Marketing

Featured Directory Listings – Wasted Time Or Worth Their Weight In Gold?

Are Featured Directory Listings Really Worth It?

Contrary to popular belief, a web directory is not a search engine, as many people that are new to the internet believe. It does not display websites based on keywords. A web directory displays webpages based upon categories and subcategories. A web directory links websites to the category not based from one page but by the overall website. The listing is usually found in a search by people rather than by search engine. Web directories provide categorized links. The difference between a listing and a featured listing is placement and information displayed about the link. A featured listing will be high on the results page and have more detailed information, making it a more desirable link upon which to click. yp directory

The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly

There are good web directories, there are bad directories, and very often, it is hard to spot the difference between the two. The bad web directories are used in link building schemes and are frowned upon by Google and other entities. They give website directories a bad name. When used the right way, the good directories featured listings are a good way to generate traffic for your website, especially in local markets. If your website fronts for a brick and mortar store, your local directories can be a blessing when it comes to generating local traffic. The Niche Directories serve this purpose very nicely and a featured listing in one of these is worth its weight in gold to many websites.

Common Traits of Bad Directories

As we mentioned, there are directories out there that should be avoided like the IRS. These “bad” directories are a complete waste of your time and money. Here are a few good ways to spot bad directories. [custom_list]
  • Avoid directories that guarantee placement even if they do not charge a fee. A guaranteed placement is not an editorial link, which means that it will not be worth the time it takes to write. It also means that it will never be worth the time of day so steer clear.
  • If the directory to which you are considering signing up to requires a link back to them in order for them to place yours… run in the opposite direction before anyone sees you with them. The worst of these will charge a fee and still demand a back-link to them.
  • With directories, it is okay to reach deep into your bag of tricks and pull out an antiquated metric. PageRank, while rarely used is still useful if you want to get a general idea of a website’s health. Any directory that has a PageRank score of four (4) or under carries with it almost no weight and is therefore worthless. The exception to this rule is the “Niche Directory”. A lower PageRank in a niche directory is okay but for general web directories, you will need a five (5) or better in order for the link to be of use.
  • Give the directory a good look. Now do a gut check. When you see the link, does it honestly look like a link that would pass traffic on to your website? If you can honestly answer in the affirmative, it may be worth a second look. If not, skip it.
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Featured Listings on Local Directories

There are many benefits to local directory listings… especially the featured listings for which you pay a pretty penny. Many webmasters use these even if they are not a local company simply because it generates so much traffic in a localized area. Here are six excellent reasons to be a featured listing in your local niche directory.
  1. The Competition for your Business is Fierce for Featured Listings
  2. Local Directories are Hot and Setting Brand New Records Everyday
  3. Local Directories Improve Reputations
  4. Google Loves Local Specifics in Business Categories
  5. Featured Listings in Local Directories Mean Instant Gratification
  6. Your Competition is Already There
 

Circles with Numbers oneIt is a War Zone for Your Business

It is like a war zone out there as local niche directories battle for your business. These directories are literally gunning for each other. This is always good news as it drives directory featured list prices down and provides you with excellent coverage copy wise.

Circles with Numbers 2Local Search is on Fire

If your website company is not listed on local directories, you are losing money. It is now official, as mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, and notebooks are used for local searches more than PCs, which means that your link is far more likely to be clicked if listed in a featured listing on a local directory. Even desktop searches are up in local directories as people plan their events ahead of time. A Featured Listing provides the kind of information that even provides phone calls to your business during or immediately following a search. That is how hot Local directories are right now.

Circles with Numbers 3A Reputation Builder

Take advantage of a Google quirk. As of right now, the Google sun shines on local directory featured listings in which the verified citation page and the local listing web address match. What Google sees is a trustworthy link and treats you and it as such. This in turn helps your regular ranking tremendously, giving it the respect it so richly deserves. Just make sure the contact info is the exact same information in both places (NAP – name, address, phone)

Circles with Numbers 4Building Listings Featured in Business Category

In essence, if you place your featured listing in a business category you are providing search engines detailed information about your website, which helps in the search engine rankings. Many local Directories allow featured listings to add keywords to the listing, increasing its value that much more. The more specific the information… the better off you will be.

Circles with Numbers 5Featured Listings in Local Directories Pay off almost instantly

The people who use local directories to find your link are using the link as they shop. They are driving around looking for your business or are looking for the best deal in order to make a purchase now. If you are on Yelp, FourSquare, or SuperPages, the people who click your featured link are not Christmas shopping… they want something right now, when they click on it. These people have their credit cards in their hands so yes… a featured listing in a local directory is definitely worth your time and energy.

06Time to Make Your Move

Anyone who watched the Belmont Stakes 2014 knows that California Chrome, not a great come from behind runner to start with, waited way too long to make its move, which cost the horse and rider the race. Whether you are using a featured listing on one of the major web directories or a featured listing in a local directory, you can bet your boots that your competition has already implemented them in their link building strategy.

 

Make the Content Count

It is never too late. All you have to do is differentiate the good directories from the poor ones and spend that $300 to $500 per year for that featured listing. They pay dividends when they are done up the right way. Look for directories and categories that have an active editor and throw your best freelance writer at the task at hand to increase your chances at a great featured listing.      

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