This was yesterday’s newsletter. It talks about directories, which directories to use and the KEY ingredient to not getting flagged as a spammer. Read it, realize you are missing out on the weekly newsletter, then subscribe here.
10-7-3…I want you to remember those numbers.
For now, I want to say good morning. I hope you had a profitable week and I hope you’re scheduled out for next week too. It’s Halloween morning and I am doing my level best NOT to eat all the Reese’s before the kids get here tonight. Willpower Darren.
Let me take my mind off candy and let’s get back to those numbers
What are they? What do they represent? Well, here:
10-This is the number of positions available on the average results page from a Google search
7-This is the number of positions available on the “shortened” results page of a Google search
3-Is the number (down from 7) of results you now get in the Google maps section.
On top of that, the actual organic results you see are being overtaken by large directory results or social media properties for most searches. In fact, there are rarely many organic results for small companies like yours ever on the first page anymore.
You may be saying, Darren, you don’t know what you are talking about. I go to Google, type my primary keyword and my site pops right up…you are getting what’s called a “personalized” result. In other words, Google knows you like to look at your own website so it shows it to you more. It DOESN’T mean it shows those same results to your neighbor.
How do you move the needle?
If you don’t know the history of Google, their basic business approach to authority was predicated on the old college system of citations, or how many times a professor was mentioned in other people’s work. The more citations, the more “authority” that professor had.
Google set up their business the same way through linking.
If you go and do some reading, you will see that linking strategies change constantly, but one strategy still is considered a great tool for local companies. Directories.
Here’s how directories help local contractors
By optimizing and submitting your business info, or NAP for short, you get to maintain and verify placement with local directories which help move you up in the search engines over time. Problem is, it takes like, FOREVER to get this task completed.
Submitting to 50 or 100 directories by hand will have most people pulling their hair out because the different directories always come back and ask for info, ask for verification and take their good old time including you in their listings. The services out there that will “auto upload” your info are full of crap. It has to be done by hand.
So, what directories make sense?
Here is a solid list of directories you can use to MANUALLY post your business to. Don’t go hire some chop shop to “auto” upload all your info, you will get penalized.
Let me repeat that, if you go away from this newsletter and hire some shit house to use an algorithm to include your business info on a bunch of nameless directories and you get flagged, don’t com crying to me. The right way to play the directory game in 2015 is by doing it BY HAND.
Here’s a pretty good list to start with:
- Google Maps
- Yahoo! Local (moving to an outsourced service)
- Bing Places
Mobile Maps (particularly if you have a showroom)
- Google Maps
- Yahoo! Mobile
- Apple iPod/iPad Maps
- Navteq GPS
- Google 411
- KGB InfonOO
- Best of the Web Local
- Just Click Local
- Local Database
- Judy’s Book
- Yellow Pages
- Magic Yellow
Why directories still work
When consumers search online, they are looking for service providers that are close to their homes. You can’t hit EVERYONE in your market. You can try with all those BS pages I see from some website builders who use the same or thin, crappy content where they just change the location and the keyword, but who buys from that stuff?
No, the way to, over time, improve your ranking locally, is to build a local network of links back to your site from other LOCAL sites and directories. Not links from your buddy on Contractor Talk half a continent away, but from the florist down the street, or the local little league website. That’s proper linking.
NAP and why it’s important
One of the key drivers is proper NAP, or name, address and phone number. Now, many of you who work out of your house should get an address with a service or a company like the UPS store where you can list the physical street address. Your address and phone should be complete (no P.O. Boxes) and consistent across all data points on the web. That means not only directories, but your website and social media outposts as well. That is how you rank locally over time…in YOUR area.
I say ‘in your area’ because you aren’t going to rank in the neighboring town anymore or across the same city. The days of Google dropping a pin in the middle of a city and calling that home for you are gone. They KNOW exactly where you are and who to show you to…if anyone at all.
But take the time to get your correct business info into these directories and you should see some benefit.
I hope you have a fun Halloween, don’t eat too much candy, and have a great week!