SEO Benefits of Listing Your Investigations Business in Multiple Directories
With terms like hyperlocalization and local search optimization flying around it can be hard to understand what the best online marketing strategy for your investigations busines is. This year, local search optimization is going to be very important for all companies that offer location-based services. What does this mean? If people search for your company by service type and location, you need to be showing up in local search results. With so much going into local search optimization, it can be difficult to understand exactly what you need to do and why. To help you get more familiar with local search, here is a summary of directory listings and why you need to submit to them.
Benefits of Directories
There are three main reasons to submit your company to or pay for listings on directories:
- Targeted Leads
Vertical directories tend to rank well for the keywords in your profession, and larger directories like Yelp and Online Yellow Pages generate a lot of traffic. It may take some marketing effectiveness or diving into your analytics to determine the return on paid directories.
- Relevant Links
Any good SEO strategy focuses on links. Listing your business on directories that allow "follow" links to your web site will help you rank for the industry-specific keywords you are targeting.
Many SEO's believe that citations are the new link when it comes to ranking. This is especially true for localized business - a DUI attorney in Los Angeles, for example. Several citations of your business name, address and phone on directories are going to help with your local ranking. See my post on local citations, as well as 50 must-have citations for local businesses. (p.s. - Before you start submitting by hand, contact us. We can save you time and money.)
Types of Directories
Not all directories are created equal. You should prioritize the directories you are submitting to or spending money on by value. It's also important to have a good mix of places your company or firm is listed.
Whether you are a notary or a mergers and acquisitions attorney, there is a probably an online directory that exists for your profession. Directories in your specific field are a great way to to get inexpensive, relevant traffic and links. PInow.comand ServeNow.com are all examples of vertical directories.
Like vertical directories, associations for your profession and your client's profession are also a good source of targeted traffic and leads. Not only are associations often seen as authority domains on a topic, but most association membership dues are reasonable and members tend to source business to other members. Identify who your most common buyer is, chances are they have an association. As an investigator, it makes sense to identify relevant associations in your state and join as a vendor member or sponsor.
Local Web Sites, BBB's and Chambers of Commerce
Do a Google search for your city + businesses directory (i.e. denver business directory). Typical results will be chambers of commerce, local business directories and other business groups. These are great citations and links for your business to help rank for local keywords. Better Business Bureaus will also offer the same benefits.
Online YP's and Localized Directories
Online Yellow Page sites and localized directories (like Manta, 411.com, Brownbook, Merchantcirlce, etc) are good places to get citations. These are also sites you will occasionally see ranking for your localized searches. There are dozens of these sites though, and submitting them by hand is not efficient. Your best bet here is to find a local optimization company who can submit you to the datafeeds that seed these directories.
Include your NAP Data
NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone. For a directory, or any site for that matter, to give you a citation your NAP data needs to be present. In addition to that, your NAP data needs to match exactly to your Google Places profile.
How to Tell if a Directory Provides Ranking Value
While you aren't guaranteed a citation or SEO value just because you list your company on a directory, there are ways to determine when a directory will offer you no value. I see this most frequently on sites where the URL for directory results are not unique and is probably best explained by the video below.
A quick way to tell if the page you will be listed on is indexed by a search engine is to go to google and put "site:" in front of the URL in question. So, if you want to see if Google is indexing the Colorado page on the National Board of Collection Attorneys site, you would type in:
If the URL shows up in the search results, it means the page is indexed.
List of Freebies to Get You Started...
Even if you are working with an SEO or Local Optimization firm, you should constantly be looking for new places to submit your business. Below are a couple of freebies that you should take a moment to submit to. Remember to keep your NAP data consistent.
- CollectionAssociation.org ($9.95 per year)
And, Here's the Pitch...
LAWgical has a product called LAWgical Local. The goal with this product is to help you rank better in Google Places and other local platforms. Whether you are working with us on your local optimization or another company, it's something that you need to be paying attention to. In addition, we'd love to talk to you about getting you listed on our trusted networks.
Get Local Today
About Trent Carlyle
Trent Carlyle is the CTO and co-founder of Lawgical, the parent company of PInow. Trent works alongside the technology and marketing teams at Lawgical, developing products that help our clients grow their business and operate more efficiently. He has a passion for SEM (search engine marketing) and is very involved in the local search community in Denver.
Read More from Trent