You’ve likely heard of the importance of joining online directories as a means to getting your business online, but can directories also be used as a means to boosting your websites SEO? Kind of…
History of online directories
Obtaining backlinks is without doubt hugely important for improving the rank of a website. The problem? Backlinks are extremely difficult to obtain. The solution? Join and obtain as many backlinks from online directories as humanly possible. Or at least, that was the solution used by many website developers just a few years ago. Why? It was free, relatively easy to do and more importantly, it worked.
Nowadays, this type of practice is penalised by Google and would likely see your websites ranking punished. That’s why it’s now so important to join just the most trustworthy directories, as opposed to joining any directory you can find…
Directories and SEO
Whilst it’s impossible to second-guess the algorithm used by search engines, commenters have denoted that directory backlinks are no longer as significant as they used to be in terms of improving SEO. Whilst joining directories like the ones listed below might improve SEO marginally, it’s perhaps not enough to consider joining all of them. That doesn’t mean to say that online directories are completely useless though…
Joining online directories can boost local SEO. At the time of writing, searching for “painter Stevenage” brings up Google My Business listings, Checkatrade listings, MyBuilder.com listings and Yell listings all at the very top of the organic search results. If your business isn’t listed on any of these directories and a customer fails to scroll further down the page, they’ll never find your business.
Secondly, placing your website on a directory allows users to interact with your site. The more that people interact with it and scroll through it, the more useful/engaging it appears to search engines. On a basic level, more engagement = lower bounce rate = higher search results.
Choosing online directories
Now that you know how directories work in terms of SEO, it’s important to consider the following when choosing which directories to list your business in:
- List your business in directories that are heavily moderated with a thorough vetting process, i.e. those that are respected by search engines.
- List your business in paid-for-directories. Websites that are simply looking for a backlink are unlikely to pay for the privilege, Google are clever enough to recognise that.
- List your business in trade-specific directories.
- Avoid listing in directories that are littered with ads throughout the site.
Top directories for trades
- Google My Business (free)
- Yell/Yellow Pages (free)
- Yelp (free)
- Scoot (free)
- Checkatrade (subscription)
If you would like to find a trade specific directory, type into Google “*keyword* (boiler, painter, builder etc.) directories” and see the results.
Getting started with directories
Before you get started, prepare some details so you can quickly add information into the directories that you’ve decided to join. Most will ask for similar bits of information like company name, contact details, business registration number, logo and a company description.
Once you’ve got that sorted, jot down the directories that you’ve joined. If you change address, contact details or are no longer offering a specific service, you needn’t scramble around trying to remember what you need to change and where. Organisation is key to running a professional and profitable business.
Join Expert Trades
Why not join thousands of other likeminded trade professionals and get yourself set up online today? Join here. We’d love to have you on board!