Once you’ve got your new website live the next thing to think about is search engine optimisation. This has become a bit of a minefield in recent years and an area that you can spend a lot of money on – but if you get the basics right you’ll shoot up the rankings with little or no cost. One key area of SEO is Google Page Rank. This is essentially Google’s method of determining how important your website is compared to others.
In order to improve your Google Page Rank, it’s important to get good quality links to your website. A simple and very cheap way (free, except for your time) is to add your site to various business directories. We have collected a list of what we think are the five best business directories to register with.
Some Key Pointers
- Always make sure that you add a link to your website within your directory listing.
- Don’t pay to get a listing, unless you really think it will benefit your business.
- When registering, consider using an email address you don’t mind getting spam on.
- Find a high quality copy of your logo in jpg or png format as you’ll need to upload it a few times.
- Try to write unique content on every directory – don’t just copy and paste from your website (this will help further with SEO).
1. Google My Business
The number one directory for SEO has to be Google’s own business directory ‘Google My Business’ (formerly ‘Google Places’). Now, as you might imagine their own business directory does particularly well in Google search results and it can significantly boost your Google search listing, which means it’s absolutely vital that you’re listed on it. If you only do one thing today make sure you set yourself up on this.
It’s aimed more at helping local customers find local businesses, products and services, but even if you’re a national business we’d recommend that you give it a go. You get a Google+ social media page as part of your listing (also useful for SEO) which you can then add extra business information to such as photos and opening times. Google makes sure that you are a real business by sending you a verification code in the post, which you then enter back on their website when it arrives. It can take 2 weeks for the code to arrive and you won’t get listed publicly until you complete verification, so the sooner you sign up the better.
The days of the big yellow book are pretty much over, however they have a pretty good online presence in the form of Yell.com (soon to be called Hibu). Yell has been around for a long time and is one of the biggest online business directories, so it’s worth getting yourself listed. Personally however, we’d stay clear of the sponsored listings as they aren’t the best value for money.
FreeIndex has been around since 2003 and its popularity is on the rise. It’s a great place to list your business as the site is crawled regularly by Googlebots and your listing will normally appear in Google search results within 24 hours. It also allows for customer reviews and will rank you based on those reviews along with how complete your profile is, so putting some work into this listing can pay off.
4. Thomson Local
Much like Yell.com, Thomson Local is well known largely because of big books from days past, but due to this and the amount of advertising they do/have done across the UK they have a good following. It’s definitely worth getting a free listing with them, although again we’d question the value in paying for a premium listing.
This business directory is fairly new on the scene, but is quickly gaining momentum and is set to be the next big directory. It does very well in Google and we particularly like the ability to upload your own header photo, which makes for a professional look. Be sure to fill your listing with your keywords for best results.
Once you have got yourself listed on all of those go and make yourself a cup of tea, it can get a bit tedious filling out directory profiles! However the effort should pay off both in terms of improved page rank and in increased traffic to your site.
If you have any questions or queries, as always we’re here to help you and your website whenever you need us, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
If you feel that your website is underperforming in Google, we can help give your website an SEO make over. We can give your website an SEO health check and give you a score out of 100. If there is work to be done we will work with you to build a nice base of keywords, get them plugged into your website and help you fix any errors highlighted by the SEO health check.