The previous part of our beginners guide to local SEO has proven to be very popular so we thought a great way to finish off the year would be to add part 2 to our blog.

In the next part of our beginners guide, we will highlight just how important directories can be for any local business.

Aren’t Directories A Thing of the Past?

Whilst the days of the hard copies of the phone directory and the Yellow Pages may be disappearing quickly into the past, online directories have never been more popular A Beginners Guide To Local SEO – Part 2and are therefore well worth spending some time investigating.

The trick with making the most of the potential offered by online directories is choosing the right ones to submit your business details to.

To try and make things a little easier for you, we can tell you straight away that there are two types of directory you should be looking for: The kind which is so big that potential customers cannot ignore it (step forward for example!) and the type of directory which may be a little more niche but is still likely to be used by your prospective customers. Whilst you may find that whilst compiling your target list you find a number of directories that fill both criteria, it is important not to neglect the latter group.

Please Note – To help you along your way, you can find a pretty comprehensive list of directories here, with the biggest highlighted in red.

A Little Bit of Homework

To help ensure that you identify the directories which are most likely to benefit your business, there are a couple of things that you can do to help narrow down the field.

  • Ask your existing customers how they found out about your business
  • Take some time to find out which directories your competitors are using

Once you’ve done this, you will then be ideally positioned to create a list of the most suitable directories to submit your details.

Please Note – We cannot emphasize this strongly enough, ‘continuity is key’. The goal of directory listing submissions is not to make as many as possible, it’s about making sure that your business is listed on the most relevant sites along with making sure that your details are consistent and accurate.

What To Do Next?

Once you’ve carried out the above steps, you are going to be in pretty good shape but following the next few steps will help to move things forward even further.

  1. Have you heard of Bing Places? Whilst it’s not as popular as Google Maps, it still attracts a huge number of visitors each month and is well worth taking advantage of – Set your business up on Bing Places.
  2. Make sure you’re on Yelp. You will probably have already done this but just in case it slipped through the net, please make sure that you do it now. Yelp is used by Apple Maps, so if you want to let iPhone users know where you are, then you need to be on there.
  3. Encourage customers to leave you reviews. Even the odd bad one is not necessarily a disaster, however it is obviously in your best interests to get as many good ones as possible.

The submission of online directories also offers another HUGE benefit but you will have to check back with us again soon to see what that is!