As some of you might know, I also run Creaturelocal.com where I provide the ‘Local SEO’ component to agencies and publishers in 5 continents and many cities I can’t even pronounce. Typically speaking, we get agencies who come to us with good knowledge of Organic SEO, but little to none of Local SEO. Actually, more than not, these agencies have taken a crack at it and hate it. Like many SMBs, myself included, we have seen Google Places for what it is: bugs, bugs and more bugs. Yuck!
So, by providing the local component, with a little bit of guidance, they can sync up their strengths with mine, and create perfect synergy.
IDEALLY. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and I have to kick their butt about how important organic is as a supplement to Local SEO. Rant over. But what about the other way around? Can Local SEO help with your Organic efforts? Absolutely.
We all know link diversity is important, so why not throw some Local goodies in the mix? You don’t have to have a Google Places page to benefit from say 100 high DA high AC business directories.
Here is what you need to do:
Firstly, in order to submit to these directories, you most importantly will need an address and phone number. Once acquired I suggest taking some time to put together a bit of good quality content for your business/site description. Create a short, medium and long version. Don’t forget to include some keywords in there…just because they aren’t anchored, doesn’t mean they don’t help. Different business directories will allow you more or less characters than others. Also, prepare some photos, maybe even videos if you feel so inclined.
Once you have all that prepared I want you to remember one thing: quality. You are already manually submitting to these damn things, so you mine as well do it properly and submit as much quality information to each directory as possible. I am talking photos, videos, hours of operation, contact info, the works. My feeling has always been, at least from a Local SEO stand point, Google can tell (if not now, then soon) between a low quality/spammy/thin local directory submission (often automated…hrm hrm UBL) and one where care is taken. Again maybe not now, but my prediction is that a quality submission will be worth more than a thin one.
Do this and not only are you creating diversity in your link profile, but also you are creating diversity in you anchor text as many of these links will anchor your URL. And finally, let’s not forget that these business directories have plenty of authority, credibility and my suspicion is Google may look more fondly upon your rebill/pharma/ebook/red widget site (affiliates…) if they think you are a local business.
Local business directories are a great place to start but do not discount and of the other local centric type links available.
Final note: Do not use your personal email for these submissions…you can expect lots of spam. Also, you can expect some phone calls from directories promising you the world. Ignore them.
Final, final note: I’ve had people pay me to do this for them for 1+ years. This is not new.