A study by BrightLocal concludes the average business positioned in the first position on Google for local searches has 86 local citations due to listing the business on local business directories.
In addition, Google states that it uses businesses information across the web, including local business directories, as one of the factors to determine its position in the Map Pack. The Map Pack is the map and three business listings underneath, which are only shown when the searcher intends to buy a product or service locally.
To express the importance of local business directories as one of the tactics to improve your position in the Map Pack, Local SEO Tactics claim that 17.3% of the clicks for a local keyword go to the top listing in the Map Pack. Twelve and 2.9% go to the second and third position. That’s over 30%.
Having said that, a staggering 27.4% of the clicks go to the first position underneath the Map Pack. So, even if you don’t feature in the Map Pack, you can still reach the first position underneath it, which secures the most clicks, anyway.
To improve your business’s position in the Local Search, start by creating, claiming or completing the profile sections on the 7 best local business directories below.
7 Best Local Business Directories
Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile, without a doubt, is the most important local business directory. Without it, you won’t stand a chance ranking in the Map Pack because it’s this listing that Google displays.
In November 2021, Google released a feature that allows you to edit your listing from the Local Search without the need to navigate into the platform. To do it, search your business name. If you don’t have a listing already, you can create one.
Despite Google’s monopoly of 86.31% market share in the UK as of September 2021, Bing’s still the second largest search engine. With this in mind, it’s worth adding your business there too. That way, Google sees it and adjusts your position on their search engine. Also, Bing will see your business in a more positive light, therefore, rewarding it with higher rankings.
As there’s approximately 9 out of 100 searches on Bing, you probably don’t want to spend too much time on your listing. So, make sure your Google Business Profile is top-notch, then use the feature provided by Bing to important the information from it, which you can do here.
Google dominates smartphone navigation, which is no surprise. With over a billion users globally, Apple still has hundreds of thousands. However, the point is, particularly if your customers visit your location, having a listing on Apple Maps improves their experience. In turn, Google rewards your business with higher positions. If you’re not sure whether you’ve got a listing or not, search here and claim it if you haven’t already.
In November 2021, Yell had 6.3 million website visits, of which over 83% come from the search results. Thousands of businesses with a listing on Yell benefit from referral traffic, which can be increased by completing a profile with correct contact details, descriptions, images, and reviews.
Yelp is nowhere near as large as Yell in the UK, but they dominate the US. Nonetheless, they received approximately 160,000 visits in November 2021, of which 40% were direct, and 24% were from Local Search. It indicates that users are going directly to Yelp to find businesses or read reviews, so you should be there. Also, 24% of organic traffic indicates its ranking okay for a number of local intent keywords. Start leveraging it.
Scoot is a network of five local business directories: Scoot, Touch Local, The Sun, Mirror and The Independent. Adding your business to Scoot syndicates to each of the other directories, which saves time and maximises the number of local citations your business gains.
Facebook is great for local businesses. A Facebook page often appears higher in the Local Search if a website hasn’t been optimised. Not only that, it builds trust through social proof that leads to sales. Also, it’s a great signal to Google, particularly if you’ve got a button on your page that sends your customers to your website.
The 7 best local business directories enable your business to gain 11 local citations, which means you only need to build another 75 to achieve the average. You can find a list online, or DigiVisi can do it for you: Citation Building.