If you’ve explored digital marketing for your small business, you’ll know that search engine optimisation – or SEO – is one of the most important ways to get found online. It helps ensure your business appears in search engine results when someone searches for something relevant to the goods and services you provide.
Many business owners focus on just optimising their website to increase its ranking in search engine results. But did you know local business directories also play an essential role in driving online brand exposure?
Let’s look at what business directories are all about, and how listing your business on them can help you show up higher in search engine results.
What are business directories?
A business directory is an online index of businesses spanning different categories. Each directory listing contains information about a specific business, such as its location, products or services, contact information, opening hours and more.
Some of the most common business directories include:
Whilst these cover a wide range of businesses, there are also many other online directories for specific industries and sectors. For example, hipages is a local business directory in Australia for tradespeople, while Zomato covers restaurants and cafes.
So, why is listing your business in online directories important? Simply put, it’s one of the most important SEO factors determining how visible your business is in search engines. In other words, optimised business directory listings make it easy for customers in your area to find you.
6 tips for business directory optimisation
Now you’ve got the basics down pat, here are six tips for getting the most out of your local business directory listings.
1. Claim your business
For many directories, you’ll need to go through the process of claiming your listing before you can update it. You can do this via the directory’s website (e.g., get your White Pages listing here). This is an essential step because for some directories, such as Google My Business, listings can be updated by anyone until you verify you’re the correct person to update and maintain the page.
2. Update your essential business information
Make sure your listing contains everything potential or existing customers may want to know about your business. This includes:
- A short description of your business
- Your products or services
- Opening hours
- Contact details
- Social media links
By including all this information, it is likely that you will cover people’s search queries.
3. Include keywords
Including relevant keywords and search phrases to your business listing is incredibly beneficial in helping the right people find your business. Update your listing with keywords relating to your business location and other locations you service, your products and services, and anything else your customers might be searching for.
For example, if you’re a plumber in Parramatta who provides 24/7 emergency services, you might want to include phrases such as “emergency plumber Parramatta” and “emergency plumber Western Sydney”.
4. Upload photos and videos
Photos and videos tell a story about your business, and they’re a useful tool to draw customers in and encourage them to click on your listing. They also provide visual proof that your products or services are worth buying. Just make sure they look professional – quality is better than quantity here.
5. Post regular updates
Update your listing regularly to make sure details like your opening hours are accurate (especially during public holidays). It’s also helpful to both search engines and customers to keep your listing fresh with updates on things like:
- Special offers and sales
- New products and services
6. Manage and respond to customer reviews
Many business directories give you the ability to collect online reviews, which are a crucial component of online reputation management. Don’t forget to give them some love by thanking customers for positive reviews and handling negative reviews with sensitivity. This will not only help build your credibility, but also boost your online visibility.
How to get started
With so many online directories out there, managing them all as a small business owner is no easy task. With White Pages Connect, you can manage your listings, reviews and more in one place – saving time and making life easier.