Ralf Schulz
By Ralf Schulz | SEO | December 8, 2014

LSEO and Directories, Explained

Any business, in any place, is listed and cited all over the internet. This is non-negotiable—if you sell products or services, people will discuss and review your company on the web. However, businesses have the power to harness the power of these listings and use them in their favor for SEO purposes. Business owners and online advertising specialists can make the most of their online presence by capitalizing on business directories.

Directories and Local Search

Directories are online websites which organize and list business names and contacts. Local search engine algorithms, notably those for Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Google Maps, take the quality and quantity of a company’s directory listings into account in their rankings. Along with inbound links, citations, social media presence, and reviews, directory listings are one of the key components of off-site LSEO (local search engine optimization). Off-site LSEO is a natural complement to on-site LSEO (the practice of improving a site’s search ranking performance through direct changes to the site).


Local Business Directories

Some of the largest local business directories in the United States are Google Places, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp. These are the most obvious names that come to mind, but there are hundreds upon hundreds of other valuable local directories which can contribute to the quality of your website’s off-site optimization. Directories have the added value of serving as fallback search ranking contenders. Even if a company’s website is not placing in the top five for a desired search term, sometimes its Yelp or Facebook page will.

Of course, directories are only one part of a cohesive local search engine optimization strategy. Directories are no substitute for fresh, quality content—in fact, there is no substitute for it! There is little use spending your time and money on complex strategies and fancy ads to direct visitors to an unappealing website. To do so would be like a chef preparing an elaborate dish of canned sardines covered in fancy sauces and decorated with garnish.

Indeed, directories were often overused in the past by companies with mediocre websites. These companies hoped that a plethora of local directory listings would compensate for a poor website, and prove a cheaper search engine optimization fix than effective web design would. However, Google’s search algorithms have cracked down on such practices, and Google can tell whether or not a directory listing serves a purpose for visitors beyond potentially boosting a company’s search rankings!

So be sure to keep directory listings in mind when working on your off-site optimization. But keep the big picture in mind and be sure you are optimizing for a quality site!

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