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Directory listings for small businesses

Everyone involved in local search marketing is constantly looking for the next big SEO strategy. So, it’s really no surprise that citation building using listing management services doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. However, citations are fundamental to most local SEO strategies and have been delivering traffic, sales and search visibility for years. To understand why some agencies don’t prioritize listing management, it’s important to look at the varying quality of the directories that are out there.

Why Quality Beats Quantity in Listing Management

Consider this – if two separate businesses both pursue a strategy of citation building on directory sites, how is it possible for them to have such wildly differing results? In all likelihood, you can link the outcomes to the quality of directories being used to promote each business.

Essentially, Google and other search engines value consistent data on quality, relevant platforms. This is exactly why agencies need to submit their clients’ businesses to authoritative listings sites – sites that deliver results.

The Main Features of Quality Directories

From local and vertical directories to maps and premier quality platforms, there’s no shortage of places to build citations. Here are some of the main features found in quality directories.

Spam-Free Directories

As many agencies have discovered the hard way, listings management services are not created equal. Submitting to a vast number of low-quality platforms filled with spam listings will not benefit a business, and could even lead to less prominence in search results. Recognizing this, our Data Amplifier Network at Advice Local contains only reputable directories backed by analysis.

Niche-Specific Sites

Google places a significant weight on relevance when determining which sites get local pack and organic placements. In fact, along with proximity and prominence, relevance is one of the big three local SEO ranking factors. With listings on niche-specific sites, demonstrating this relevance is possible in many industries. For example, our network contains various legal and healthcare vertical directories.

Relevant Categories

Of course, many businesses will not have a wide choice of niche directories to choose from. However, they can still benefit from categories within broader directories. In the highest-quality platforms you can expect to find relevant categories – and a moderation team that prevents inaccurate classifications.

Location-Based Elements

As mentioned, proximity is a crucial metric in local SEO. Therefore, your local clients will benefit from directory features that pinpoint a business’ location. Integrating a map within the listing is practical – and a valuable sales tool. In addition, because consumers use platforms like Judy’s Book and Nextdoor to research local businesses, you need to ensure your clients are listed there.

The Problems With Prioritizing Quantity of Directories

There are many reasons to love local citations, but if the quality is lacking don’t be tempted by the quantity of directories.

  • Low-quality directory listings build a lack of trust with the search engines.
  • Consider the future negative impact of a mediocre directory without management.
  • Managing a substantial number of listings is tough without a quality listing management service.
  • A broad approach is more likely to result in bad data distribution that harms search visibility.
  • Authority and relevance are hard to achieve when prioritizing quantity over quality.

All Directories Are Not Created Equal by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Access the Top Listing Management Services and Directory Network

Advice Local operates the best listing management services for agencies and local marketing partners. Our services include citation building, voice search readiness, white-label reports and the leading business data distribution network. To see for yourself, call (214) 310-1356  or request a demo now.

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