Local directories are great. They’re great because, first of all, most of them are free. And the other thing is that having your business listed on a bunch of different local directories helps with your SEO so much. But why?
What does it affect and why does it affect it? First of all, when Google is trying to figure out how legit your business is, it needs to cross-reference its sources. Where can Google find more information about you, about your business, about your website?
Separate Yourself From The Spam
In a world where we live with so much spam, Google and Google Maps are no exception. There’s so much spam. So they need a way to verify who’s put in the effort to actually build a business here that has some reputation, and using local business directories is how you do that.
If we take a look at two different businesses, one is pure spam, and one is your business that you’re working on and it’s a real business. The spam company is going to say to Google, “Hey, I’m Frank’s Power Washing Company. Go call this number.” And then Google’s going to look at them and ask, “Okay. Well, who are you?” And there’s no information about them anywhere.
They have no Facebook page, no local business directories, no mentions of their business anywhere besides maybe their own website that says, “We’re Frank’s Power Washing Company. Call this number.” So Google’s going will say, “I don’t know. I don’t trust these guys. They just came out of nowhere and called themselves Frank’s Power Washing Company and they’ve been around for 30 years, but there’s no proof of that. Where is there any mention that dates back to that long? It’s a brand new spam company.”
And then you have your company, which is a real company. And you have an online presence, and you’ve had an online presence for a long time. You have a Facebook page, you have Instagram, maybe a Twitter or LinkedIn. And these are all different pages mentioning your business. And Google can date those pages back and say, “Hey, this page has been up for a very long time and it’s saying that the information that we see today is still accurate.”
Google will draw that connection and say, “This is a very worthy reference. This is a very worthy source that can validate that this is a real business.” And having all of these listings on local business directories, you are making those points on the internet that Google uses as reference points for deciding, “Is your business legit? Is it real?” And in terms of winning search rankings on Google, you need as many of those points as you can, and you need them there as early as possible.
Google Is Blind Until It Isn’t
You need local directories to build this understanding for Google so it knows who you are, and it knows how to give you business. It’s trying to give you business. You just have to handhold it. You have to show it the instructions. So when you put your business on these local directories, you are helping Google to understand.
When you list your business on these directories, Google finds that listing, makes a note of it, and says, “Okay. You’ve said that your business exists and this is what you do. Who else is saying that?” And then they’re going to see all these other business listings saying the same thing about your company. And this is where consistency comes into play.
If you have the same business name, the same phone number, and the same address plastered on hundreds of web pages which Google is using to decide, “Is your business legitimate?”, then you want that information to be everywhere, and you want it to be accurate and consistent. Doing local directories is one of the easiest, fastest ways to do that because there are hundreds of them, even thousands.
Building Listings On Local Directories
You can go and chip away at it yourself. Just go find all these different local directories and start listing your business. Maybe do one or two a night. In a couple of weeks, you’ll have so many of them. But that’s so time-consuming. There’s an even easier way to do it. What I do for my clients, I use seobutler.com. They have a service called Citations. And a Citation is a local directory listing. They give you a slider and you just pick how many do you want. It costs about one dollar per listing.
Building listings/citations yourself is the most cost-effective method, but it is also the most time-consuming. The fastest one I’ve made was five minutes. And the slowest one was half an hour. I don’t know. So what I started doing was just using the Citation Building Service, ordering 50-100 at a time. I do have a coupon code you can use with SEOButler. Just be sure to enter KRYSIK10 at checkout. I think it gives you 10% off, and they pay me the difference. So I get a piece of that if you do use it.
Local Directories Provide Easy Backlinks
With local directories, you also get backlinks. And they’re not always good backlinks, but they are backlinks. A backlink is when you have your website mentioned on another website, and there’s a link on that webpage that is pointing to your website. So that’s called the backlink.
Google uses these links to decide if your website deserves to be higher on the rankings than somebody else’s website. So having backlinks is a really good thing to have. And building directories does that for you as well. So you kill multiple birds with one stone here.
With local directories, you get your business information plastered all over the internet. Those mentions are aging, and with age comes more authority. So it’s good to have all of that going. And you get backlinks. You get backlinks that increase the authority of your domain, which makes it easier to rank for everything else moving forward.
The longer you have a live website with backlinks and local directories, the longer Google knows you’ve been in business. For Google, it’s all about counting all the points of data that surround your business’ online presence. By creating lots of points around the internet, you are setting up nodes for which Google can collect more data, and therefore reward you with traffic and customers.