What Is A Business Directory Listing?
An online business directory is a website that lists businesses within a category. There are two main types of directories; location based directories for businesses within a specific area, and industry based directories for businesses within a specific industry.
A business directory listing is an entry in a business directory that lists the details of a business, commonly including the business name, address, phone number and website.
The Benefits of Quality Directory Listings
There are many benefits to creating business listings on quality business directory websites. One of the main benefits of submitting business listings is creating consistent citations for your business online. When a business is mentioned in multiple places online and the same information is listed in each citation, search engines put more trust in the accuracy of that information, which is a ranking factor used to determine rankings on Google.
Additionally, creating business profiles across multiple platforms allows potential customers to find your business via a platform that they are already using. One of the biggest examples of this is creating a business profile on Facebook, as more than 1 billion people actively use Facebook.
Creating listings on reputable business directories also gives your website a chance of showing up on the first page of Google via the business directory site, as many of these sites have high domain authorities and rank well. Select business directories will also provide a backlink to your website which can increase rankings and referral traffic.
Choosing Quality Directories
When submitting directory listings, it’s important to select quality business directories that will provide benefit to your website, as submitting listings on spammy directories can actually do more harm than good.
To determine whether or not a business directory is a quality website, check the domain authority and spam score of the site. If the domain authority is low, or the spam score is high, your efforts may be better invested elsewhere. Additionally, creating listings on spammy sites can actually increase the spam score of your website, and could even result in a Google penalty that could see your website drop off of the face of Google.
When choosing which directories to create business listings for, it is also important to take into account where your target audience is looking, to ensure that your business is represented on all of the platforms that your potential customers frequent.
Where possible, choose directories within categories as relevant as possible to your business. For example, if you own a nail salon on the Sunshine Coast, choose Sunshine Coast business directories as well as beauty services directories.
When submitting directory listings it is important to be organised in order to monitor the status of your submissions, as well as keep track of login details and NAP (name, address, phone number) consistency.
Many directory listings will require you to check for an email confirmation so it is important to use an email that you have regular access to. Additionally, due to the nature of free business listings, they are likely to send you endless spam and marketing emails after you sign up, so it can be beneficial to create a separate email for directory submissions.
Use a spreadsheet to record the website URL, login details, and listing status (eg. submitted, awaiting confirmation, or successful) of each listing you submit. This will come in handy in the future if any business details change (eg. the business relocates) and you need to go back and edit each listing with the updated information.
How To Optimise Directory Listings
As mentioned earlier, one of the most important parts of creating optimised business listings is using consistent NAP, as search engines use this as a ranking signal. Be pedantic in your listing creation to ensure your business NAP is consistent throughout all citations. For example, when listing the address of your business, be consistent with abbreviations (eg. street, st, or st.).
Another key part of creating optimised business listings is providing as much information as possible including:
hen creating a business listing for a directory submission it is important to use the same language that your target audience would use to search for your services, and include key terms such as product names and services. However, keyword stuffing (unnaturally cramming keywords into a sentence) is not advised as many directories can detect this and will reject the listing.
In fact, Google My Business actually removed business descriptions from listings altogether which has widely been speculated to be due to keyword stuffing. And, although the business descriptions feature of Google My Business has recently been re-added, Google has stated that all business descriptions will be checked to ensure they meet the guidelines.
Additionally, many business directories will ask for unique information that is not posted anywhere else online. This is usually to avoid penalties from duplicate content. This means that it is beneficial to create a short business description that has not been copied from your website as many directories will reject a submission with copied content.
Most business directories give you the option to choose one or more categories for your business. It is important to choose as many categories as possible that are relevant to your business to ensure that anyone looking for your products or services will find them.
This is especially important if your business name does not include your products or services as otherwise your potential customers won’t know what you are offering.
Providing the trading hours for your business is essential as consumers may only see your directory listing without ever visiting your website. It is also important to ensure that the listed trading hours are accurate and updated for holiday seasons to avoid providing customers with incorrect information. (Eg. trading hours change over christmas without updating listing and a customer turns up to a closed store).
One way to ensure that your business listing stands out from your competitors’ is to include high quality images. If applicable, include your logo as well as product photos as these are informative for potential customers.
Finally, collecting customer reviews on your business listings can help to convert new customers. Although Google reviews have the most value when it comes to search engine optimisation, having positive reviews on multiple platforms will help to build your brand presence online.
Additionally, Google has started to display star ratings from third party review sites in the knowledge panel on Google My Business listings. This means that it is important to be proactive in gaining new reviews to prevent one poor review from affecting your overall star rating.
Once you have created business listings on as many relevant and reputable sites as possible, it is important to monitor your listings. This is because for many free listings will need to be renewed every so often to prevent them from being removed from the site.
It can also be helpful to Google your business every now and then to look for new listings, as some directories will automatically create listings for your business based on information on another directory. When this happens, check that the information on the automatically generated listing is consistent with all other citations.