In the digital age, it’s essential for your business to be instantly accessible online. But the problem with an ordinary Google search is that your website is competing with possibly thousands of other results using the same keyword listings. Fortunately, the right online strategy can boost your local SEO and keep your business relevant to local consumers.
Internet Directories: Your Secret Weapon to Boost Your Online Presence
When it comes to boosting your online presence, sometimes the most effective strategy is also the oldest and the easiest – such as internet directories. You can think of internet directories or web directories as being the equivalent of old-fashioned yellow pages that can be found conveniently online. In fact, one of the most famous general web directories is Yellow Pages!
Directories have a very simple purpose. The goal of a directory is to group websites in similar categories into a list so that consumers can easily find products and services they are looking for. The very first web directories were built before search engines existed, but have adapted to become websites with their own search engines in them that help filter results based on key factors, such as locations and services. If you want to cement your online presence, then a directory is an important first step to take.
Why Do New Online Businesses Need Directories?
Between generating local SEO for your business and creating an online marketing strategy, it can be difficult for a business to step into the digital age with a distinct online presence. To be frank, many consumers place their trust in the reputation of a business, which is something new-to-online businesses can’t typically capitalize on. The fact of the matter is that in order to boost your online presence, you need to have an online presence to start with.
Of course, your website will do most of the hard work for you. A good website design paired with a digital marketing strategy can do a lot to build your brand and reach consumers – but building an online presence is also important. Web directories can be hugely successful at this because your business will be sorted onto trusted web pages that will give consumers confidence in your product or services. Over time, a directory can be the foundation of your online presence.
Do Web Directories Work for the 21st Century?
Some business owners are skeptical about the use of web directories, which is understandable. After all, when was the last time anyone actually used a phone book or a directory to search for a service when Google and other major search engines are just a click away? As a matter of convenience, search engines are undoubtedly a quicker method.
However, when your business has a lot of stiff competition, relying only on search engine rankings is an inadequate advertising solution to build your online presence. This is where web directories can be immensely useful. In addition to local SEO and Google rankings, you can leverage the reputation of your business based on the trust people place in web directories.
How Does It Work?
Having your business listed on a web directory will, by itself, have an impact on your search engine rankings, but the nuance of these directories is also important. Essentially, you will place your website on a directory affiliated with the services or products you offer, which will then put your business in front of potential consumers who are searching for businesses that provide those services. In a way, web directories are a neat way to bypass traditional SEO.
For local SEO, web directories can be even more important, since many directories are designed to help consumers sort searches by location. In fact, because search engines, in general, are optimized to rank results by location, you can double-up on your online presence by also using a directory associated with your local area, which will increase your likelihood of attracting consumers.
What Are Common Internet Directories?
To be sure, search engines themselves are essentially web directories. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are all massive directories that use informal ranking based on keywords (and many other factors) to list relevant results and businesses. These days, even social media platforms like Facebook also function as directories, especially for small and local businesses. But there are plenty of other directories you can consider, such as:
Using common directories is a good way to put your business on the map in a general sense. Right now, the most promising internet directories for general searching are Google and Facebook, as determined by the 2020 US Alexa Ranking.
What About Niche Directories?
While general web directories serve a good purpose for creating the foundation of your online presence, many businesses will be able to see greater results with niche directories. A niche directory is a website that is dedicated to a specific industry, such as automobiles, real estate, food, and other services. Angie’s List is one of the more successful web directories for niche services, for example.
By putting your website on a niche directory, you are more likely to successfully reach consumers who are searching for your specific product or services. Many niche directories also function as a middle man between your business and the consumer, which can also take some stress off your day-to-day operations.
Examples of Niche Directories
TripAdvisor is a good example of a niche directory that ranks hotels based on pricing and location and then directs consumers to the hotel website for reservations. Three of the most popular food-related directories are DoorDash, UberEats, and GrubHub, all of which serve the dual purpose of bridging the gap between a consumer and a restaurant. Many small and local restaurants rely on the online presence generated by DoorDash, UberEats, and GrubHub to attract new consumers, particularly for delivery services.
Naturally, there are niche directories for every business sector. AutoTrader and Cars for automobiles, Zillow and HomeAdvisor for real estate, and Healthgrades for healthcare services. Even the BBB (Better Business Bureau) functions as a reliable and trustworthy web directory.
How Do Directories Relate to Local SEO?
Local SEO is all about optimizing major search engines to put your business high in the rankings when a consumer searches for products and services close to their geographic location. SEO gives your business more visibility and can help your business reach more potential consumers.
Depending on the directory being used, it can be very easy to boost your SEO when you link your website to a directory. For example, in the case of Google Maps, a consumer can simply Google “haircuts near me” and Google will pull up a list of businesses within a certain mile radius that offer hair services. You can optimize your search engine rankings by making sure to include keywords like “haircut” on your website.
While it may have been a minute since you last saw old-fashioned yellow pages, the truth is that most of us use web directories every day. From general directories like Google to niche directories that help you find the best of the best in your local area, directories are tools of the internet that are here to stay – and that can help you build your online presence. For more information, contact Social Media Move today.