If you’re anything like me, when you first started hearing about search directories you probably thought there wasn’t any reason to worry about them. Maybe you even thought, “Why would anyone go to a search directory site when they can just visit my website?” Well, according to a study done by one of the highest authority search directories, in 2015 more than 86 million people visited Yelp per month. As crazy as it is to think that that that volume of people visited a search directory website each month, search directories are legitimate ways to learn more about businesses and discover new businesses in a particular area.
Why Your Presence Matters
Many customers go to search directory sites to look up businesses near them, learn more about specific businesses and even review businesses. So it is important that your business is present and that you’re checking your listing at least once every few weeks. In this day and age, customers want their opinions heard and—thanks to the internet—now everyone can have their own voice. For better or for worse, reviews are to be expected; in turn, business management needs to respond to all reviews. This shows current and potential customers that you are listening to feedback, that you care, and that you’re actively trying to make your business the best it can be. This also gives your business brownie points for its online customer service.
How Does This Help Your Ranking?
Your organic ranking on search engines like Google and Bing are “free” listings. When someone in your area searches for your business or the products you sell, you want your business’s website to be rise to the top. So how does having search directories actually help this? Well, having your NAP+W information (name, address and phone and website) consistent across various web mediums helps Google register that your business—which helps increase your ranking organically.
Why Consistency Matters
As I mentioned above, consistency for your information is very important. Having even slight differences to your address, business name or any other information could cause the search engines to not register your business—thereby throwing off your organic ranking. While it’s a pain to check all of the different search directories and verifying that they match one another, this hands on approach is time well spent. And what if you move? Now you have to do all that work all over again. Because you don’t want to go through all the different search directories to make the changes (because there are a lot of them), we suggest choosing the top 10 sites and focusing on them. The top priority search directories we recommend getting settled for accuracy are Google+, Yelp, Facebook, Bing and Yellow Pages. As long as you get these giants taken care of, the other 5 directories are your preference.