How Does This Work?
There are a number of reasons your website is ranking in its current position. One of these reasons is the quantity and quality of valid back links pointing towards your site.
Usually, a good quality backlink from a high authority website referencing your business in some way will help boost your site’s authority and ranking on search engines. As there is an important website linking to you, your site is more valid in the eyes of the search engine than if you have lots of small, spammy or irrelevancy backlinks.
When you add your company and their website URL to a directory the URL is a backlink to your website. Depending on the ranking of the directory, the value of the backlink will vary in its effectiveness. Generally, most directories, especially local ones are relatively low authority, but their relevance of being local to you is helpful in getting you to rank locally. It is worth taking the time to get your site onto local directories, but not always worth paying for it.
Directories Can Be Used To Boost Keyword Relevancy For Your Website
One of the main mistakes of companies putting themselves onto directories is to copy their About section from their website directly onto the directory. This can have a detrimental effect on your business as Google and many other search engines penalize duplicated or copied information. The most effective thing to do is to rewrite the about us section for every different directory you put your site onto. This will stop you being penalized.
Let’s say you are the owner of a legal firm out here in the US. Your website features a lot of information on the legal practices you perform. You should include this information within your directory description of your business whilst altering and adapting your sentence structure without copying this information directly. You should ideally write 750 to 1000 words about your company. This way your business will have a strong and relevant directory entry, giving it a lot more power when it comes to ranking.
Traffic And Directories
It’s generally a myth that directories drive a lot of traffic towards your business directly, there are however some rare situations in which directories directly help businesses. Directories like TripAdvisor can be immensely useful and provide a hugely beneficial stream of traffic to benefit your business. TripAdvisor is a nice site dedicated to hotels and restaurants, places people like to visit so it might not apply to your business. If you run a hotel or restaurant though, it can be very, very useful! A link from them will usually help your company a lot.
Another great website to get registered which will help any business would be Yelp. Yelp gets a lot less traffic than the TripAdvisor site, however you may still get noticed there, or show up on search engines if you provide enough relevant information about your business. Yelp is useful for any business for the domain authority, and their reviews which are generally quite infrequent still add weight to the value of your company.
Low To No Cost
There are many directories, especially local ones that will allow you a page on them for low to no cost. Whilst most of them are free, the popular and high domain authority ones can be worth paying for. You can sometimes get a great deal where you can put a backlink from your site to their page and they will link back to you without paying, which is a common strategy for directories looking to increase their own domain authority. It’s a great way of supporting the sites that help you out so we always recommend linking back to these directories.
A weird perk of adding your business to a directory is that you might well be found by other business owners that want to work with you. Let’s say you run a greengrocers store, and do deliveries locally. You can find a lot of local restaurants to deliver to in your area, restaurants that might not even know you exist! These restaurants might also find you in the directory as they could be looking to find someone to partner with.
How Do I Know If This Directory Will Help Me?
There is a great little tool you can add to Google Chrome called Mozbar. You can get it here for free. (https://moz.com/products/pro/seo-toolbar) You will have to be logged in on their site and to reload the page to see a page’s authority. You can see this score as a DA which stands for Domain Authority. This is MOZ’s rank for different websites based on numerous factors including the amount of backlinks a site has.
The sites are ranked in between 1 and 100 on a logarithmic scale with it being much harder to advance in number the higher your Domain Authority is.
If a website happens to have a higher DA than yours, then it is generally a good site to get a backlink from, when it comes to directories, you will want to aim for websites with a DA higher than 20. They will help your site regardless of how strong your own Domain Authority is.
Should I Bother With Directories?
The short answer is that it is worth it to get a few directory backlinks. Sometimes it can feel like a waste of time, or like you are treading water with your domain authority hovering in the same spot, but it is always worth spending a little time on getting yourself out there. Adding relevant information to a decent directory will help increase your overall ranking and help you beat your competition locally when it comes to ranking highly in search results.