Building Your Brand with Online Business Directories

When you’re trying to grow your online presence, there are a few things you can do to boost your branding without spending a fortune.

One of the ways you can create more citations (listings) for your website is by creating social media profiles on the major platforms. Don’t restrict yourself to the usual suspects of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter though! Be sure to explore the other high authority social platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and so on (check out a pretty exhaustive list here: https://www.liftigniter.com/social-media-seo/).

But once you’ve moved on from social media, you’ll want to explore online business directories.

Free & Paid Online Business Directories

There are to main types of online business directories – paid, and free.

It should be noted that, like most things in life, free doesn’t always mean “bad” and paid doesn’t always mean “good”! You should always start with free before moving on to the paid listings – here’s what we recommend.

First, register for the Yellow Pages, White Pages, Pink Pages directories – whatever options are available in your market. Then register for the most common ones in your country such as hotfrog.com, Yelp! and so on.

We also recommend Yeep.com, which has great authority and will help you rank well. Even job sites can help, like Indeed.com or Monster.com.

The best option is to simply Google “business directories <city>” and explore the various options which come up. Look specifically for free listings first.

In our experience, upgrading to a paid account on almost all directories is pointless – all you really need is the website backlink for better rankings.

General vs Industry-Specific Business Directories

Once you’ve exhausted the general business directories, you’ll want to move on to the niche-specific ones. These may include Houzz, UrbanSpoon or any number of target directories depending on your niche and location.

Similar to the previous example, Google “business directories <niche>” or “business directories <niche> <city>” and explore the options you see.

A Good vs Weak Business Directory Link

If you’re really wanting to boost your website rankings, you’ll want to avoid adding links to low quality (or spammy) business directories. One way you can check the authority of the directory before you create your listing, is to check the domain at ahrefs.com – you’ll want a Domain Authority of 10+.

Final Tip for Finding The Best Listings

Lastly, use Google (in case you missed it the first two times!)

Run a search like “best business directories <niche> (or <city>) seo” and see what results you get! Chances are, someone has already done the leg work for you, and you can just copy their results. Why be a pioneer?

Populating Your Directory Listings

For best results, be sure to populate as much of the listing as you can. That means you need to:

  1. Upload your logo
  2. Provide your full business address accurately and consistently in all sites (as it appears in Google+)
  3. Upload as many photos of your business / staff / products etc as you can
  4. Provide your operating hours
  5. List your accepted payment methods
  6. Specify ALL your services or products
  7. Create as many relevant keywords / tags as you’re allowed to provide
  8. Putting your business in the most accurate category / categories
  9. Providing a detailed description, using as many words as you can within the limits provided

Linking Out To Your Business Directories

Once you’ve populated your online business directories, be sure to send your clients to them via blog articles, social media posts, emails and more. You’ll be able to drive up traffic to your directories, increase the chance of getting customer reviews, and build your online presence much stronger.

It can also help you battle against negative articles or search result listings for your brand!

Just one word of warning – avoid “keyword stuffing” in your listings. If you want to rank in Google for “plumber <city>” for example, you’ll only want to mention that exact phrase once or twice in your listing. Keep it “natural” and easy to read.

Final Thoughts

It’s good practice to keep your eyes open for quality business directories – it isn’t a one-time deal.

You can find competitor backlinks and list your website on directories they’ve used… a free and sneaky way to improve your online presence!

How to Make Content-Rich and Secure Business Websites

For the most part the Google Penguin train wreck has calmed down and that means that businesses are finally getting to the work of getting set back up and recovering from it. While addressing backlinks (which takes time), ensure that you’ve got the best quality website content pages you can create.

Road to Recovery

You are going to notice that this is important to help with Panda compliance. But, if you’d rather avoid Google in favour of something like PPC, you can’t ignore the importance of offering you a fantastic experience. Your site’s content has a direct effect on whether or not your readers will have a good experience on your site. But it’s not just content, it’s also the format. With that in mind, learn the following lessons to make your content pages more powerful.

Maybe you’re struggling with how to monetise with ads on your site, but all you really need to do is follow the lead with high ranking websites. There are some positive benefits for search engine rankings, but it has still been painful. Site usability has always been very important even if most sites ignored it. The best thing you can do with any ads is not to let them get in the way of reading. A big thing and that’s easy to do is scaling down the size of the ads and making them blend in well.

Onpage Content

Along with the headline/sub-headline structure that is so popular you’ll also be working out some well defined areas for your copy. In addition to understanding your content and copy it is important to help your readers fully appreciate what you are saying and offering to them. If you get it right nobody will care how long your page goes on (mostly). This content, at the same time, must be both interesting and entertaining enough to keep your readers reading. But when you have well-defined sections, then that helps people to process it easier in their brains. While this has helped to some degree by sub-headers, low contrast demarcations can also be quite useful. Low contrast keeps them visible but doesn’t allow them to become distractions.

You can link too much in your posts, so just remember all things in moderation. Be different and mix things up with your linking, and that means making any and all images a link. First, people automatically hover over an image to see if it’s a link. Integrating your website with Pinterest must be done with images on your site and at your profile at Pinterest if you have one. There’s a lot you can do even if you are an affiliate, and this is more true with affiliate marketing. Don’t forget about ranking benefits if you are trying to rank on search.

Securing Your Site

If your website is built on WordPress, it’s only a matter of time before someone decides to hack your site. While we use & love WordPress ourselves, and it’s fantastic for so many reasons, one of the problems with it is that it’s so popular! Hackers are always looking for ways to exploit old plugins or platform versions, so be sure to keep your website up to date at all times.

You should also consider popular WordPress security plugins such as All In One Security.

Lastly, you may want to look at the services offered by a trusted cyber security company in Australia, UK or America, who can provide a managed firewall or secure DNS service, to block DOS attacks.

Old Dogs…?

If you need to change your strategies for producing content on your business site, then commit to new habits. Once you’ve amassed the right sorts of knowledge for the things you need to accomplish, you should work on building systems of your own. It’s important to do this because it lays the groundwork for future and good habits. Then, as your content gets even more effective, you can learn even more.

By coming up with new tricks for creating site content, and also making sure that your site is secured from attacks (to protect your new content from theft or ransomware!), you’ll be on your way to a better business website in no time.