Why Online Business Directories are Essential for Local SEO and How to Maximize Their Impact
Podcast by Clarence Fisher
online business directories

About This Episode

Embracing the power of online business directories is a must in today's digital era.

But you might wonder, “How can this simple strategy drive customers to my business?” Well, my friends, the answer lies in the magic of improved SEO performance.

Investing time and effort into consistently maintaining an up-to-date presence on directories like Yext and Google My Business can skyrocket your visibility in search engine results!

In this episode, we'll explain the advantages of taking this approach and give our top tips for getting started. Don't miss out – listen now!

Disclaimer: The transcription below is provided for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes that the automated service made in translation.

Clarence Fisher: Have you subscribed to the Local Market Monopoly newsletter yet? Each week you get one actionable digital marketing tip delivered straight to your inbox. Designed specifically for small businesses like you who want to increase their market share and grow their online presence. Each tip focuses on strategies for growing your online reputation, increasing your company's reach, and improving sales and referrals without wasting money on ineffective tactics. Sign up [email protected] and start receiving our best of the best strategies immediately. Whoa.

Intro: You're listening to Local Market Monopoly with Clarence Fisher uncovering the tools tactics and strategies the most successful small businesses use to dominate their local market and own the block.

Clarence Fisher: Welcome back to Local Market Monopoly. It's Clarence Fisher, your host, and here we are, episode 64 and we're talking about local directories today. The importance of them. It's amazing to me. No, it's not. I was about to say, it's amazing to me how many businesses don't know about local directories, but I think we do know about local directories, just not how important they are. I think very few businesses actually know that this is the foundation of their seo and even it goes even beyond that. You get reviews on other places other than Google. You probably know that if you've gotten a bad review somewhere else like Yelp or Merchant Circle or somewhere like that. But local directories are very, very important. It's the very first thing that you're going to do in any type of SEO package, which is probably why you don't really think about it much, because if you have someone doing your SEO, then they are, they're definitely going to do that.
But if you don't have anyone doing SEO for you, you still must do a search to make sure that your directories are all claimed, what we call a nap, a name, address, phone number at very least, needs to be the same across as many directories business directories online as possible because a lot of times we do a search, and I'll show this when I do talks, I'll, I'll do a search on a business and pull up their local directories and nine times out of 10, they are not the same. They have some discrepancies there, and Google looks at all these discrepancies as different businesses actually. So if your name is correct on all of these business directories and the address on one directory shows a suite number and the address on another directory, well, let's say Suite is spelled out on this directory, and then on this business directory suite is st. ST period.
Those are essentially two different businesses to Google and Google's trying to find out who has the most authority to show when someone does a search, they want to pull up the most authoritative site in the market. And if your business has its Google business profile correct, but it has a different address on Yahoo and a different address on Bing and a different address on Merchant, I keep saying Merchant Circle a different address on another directory. Google's like, Hey, this business doesn't have it together, so let's show the competition who has cleaned up all of their directories. That's only one example of how important it is to have your local directories claimed. So what it is, is it's a list of businesses that enables users to find companies within a specific geographic region, and there are many benefits to getting it together with your local directories.
It boosts your local search as I talked about, and then also feedback from your customers, your clients, your patients. That's another benefit for getting your directories in. Check your online presence overall, and like I said, what it includes is your business name, your physical address, your phone number, at very least your website URL needs to be in there. And then a description, it should be the same across all of these different directories. You can also put in different pictures, optimize them with videos, your social profiles before here's, here's the thing, before when someone was looking for you, they looked up Yellow Pages. Now I don't know how, and I have to do a show about this, but I don't know how these phone books were still making money. I get one every now and then I'll come home and it's like, what?
Now the people who deliver the phonebook are starting to drop the phone book off by the mailbox. They-speed, and people are just running and grabbing books out of the van and running up to the houses.
So some people had a team like I showed up in a little Toyota Celica and I could only fit three books in the trunk, and so I had to keep going back and forth to the warehouse. But anyway, I say that to say if it is your job to deliver the Yellow Pages right now, I have been in your shoes. I do wonder though, if maybe on your day off you should go look for something else.
Okay. Alrighty, so back to the local business directory. I cracked myself up. I probably just blew the audio on that. Laughing.
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Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business is the main, and most people think that if you have that under control, then that's all you have to do, but that's the basic, I mean, that's the basic foundation.
Sure, you need your Google Business profile fully optimized, and I do recommend that whoever on your team has done that, even if it's you log in, make sure you have 100%. Meaning everything that can be filled out is filled out. You have pictures and every four field that you can answer is answered, then this is what you do. Then you can go, and I'm going to recommend, this is what I'm going to recommend you do right now is that you use Yext. Back in the day, I would not have used Yext. I was a Yext hater, but they have won me back over and we used Yext for everyone. Now you can go to yext.com. Here's the catch on Yext is they charge, I think yearly now, and the package that we typically use, I think it's a thousand bucks, totally worth it, like a thousand, 12,000 bucks a year or something like that.
If you want to pay monthly and have a bit of a discount, you can go to localmarketmonopoly.com/yext and we can get you in. The only way for you to get to pay monthly and cancel whenever you want is through an agency like ours. Otherwise, I mean, you can cancel whenever you want, but you're going to pay by the year if you go strictly through Yext. Now, here's the, here's here is the rub. Here's the reason why I'm saying use Yext is because all of the information that you've optimized for your Google business, that also can go into Yext and then Yext will push that out to 250 plus local business directories and lock it down for you so that it can't be changed. I hope you've never been confronted with an email from, well, if Google will at least send you an email and say someone has submitted a revision to your listings, did you know that someone can just click the button and say, this business is not even open anymore.
We are seeing that where unscrupulous competitors there I am using a word that I probably can't spell, like clicking the button saying the business is not in business anymore, and then they have to go. Then the profile gets jacked up and we have to go back and try to prove that the business is still in business. Meanwhile, people who are visiting that business profile, there's a big red business permanently closed on it. Yext prevents all of that. Any suggestions are sent to you. Now, like I said, that's just Google. Now imagine if it's some off local directory that's not as popular to you, but other suggestions are being made on these other directories, which means that all of your name, address and phone number could not be the same, which affects your SEO in your ranking. So a very big benefit of having Yext the least, not the least of which is that it locks down all of those directories so that they cannot change unless you change them or whoever you have, whoever you have monitoring that for you or whoever you have YEXT through.
So it's super, super important. The one two punch, and this is going to be the action step for today for you and whoever you have running this for you, is to make sure Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, is 100% optimized. Then go to Yext, grab a subscription, lock down your 250 plus top local directories, and then call it a day. Here's the deal. Once anything changes, you can just change it in Yex and it will change through all the directories and everything. Everything will be good. So I could make that really, really super complicated, but I'm telling you, that's really all you got to do. Yahoo Business gets updated, Bing gets updated, Yale gets updated, all of these profiles, and that's just a few of the profiles that get updated once you lock it down in Yext. Can I say Yext like anymore?
I think I've said it like five or six times. Either way, you could do it manually as well. Find the local business directories. Get them claimed. You need to have it done. It is the basic of basis of your SEO. Even if you don't have an SEO company right now, you have to have this done. Go do it. All right. If you have any questions, just hit me up at localmarketmonopoly.com/ask, and you can leave a voicemail there. We'll get it on the air and if you have any problems with your strategy or your campaigns, and then we'll get it answered and then it will help everybody. Until next week, go do what you got to do in order to own the block.

Closing: We appreciate you listening to Local Market Monopoly. Be sure to rate, review and subscribe to the show and visit localmarketmonopoly.com for more resources that will help you dominate your local market and own the block.


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Episode 65: Maximizing Your ROI with Hyperlocal Marketing Tactics