One of the easiest ways for nearly ANY type of business to increase their online presence is to make sure they are utilizing certain local business directories that get a lot of traffic. Sites that have a lot of people on them, and are browsing for businesses of all types. There are a few other uses for these business directories though, that can result in a lot more traffic both directly and indirectly.
There are 3 main uses of local business listing type directory websites. No matter what use they may have that benefits you most, you need to have good practices when it comes to local listing optimization.
The first thing that your local listings can do to benefit you, is to get your traffic to the listing, from the websites current traffic. Websites like Yelp, insiderpages, superpages, yp, and others are perfect examples of this. They have a large base of regular visitors that go to their websites and search out businesses based on the niche and location.
The second way local listings can help your business is that the listing itself will RANK in the search engines when consumers are searching for your type of business! They get sent to the listing, which gives you more visibility and a higher chance of getting that visitor to become a customer!
The third, and possibly most important way of these listings helping your business, is the power it has to get you ranking very high in Google Local and even Bing Local. When you first claim your Google local listing, you fill it out all the information fields. You put in the maximum information allowed, optimize it with keywords, location, and other relevant information. The way these other listings will help your Google Local rank, is because Google counts them basically as a VOTE for your website. We call them, “citations” or local business listings, but those citations need to be optimized.
What does it mean to optimize your listings? Well the easiest way to answer this is to make sure that your listing has all the information possible. Usually you will want to completely fill out the listing so every category, every slot for information has been inputted in there. This will help you gain more visibility in the search engines, but also on these websites. These directory style websites don’t want to send their traffic to blank pages with just a business name, phone number, website, and address, they want to send them to a page on their site that has a lot of information!
Local listing optimization is something that can help your business get more referring traffic to your website, more direct leads, and more traffic from the search engines, like Yahoo and Bing.
Here are a few of our favorite local listing sites:
- Google + Local / Google Places
- Bing Local
- Insider Pages
- Super Pages
- Merchant Circle
This is by far, not a comprehensive list but it is a good start to increasing your traffic, your overall presence, and your local rankings in Google!