How can an online business directory help your local SEO?

Getting your business listed in an online business directory can boost your local SEO. However, it’s important to ensure inclusion in these directories doesn’t hurt your business. Here is a quick look at what you need to know.

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What are online business directories?

Online business directories are simply an evolution of the traditional Yellow Pages. Popular for decades, this annual compendium of businesses now no longer exists in print form but has been replaced by online versions. There are many such directories out there. Some are general and national, whilst others focus on particular niches. For example, you can find a Cheltenham Business Directory or one that specialises in a specific industry.

These directories will contain details of each business listed, including name, street address and other contact details. The directory sites scrape the internet for these details. Some of these directories, such as Yell, also allow customers to post reviews. Companies listed can usually claim their business, which means they can add updated information.

Online business directories and SEO

Online directories offer a great chance to boost your visibility. Customers searching for you or your services will find you more easily if you are listed on one of the quality directories, which are considered reliable sources to the big search engines. A listing on a quality directory also offers a valuable backlink. One word of advice is to ensure you claim your business and add accurate contact information. For example, if you’re in Gloucestershire, it’s a good idea to at least claim your listing in your local Cheltenham Business Directory, as well as Google My Business, Yell and Bing Places for Business.

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What are the potential pitfalls of online directories?

The main pitfall is the fact that ending up in a low-quality directory can hurt your ranking in the search engines. A further pitfall is failing to claim your business on the high-quality directories. For example, if you’re in a Cheltenham Business Directory listed under one address, but in a sector-specific directory under another, Google might ignore them both!

The overriding lesson to take away from this article is to appreciate that a quality online business directory gives you a great opportunity to give your business a boost. Just make sure your business only features in directories that don’t hurt your SEO efforts.

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