What Does Google Think?The idea persists that Google takes a dim view of local business listings. The reason why people have this perception is that in 2012 Google penalized several hundred web directories. This move made many businesses understandably cautious about putting their info into local listings. However, it is important to recognize that the reason why Google penalized these sites is that they were poor in quality. Since then, Google has not made a practice of penalizing directories simply for being directories. Google actually focuses on listings that are not adding value for users.
Why Are Directories So Important?Putting your information into an online directory can be tedious. There are hundreds from which you can choose. And it’s not exactly riveting to enter the same data (your address, phone number, etc.) over and over again. So why do directories matter? What if the major TV networks had advertising space available during the Super Bowl and offered your business a free spot? All you have to do is claim it. You would be out of your mind not to take advantage of visibility that brands are willing to spend millions of dollars on. That example is a little extreme, but the point is still true. There are powerful, high traffic sites that will allow you to claim your listing for free or a minimal cost. Brands will pay a lot of money to be featured on other sites with similar domain authorities. If you’re not claiming your listing on these free sites, you’re turning your back on extensive visibility and consequently, on revenue. The most important site where you need to claim your listing is Google My Business, which has a domain authority of 100 and can certainly help boosting your local search engine optimization strategy.
The Internet Saves Time and MoneyPerhaps you are a believer in the power of the traditional yellow pages, print marketing, or radio and TV advertising. Moz points out that, if so, you have every reason to pursue local business listings online. By doing so, you can accomplish the same goals for much less money. Advertising yourself in print, such as in the phone book or through brochures, is expensive. In contrast, while not all online directories are free, you save a lot more through using them than you would by turning to print marketing. Online directories also enable people to solve their problems much more easily. When users do find you online, they can click on a link to find out more about your company and actually talk to you. This is not an ability people have when they discover you by means of radio or TV. The number of people you can reach online is far greater than those you can reach through print or other means.
Protect Your BrandThere is another reason why you need to claim your online listings. If you do nothing, you are leaving an opportunity wide open for someone else to claim your listing and damage your reputation. It’s essential that you pursue local listings order to protect yourself from trolls and underhanded competitors. You need to do so even if you only go after the minimum number of listings.
Top 11 Important DirectoriesHere are what we believe are the top 11 most important directories on which to list your business.
Business DirectoriesLet’s start with the human-edited, high quality private directories that are not covered by third party listing services.
Important Search Engine Map Listings
Yellow Pages Type Directories
More to Know About Local ListingsThere is a lot more you need to know about listing your business in online directories apart from what we’re covering here. For example, how do you find directories specific to your niche? What are the directories that are the most important to your business besides those in our top 10? There is advice you need to be aware of, such as the necessity of making your name, address, and phone number (NAP) exactly the same across the internet. You should also know that there are databases you can pay to be in and which can be an enormous advantage to you. Databases partner with directories, saving you the valuable time you would spend entering your information manually. Databases also enable you to manage multiple listings from one location. You can find a lot of the information you need in the post linked above. Don’t neglect your reputation or squander a golden opportunity to increase your revenue. Do what you need to do today to take advantage of online directories.
Invite a Community WriterIn any city there will be local, independent publications that are aimed at the local community. They do editorials, comment on city news and do reviews. It is the last that you want to go for. Invite one of the review writers from these publications out for a sample of what you have to offer, on the house. If you are a restaurant for example offer them a comped meal for them and a guest. If you sell a product offer one to them for free. If you own a retail store ask them to come by and check it out and offer them a free item of their choice to test the wares. Generally these publications are both online and in print, so you will be getting the word out along with a followable link from the digital source.
Sponsor a Local PodcastPodcasts are becoming more popular than ever, and often locals will have their own. You can get in on the fun by sponsoring them. If you don’t have enough money for a sponsorship, try something a little more simple. Give them some free goods. Send over some food from your kitchens. Give them some discounts or free items. Ask them to try your service. You will get a link on their website, a mention on any social media, and perhaps a vocal mention on their show. Here are lots of local podcasts to get an idea.
Get Listed in High-Quality Local DirectoriesAnd I don’t mean in thosounds of them. Local directories are still being used by people trying to discover more places to visit and more companies to check out. To evaluate if being listed is worth it, check the directories traffic. If your links are going to be clicked, these are good links. A couple of examples:here and a full google maps marketing guide.
Write For Locals, But Aim For National AttentionLocal pieces are picked up by national news agencies all the time. They are originally meant for these small communities, but others outside of it take interest because of the issues that arise as a result. This is often referred to as “controversy baiting”, as the easiest way is to use controversy to get a large local paper’s eye, where it then moves onto a national publication. This is done more readily with online posts, as there isn’t as much of a space consideration that makes human interest stories easy to cut. Download a checklist here to get your local blog popular within your area and beyond.
Create Some VideosThere was a local pizza parlour that was trying to attract more attention, as they were in a strip mall with no visibility to the busy street in front of it and had a limited ad budget. Their solution was to create a video campaign for YouTube and their social media pages. They told local high schoolers that they could get a free pizza for shooting and uploading a silly video with a link back to their website. It was a massive success, led to thousands of new social media likes and a ton of links that brought direct traffic.
Win a Local ContestThe Chamber of Commerce does annual contests in a number of categories open only to local businesses. Some local papers, television stations and blogs also have these competitions. You can do a seach and find anything that is nearby that you can nominate your business for. Winning one of these contests is great for high quality links from authoritative sources.
Offer Your Business as a Meetup SpaceHave you ever heard of Meetup.com? It is a very popular meetup website that allows people to create their own groups and host get-togethers in any possible category. You can go through and find meetups already established and offer your business as a place where they can have these meetups. It is a great way to get people into your shop and also gives links through Meetup and social media.
Host Weekly EventsYou don’t have to house other people’s events. You can create your own. A nearby cafe has several events every week that caters to its main audience (those involved in the geek subculture). Holding your own events is great for posting on Meetup.com, CraigsList, social media sites and newspaper boards where others are looking for something to do.
Get Local Influencer Aware Of Your BrandThere are plenty of influencers who are around you. They have highly active social media pages, regularly comment on Yelp and other review sites and have blogs. You can get in touch with them and build a relationship, letting them promote the brand for you. Do you have any other ideas on how you can build links as a local business? Let us know in the comments!
The feature called “Majestic Awards” will reward people who use the site most actively. There are lots of features inside Majestic and looks like this feature is going to help discover more of them.
You’ll be rewarded each time you discover and use a feature for the first time
Some of the features are repeatable (so you’ll be rewarded every time you use it)
Majestic Awards is further enhanced by introducing a leaderboard which creates a multi-user competitive element to the game as you compete not only with yourself, but with all other user s of Majestic . Only the top 10 leaders are ever shown, but you are able to see how you compare to the leaderboard at all time. Opting out is possible for nervous users, but research has shown that turning complex websites into games creates for stronger engagement over…
It’s an interesting step for a SAAS company! Gamification will surely make using Majestic much more fun (Backlink analysis tends to lack the fun component!). Plus, it’s a huge incentive to discover hidden (yet awesome!) features!
If you don’t already have a profile you can submit one for verification right now. You’ll receive an award for that!
Read the official announcement: Learn and collect with Majestic Awards