Remember the Yellow Pages before they turned into extremely informative wastes of paper? They were pretty useful, right? You could find whatever it was you were looking for, and often times discover a business that ended up being important to you in the long run. Think of online directories as the Yellow Pages of the digital age- but even easier to use.
Directories and SEO
Online Business Directories can be a huge advantage when it comes to your SEO efforts! Every directory you get listed on puts your company’s name out there and generates an inbound link. Inbound links are very valuable because search engines, such as Google, will see your website as more relevant and credible if other sites are linking to yours. Of course, the quality of the directory will determine just how valuable the link is, so be careful in choosing which ones you advertise on. Most online directories have an option to pay extra in order to get your site listed before others, imagine having an inexpensive advertisement on the front page of numerous websites; the possibilities for traffic increases are endless!
The marketing department here at WSM has put together a list of some of the more reputable online directories, so feel free to get in contact with us for more information! The reasoning behind this is simple: there are quite a few sites out there that claim to be operating under your best interest, but actually have very bad reputations for link spamming and generally trying to take advantage of the systems that Google has in place. Being associated with these sites can be detrimental to your page rank and actually achieve the opposite of what you're trying to do!
For the most part, online business directories are extremely easy to deal with and get listed on. Usually you will need to navigate through the different categories (restaurants, computers, etc) until you end up on one that is relevant to your company. Whenever you get to this point, find the submit site or suggest link button, and you’re on your way! At some point in this process it will become apparent whether or not you will have to pay for that specific listing, and it will be up to you if you want to continue or not. If you have any trouble finding the best directories, feel free to contact us for more information and a list of possible choices.
What to Look Out For
There are "directory" sites out there that are really just spamming links and attempting to take advantage of the system. Being associated with one of these sites can have a negative impact on your SEO and page rank. An easy way to determine whether or not a directory site is trustworthy is to check the site's page rank here:
Google Page Rank Checker
If the site is trustworthy and worth contacting, it will generally have a page rank higher than 3. Anything lower and it is a safe bet that the site is either spamming links, or not relevant enough to positively impact YOUR page rank.