the information about your local business you should create and optimise your Google Business Profile. The information like Name, Address and Phone Number should be right and match across properties. The services chosen in the GBP should be within close proximity of your business location.
The goal should be consistency among the information along with the website URLs. If you are including more than one URL in the local directory listing then include a link to your GBP profile, your Facebook page and the listings in other local directories.
Establishing local relevance
To establish local relevance you should make sure that your content appears in the correct directories and the right categories. There are three types of local directories you can submit your listing to:
1. Global directories
These are services like Yelp, Yellow Pages and more. These directories offer local listings and reviews for most locations around the world. Some of them offer free listings but charge a fee for advanced features, functionality and visibility.
To determine if you should pay a listing fee you can conduct an organic search for the primary keywords you want your business to be found for and check if the directory ranks well for those keywords in the local search engine result pages.
You can ask a rep from the directory to provide you with stats on the organic traffic your paid listing will be able to deliver. If they cannot provide the stats then it is likely that they may not be able to provide a return on your investment.
2. Industry-specific directories
The industry-specific directories are TripAdvisor for travel and tourism businesses and Houzz for construction and trade businesses. You should first evaluate these for the values they can deliver to your business.
3. Locally specific directories
These local directories are provided by the local Chamber of Commerce, Service Organisations and other players. These small and local non-global directories should be considered if they can prove that they can deliver value to your business.
The first two types should be considered because they have the effect of validating local presence less subjectively. The directories you submit your listings to will help in determining the relevance of your business.
Establishing local authority
Listing your business within the local directories with an established authority of their own will help to boost the authority and the visibility of your business. Any directory that outperforms your website or the GBP page for the target keyword is an opportunity for both to be found via the directory and the establishing authority through it.
Many directory services offer review submissions. Though Google Reviews are preferred from the organic authority perspective.
You can check if you or your competitors are getting reviews in places other than GBP. Your potential customers may be looking at these reviews as well.
Managing multiple business locations
You can set up and maintain listings across multiple directories but this will take time. It will be amplified for businesses with more than one location. There are paid services solutions like Uberall, Semrush and Yext for managing your multiple locations centrally.
Using these tools will cover the global and industry-specific directories, GBP page, Apple Maps and Facebook locations. Some of them also offer a review and social account management.
Directory submissions are a must for effective local SEO. You should decide on a submission strategy that fits your traffic goals and budget. If you need assistance you can check out Supramind, we offer SEO services.