What are the benefits of business directory listings?
One of the fundamental steps we take at Pixeld for any SEO campaign is website submission to quality business directories. Most businesses have their details listed somewhere already. Some directories automatically add you when you connect a new phone number, or register a domain name. By adding your business to a select number of critical directories, there are some great, very easy gains to be made for your site traffic and search engine rankings.
There is the obvious benefit of flow through traffic. If the directory is good, you might actually see some decent referred traffic. Particularly if you go to the effort of populating your listing with decent information. A lot of SEO companies will submit your site to these directories as fast as they can. Copy, paste, repeat. By making a little bit more effort, adding a profile picture, a gallery and a decent product/service description, you can easily stand out from the competition.
Are business directory links good for SEO?
The real reason most people submit to business directories however is for backlinks. That is, a link back to your website. Backlinks to your site are still the number one ranking factor in Google’s algorithms. But don’t go crazy, it’s quality over quantity. That’s why only submitting to trusted, quality directories is advised. There are literally thousands of low quality, spam filled directories out there that will actually do harm to your site. If Google thinks the directory is poor quality, then the link is poor quality.
By writing really good copy for your listings and choosing appropriate categories and keywords, your listings can actually go a long way to helping you target your industry’s keywords. Also, entering consistent contact information can confirm in Google’s eyes that you are in fact a local business, making you more likely to come up in local search results.
Tips on submitting your website to directories
Adding your site to 20 good directories is still going to be time consuming and repetitive. Do the prep work and you can cut this time in half. Create a spreadsheet of all of the fields the directories ask for and you can just copy and paste them in. Some fields to have ready are;
- your ABN,
- business slogan,
- one sentence description of what you do,
- contact email address,
- a submission email address (you can use one solely for submitting your site, as it will get a few emails),
- a contact phone number,
- social media links,
- a couple of business descriptions that are no larger than 250 words,
- your logo and
- a few images for a gallery.
You can download our template for this and a list of directories we submit to at the bottom of this post.
Security tip for business directory submission
I like to use the same password when creating my directory accounts so it’s easy to remember. Do NOT use a password that you use anywhere else. Whilst we do our best to use trusted sites, I don’t trust them, or their security measures. So using the same email/password combo that you use everywhere else is a bad idea.
What email address should I use for business directory submissions?
You will definitely receive a lot of confirmation emails to create your accounts, some may ask for more information, and some will even give you a call to up sell you to a paid listing. Be polite, they are used to most people just wanting a free listing.
You might want to consider setting up an email address specifically for business directory listings so that your regular inbox is not bombarded with confirmations, offers and spam.
Business directories for SEO
What makes a reputable business directory?
If you’re an Australian business, you of course want to find Australian directories. Global or international directories are unlikely to give you much value. There are some major players of course like Yellow Pages and True Local that are essential. Website Directory Australia is another. Bear in mind a lot of these sites offer a premium version for a fee. From an SEO perspective, these are never good value. However if you think the site itself can provide good referral traffic for you, then you might take the punt. I’d personally spend my dollars elsewhere.
There are a few sites that SEO specialists will use to determine the quality of a directory site. One being Alexa which ranks the popularity of a website globally and another being Moz’s Open Site Explorer which utilises a number of it’s own ranking factors to determine a site’s authority. With these tools we can make a ‘best guess’ on what sites are worth submitting your site to.
So start submitting your website to directories
If you’ve got a little patience there are some serious gains to be made getting your name out there on reputable directories. Planned and executed correctly you will not only boost your rankings, but your site traffic too.
Free list of quality business directories
I am constantly evaluating the list of sites I submit to for their quality and effect. If you’d like to get my personal list just join my mailing list below and I’ll shoot them straight out to you. I have organised this Google sheet so you can easily see the most important directories and work your way through them.