It is always good to get listed in not only the national directories such as Yelp and Angie’s List, but to also get busy and find the local directories that are available in your area. Here in Raleigh NC, there are a number of Triangle based directories where you can list your company for free. Not all are free, but usually they are.
Find local directories
If you do a quick search for “raleigh business directory”, you will find places like the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (this is NOT free, but is a very authoritative place to get your company name), Raleigh.com, the business directory at BizJournals.com, ShopLocalRaleigh.org, Triangle411.com and more. Not only does taking a few minutes – or making sure you ask your favorite SEO company to make sure that you get listed – provide some great authoritative links back to your site, but you just never know who IS searching on those sites.
Identify Your Operating Areas
In addition, by having local resource listings as above, you also tend to pin down better the areas in which you are operating. This goes not only for people searching those directories, but also for the search engines! You are setting up a regional indicator for the search engines to follow. Google now frequently returns just local listings for many searches even without someone specifying the term. Like “car dealers” – do a quick search. Even if you don’t specify what town in which you’re searching, you’ll get local dealerships returned. You’ll get about 10 organic results as well as a 7 pack of local map listings of local dealers. Interspersed in those organics though, you’ll usually get at least a couple or more authoritative sites like Wikipedia.
There are also very specific directories that are helpful for particular professions. There are professional organizations devoted to many different service and other industries. There are trade organizations that often DO cost something to join, but many times having a link from these kinds of sites can lend a lot of credibility and authority to your brand AND your website.
Building up your trust
Most people don’t understand how your ranking is affected by these kinds of things. Google and the other search engines often look to these directories to verify a business. The more places (within reason) that you are found with the proper name, address and phone number, the higher the trust that your company is a solid organization. Tell-tale signs of a fly-by-night company is that they are there and then gone. Unfortunately, a lot of companies spring up, take advantage of people and then disappear. By taking the time to get your company listed in a number of locations, you’re sending signals that you ARE a company that’s going to be around for a while. Things like getting listed in a Chamber of Commerce business directory, thought it DOES cost money, go a long way towards indicating that this IS a serious business. It’s all about trust with Google in particular.