The theory behind successful SEO has changed a lot in the past few years. Before, all that mattered was the quantity of links you had. Nowadays, effective SEO is built on getting quality backlinks to raise your ranking up in the SERPs. Therefore, you should focus on increasing the number of quality links and local citations. Getting listed in local directories, likely won’t give you a huge jump in the rankings overnight. However, you will pull ahead of websites that have a similar SEO standing to your own.
Here are the benefits:
Citations reflect validity which is why Google’s algorithm takes them so seriously. You can put up a website and say that you are the best in the industry, but citations are what verify whether your company is something of value. Google also considers the reviews that you get from local listing sites.
Citations also let you have a community that plays an important role in local search engine rankings. Your activities in the community make your business real to Google and help it to relay your authenticity.
B2B and B2C Marketing:
Online directories are a good source of clients. Both users and businesses alike might need your service or product. They allow you a chance at both B2B and B2C marketing.
There are still numerous businesses that don’t have a website. They are just listed in some local citations, meant for niche industries. Google trusts these sites a lot as it knows they contain the only information on them to be found. If you are one of these businesses who have just created a website, you will improve your ranking if you are already listed in some local listing sites focused on small industries like your own.
Citations protect against manipulation. Link submission can be manipulated. There are several instances where links get redirected to sites that are completely irrelevant to their source sites. But brand mentions are harder to manipulate as the citations should be relevant to the content redirected.
Enhanced Maps Visibility:
Once your local citation gets crawled by Google, your business is more likely to pop up in Google Maps when people search with the relevant keywords.
Listing your site in quality sites improves the domain authority of your website. Consequently, it provides you the chance of getting ranked with more complex search queries.
If you want to promote your business locally, then there isn’t a cheaper option than online directories. You can list your occupation in local directories for some minor charges. The maintenance cost is very little, even with paid listing sites. There are many free listing sites too.
Finding citations, relevant to your business is not always easy. Therefore, you should start keeping track by setting up a Google Alert for your services or products so that whenever they are mentioned online, you get a notification about the source that might be a useful local listing site. Last but not the least; make sure that the details of your NAP (name, address, phone number) are same in all listings so that Google doesn’t get confused.