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Survey Of The Best Local Directories

One of the biggest challenges for a small business trying to break into the search engine rankings the traditional methods of marketing that worked so well before Google’s “Panda” update, don’t really work anymore (at all). This has prompted local marketers to cast about for alternatives. The bottom line is, while it is still possible to see big moves in your organic search engine rankings, it takes more time and money than many small businesses have to put toward the task. In the best case, that should be seen as a long term, strategic goal, rather than a short to medium term “quick fix.”

Survey Of The Best Local Directories

The question becomes then, what to do in the meantime? Is there a way to leverage the power of someone else’s good standing with the search engines, and use that good standing to boost the rankings of your individual business? The answer, fortunately, is a resounding yes! That’s actually why the directory services are so important to your local marketing strategy. They give you a means to leverage the awesome SEO power and potential of huge, well established sites, and channel that power down to your business to help get you noticed quickly. This lets you stand toe-to-toe with much larger businesses with deep pockets and big advertising budgets in your local market where all your customers are, and let’s face it, that’s where it counts.

So which of the popular directories are the “best?” To a certain extent, that’s a matter of opinion, but let’s start with the Big Three, then mention a powerful fourth contender.

Google Places For Business
To this day, the majority of web searches are conducted on Google. It should come as no surprise then, that Google Places For Business is at the top of the charts in terms of its overall importance where directory listings are concerned. It’s not the case that “if you’re not here, you’re nowhere,” but it’s still really important to get a listing here.

Yahoo Local
In the early days of the internet, Yahoo was the big kid on the block. They were Google before Google existed. Because of that, they’re still a big, important name on the web, even if they ceded the fight for search engine dominance long ago. They’re still relevant, and their directory listing is one of the best on the web. If you’re pressed for time and only have room on your plate to create a couple of directory listings, this one should come right after Google.

Bing Places For Business
There are a lot of people who said that Microsoft completely missed the boat where the internet is concerned. Their Internet Explorer browser is often made fun of (for good reason), and their early attempts at creating an Andriod-like operating system for handheld devices failed miserably. There’s a reason almost nobody remembers Windows CE! Having said that, they’ve been learning, and what they’re doing these days is copying Google’s moves. They got a lot of things right with their Bing Places for Business directory, and it’s modelled heavily after the Google directory with the same name. For that reason alone, it’s worth your time and attention. It should also be said that the Bing search engine is holding up fairly well in terms of Google’s continued onslaught. Yes, they’re a distant second in terms of search, but second’s still not a bad place to be. The upshot for you, as a small business owner is that a lot of the bigger businesses won’t give Bing the time of day, meaning you can more easily dominate this sometimes overlooked directory.

Yelp
Let’s hear it for the independents! There are a number of independent directories out there on the web, but of them, Yelp stands out as being the best of the best. Once you’ve hit the big three, give this directory your attention.

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