You need to promote your online business/client in the search engines, without resorting to methods that continue to yield diminishing returns year after year.
Generally speaking, do the links you build/purchase improve over time? I doubt it.
As an SEO or local SEO in today’s SEO landscape, you are looking for link opportunities that:
- Drive traffic
- Allow editing/update or further contribution
- Capture leads and generate sales
- Create engagement, and build brand
For this, we are paying a price. Whether it is higher quality content, greater manual hours, and/or paid links, we are spending far more than we have in the past. In fact, many of us have probably recently spent $100-$1000 on a single link. Such things are part of our reality.
Recently I was approached by CommunitySEO.com founder Anand Nathan, a directory (paid) that intends to be “THE local and online business directory by providing features that always put the brand, and information about that brand, where people can find it.”
This really struck a chord with me as my team has now spent 200 hours analyzing the best local business directories, with 200 hours more to go. He appealed to me to give him some insight on what Local SEO’s/agencies might be looking for. What features would better promote our clients.
Local SEO perks:
- NAP marked up with hCard microformat – Why not make it easy for the search engines to digest your page. Duh.
- Embedded Google Map
- Short AND long descriptions – The short turns into the Meta D, and the long goes to enrich on-page value. Most directories out there are self-sabotaging by limiting user-contribution. The more the user contributes (content for example) the more valuable the page, and site as a whole.
- Embedded Youtube & Vimeo videos – For those of you who use vids as citations, embedding them on valuable sites, with traffic (video views) improves the quality of that citation and thus your ranking.
- Properly formatted profile page – In the near future, this is going to be one of those directories rep man companies always submit their clients too. An easy way to get a brand term property on page 1.
General SEO perks:
- Responsive web design – Most GOOD directories have hopped on this train. If you are going to invest in a traffic source, you want it to be user friendly.
- Resource links – You can anchor terms from your profile, and drive authority to crucial website inner pages (ie. one anchor for veneers, one for teeth whitening, etc).
- Social Media links – Link out, send authority, to your other relevant business assets.
And guess what, not ever nimrod (thx Matt Hunt for this awesome word) gets in. Nope, each submission is manually reviewed by the founder himself and he only accepts primo domains. Unlike other directories, this one is tuned in. You might remember Matt Cutts’ feedback on directories, he asks “Does the directory reject urls? If every URL passes a review, the directory gets closer to just a list of links or a free-for-all link site.” And “What is the quality of urls in the directory? Suppose a site rejects 25% of submissions, but the URLs that are accepted/listed are still quite low-quality or spammy. That doesn’t speak well to the quality of the directory.”
If the choice is mine, I prefer to invest in directories that increase in value. CommunitySEO is only 25% complete, with dozens of tweaks and new features daily. Some to look forward to include:
- Business hours and payments taken
- Properly marked up reviews
- Image embeds – I’m championing for being able to add geo meta data, like Flikr.
- Logo uploads
- Key employee data
- RSS embedding
I suspect early adopters will all be agencies and large publishers, but I think you will agree all businesses have a lot to look forward to from a directory like this. And just maybe, other directories will see that they need to clean up their act, and follow CommunitySEO’s lead.
I have begun submitting all my personal sites, and am anticipating some interesting results. If you have any questions, I would be happy to forward them along to Anand. Otherwise, check it out for yourself, by visiting CommunitySEO.com
Disclaimer, I have no ties to this directory other than the founder being a friend of mine. For me, I am just excited to see something of quality being built, and wish to share it with my readership.