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Is Local SEO Still Dependent On Directory Submissions?

You should consider a few things when setting up local directory submissions. Here is what you should know.

Directory Submissions; What You Should Know

You should consider a few things when setting up local directory submissions. Here is what you should know.

The most significant objective of local SEO is to make sure that a local business appears in the Local Map Pack or at the top of three organic search results. These spots are typically positioned just below Google ads and the Map Pack. Various factors (such as the notorious Google algorithm) influence whether a business is positioned at the top of the organic search rankings and consequently attracts coveted organic search traffic.


You should ensure local business presence, relevance, and authority from an SEO perspective. In other words, a local business should prove to the search engines:

  • Their customer base is physically located close to them.
  • They offer services or items in specific categories.
  • Customers trust and count on them for reliable, factual information.

A local directory, by definition, is a vehicle through which businesses can address all three of these factors. Therefore, the simple answer to our initial question is, ‘yes, you still need directory submissions for local SEO.’


All directories are not created equal; some carry more weight than others. It is especially critical to evaluate those directories that require a fee for inclusion based on the value they can provide.


Some best practices concerning data and contact information consistency are also to consider when submitting. Finally, directories offer tools to simplify the setup and maintenance process, especially for organizations with numerous locations.


The creation of directories has grown exponentially over the last decade, resulting in many directories to maintain content across. We will look at how local businesses can benefit or be hindered by directories as we review how to deal with the issues raised by each.

Keep Your Content Consistent

It is pretty apparent that for a company to do well in a specific location, it must be able to prove that it exists, lives, or can provide services in that area. A website and a Google Business Profile (GBP) are two of the most common ways to establish a company’s location.

If applicable, physical address details on a local business website can be tagged with the local business schema to make it more comfortable for Google to find and index. A map (preferably a Google map) will typically be included as well, and it will also be used for location validation.


Google Business Profiles are effectively local business website information and focus reinforcement processes. When local businesses are involved, geographic specifics may be included in the title or heading tags to emphasize the location. In other instances, the opposite is true.

NAP information needs to match these two properties naturally. Service areas selected in GBP should be within proximity to the business location. Likewise, service categories should be consistent.

Having local directories link back to the business’s website and Google My Business listing is an excellent way to increase the presence of these two essential points of web presence and verification for search engines. It’s essential to maintain consistency with NAP information and website URLs in this case.

Including as many locally relevant links as possible in a local directory listing, for example, your GBP profile, your Facebook page, and listings in different appropriate local directories, are advisable.

Local Relevance

It’s about ensuring that you and your content appear in the correct directories and appropriate categories to establish local relevance. Naturally, any categorization should align with how you’ve depicted your services or products on your site and in GBP.

Almost every location worldwide has local listings and reviews available through services like Yellow Pages, Yelp, and the like. These are referred to as “global” directories. The second kind of local directory is a “country” directory. These are services like local Yellow Pages or local business directories, which are available in most countries. The last type is a “state” directory, a local business directory available in most states.



There are a lot of directories that offer free listings but then charge for advanced features, functionality, and visibility. If you like your business to be seen for a specific keyword, conduct an organic search on a local search engine results page (SERP) to see whether or not the directory is listed well (or better) than you.

When determining whether or not an ad directory can provide you with information on the organic/referral traffic your paid listing will generate, you can ask them. If they cannot provide such information, you may want to question their competence to deliver a return on your investment.

The second type of local directory is a more industry-specific directory, like TripAdvisor for travel and tourism-related businesses or Houzz for construction and trade industries.
The same evaluation procedures may be used here to define whether or not these services can potentially deliver value to your business.

The last category consists of more locally-focused directories offered by local Chambers of Commerce, Service Organizations, and other non-global players. It is advisable to consider the first two categories of this type, as they can help establish a local presence less subjectively.

Non-global local directories should be evaluated if they can prove the value they will provide from an organic visibility or referral traffic perspective, as mentioned above. Choosing directories to submit to and determining which categories your products or services can be found in will help define your business’s relevance within your local community.

Local Authority

You can boost the authority and visibility of your company by counting on listings in authoritative regional directories. You can also use the earlier SERP test to discover these authority boosters. Any directory that outperforms your website or GBP page for a target keyword is an opportunity to be discovered through the directory and gain authority from it.

Sharing content or links to content from some directories, such as GBP, can be time-consuming. In addition to places like GBP and social media, directories with this capability may be worth distributing your content to, especially if they have high visibility and local authority.



Google reviews are naturally selected from an organic authority standpoint, but Google and the other search engines are familiar with reviews published on other directories.

Checking whether you or your competitors have received reviews in GBP outside the local SERP is similar to the local SERP test. Remember that your potential customers may be looking at these reviews when purchasing from your company versus another.

How to Manage Multiple Locations?

Creating and maintaining listings across multiple directories will require considerable time, mainly if there are frequent business information or service updates. Naturally, this is particularly burdensome for companies with multiple locations.

Paid services such as Uberall, Semrush, and Yext for centrally managing multiple locations typically cover the first two types of local directories mentioned here, in addition to mapping services such as GBP, Apple Maps, and Facebook locations, are available. Some of these services also allow for review and social account management.

Are Your Directory Listings Good?


It is still safe to argue that directory submissions are required for effective local SEO. To begin, the SERP test can help you understand where your listings and the directories stand regarding your keywords.


To determine the amount of coverage your business has on the most popular local directories, you can use a quick auditing tool offered by many listing management services. Then you can decide on a submission strategy matching your visibility, traffic goals, and budget.


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