When it comes to Pittsburgh SEO, one of the most important aspects is having your business listed in local directories. Every time your business information gets listed in one of these directories, search engines recognize it and give you a slight boost in the search results. So, in essence, the more local directory listings you have, the higher your SEO rankings will be.
Interested in learning more about how local directories relate to local SEO? Then read on. We’re going to get into the specifics now.
The Keys to Creating Optimal Listings in Local Directories
Creating SEO-optimized directory listings isn’t something you can scoff at. You must put effort into your listings and must utilize some key principles.
NAP (Keep reading, this doesn’t mean it’s time to sleep)
When listing your business in local directories, the acronym to remember is NAP. NAP stands for “name, address, phone”, and it’s the information that every listing requires. Your NAP should be consistent from listing to listing, for if it varies, it can confuse search engines and actually hurt your SEO rankings.
Let’s say your business is called Ian’s Brake Shop, that your address is 123 Fake Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15106, and that your phone number is (412) 555-5555. When entering your information into listings, you need to make sure that this information is identical each and every time.
You shouldn’t use your personal phone number, you can’t switch your business name to “Ian’s Brakes”, and you can’t get your zip code wrong. You must ensure that every directory on the internet contains the same information.
Choose the Right Categories
This is another key element of an optimized directory listing. You need to make sure that you’re choosing the right categories for your business. The categories will help people find your business when they do a search, and will also help the search engines understand what type of services you’re offering.
For example, let’s say you own a graphic design business. You’ll want to make sure that you’re listed under “graphic design”, “logo design”, and “print design”. You might also want to consider adding other keywords like “business cards” or “posters” if they’re available and describe your core service.
By choosing the right categories, you’re making it easier for potential customers to find your business, and you’re also helping the search engines understand what your business is all about.
Put Some Time Into Your Business Description
Your listing’s business description matters. You shouldn’t just jam in a bunch of buzzwords. This section of the listing should convey the core values of your business, and should also tell the reader (and the search engines) what exactly your business does.
When creating your business descriptions, be sure to add keywords naturally. So, if you’re a plumber located in Dormont, make sure to use keywords like “dormont graphic design” and “graphic design in dormont”.
Remember, there’s a decent chance that someone is going to read this business description at some point. It needs to be a good representation of your business, so take your time and make it count.
Add Photos and Video
When you’re creating a listing, one of the best things you can do is add photos and videos. This helps to make your listing more engaging and can also help to improve your SEO thanks to being able to create links from the photos back to your Google listing or website. Search engines love when businesses add multimedia to their listings, and they will often give these listings a higher ranking.
If you don’t have any photos or videos of your own, don’t worry. There are plenty of free stock photos and videos that you can use. Just make sure that you’re choosing content that is relevant to your business.
Getting Reviews is a Big Deal
Another important thing that you can do to optimize your listing is to get reviews. This is a great way to build up social proof and show potential customers that your business is worth their time and money.
When you’re getting reviews, make sure that you’re using keyword-rich text. For example, if you own a computer repair shop, you might want to get reviews that say things like “The best PC repair in Pittsburgh!” or “My favorite IT guy!”. This will help to improve your SEO rankings and will also show potential customers that you’re a credible business.
Fill Out Every Available Data Point
When you create a business listing on a review site, you are given the option to fill out a variety of different data points about your business. These run the gamut from your business description to your business hours, safety precautions, and years in business.
While you may be tempted to skip over some of these, you’re advised to fill them all out.
There are 2 reasons:
- A potential customer finding exactly what they’re looking for on your listing could be the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity.
- Search engines give higher priority to listings that have been fully filled out.
Don’t get lazy, even on the lower-profile sites. Every listing makes a difference and could be the tipping point that takes market share from your competitors.
SEO Benefits of Listing Your Business in Local Directories
There are many SEO benefits of getting your business listed in local directories. But they’re not the only benefits to be had.
Local directories can also help to:
Gain Trust With Consumers
Listing your business in local directories helps to increase your online visibility and also helps to build trust with consumers. When they can easily find information about your business, it makes them more likely to do business with you.
Build Your Brand
Brand building is a huge part of marketing. In order to build your brand, you have to get as much exposure as possible. Online business directories are a large part of this exposure. By listing your business in multiple directories, you’re helping to increase your brand’s reach and also improve its SEO.
Drive Traffic to Your Website
One of the best things about local directories is that they can send a lot of traffic to your website. When people are looking for a business in their area, they often turn to local directories as their first source of information.
This is especially true if you have a well-optimized website. With the right keywords and marketing strategy, you can funnel a significant amount of traffic from these directories to your website.
Improve Your Chances of Being Discovered
A business directory is just another avenue through which your business can be discovered. If your business isn’t listed, you’ll be discovered less, and will miss out on potential customers.
Local Directories in Pittsburgh
There are a variety of local directories centered around Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas. Some of these are focused on specific niches, and others are more generalized.
There are many other local directories in Pittsburgh, but these are some of the most important ones to list your business on.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one of the most well-known and respected directories in the world. They have been around for over 100 years, and their focus is on promoting trust between businesses and consumers.
To be listed on the BBB, businesses must meet their standards for accreditation, which include things like having a physical address, being transparent about business practices, and addressing customer complaints.
Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
One of the best directories to have your Pittsburgh-based business listed on is the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce website. You might have to join the Chamber of Commerce in order to secure this listing. But considering that membership can help you with networking, it’s probably a good idea anyway.
NextDoor is a site that connects people who live in close proximity to each other. It’s a great resource for finding businesses and services in your local area. To list your business, you’ll need to create an account and then claim your business listing for free.
Learn More About Using Local Directories for Pittsburgh SEO
Now that you know a thing or two about local directories and their importance in the realm of local SEO, you might be looking to learn more about Pittsburgh SEO. If so, you came to the right place.
We have the experience that it takes to help market and grow a business.
Check out our Gosu Reviews service to get started with a managed SEO strategy!