In today’s digital age, achieving a strong online presence is crucial for the success of any business, especially on a local level. With the majority of consumers turning to search engines to find local products and services, local SEO or the role of directory submissions has become an essential strategy for businesses looking to attract and retain customers in their target market.

While there are various techniques and tactics involved in local SEO, directory submissions have been a long-standing method used to improve a business’s visibility and search engine ranking. However, with the constant changes in search engine algorithms and the emergence of new SEO strategies, the effectiveness of directory submissions has been called into question.

In this article, we will dive into the topic of directory submissions and the role they play in local SEO.

We will explore the pros and cons of this traditional SEO campaign or tactic and evaluate if it is still a vital component in a successful local SEO strategy. So, if you’re wondering whether or not directory submissions are still relevant in today’s SEO landscape, keep reading to find out the answer.

Enhance the Visibility of a Local Business

Local SEO primarily aims to enhance the visibility of a local business within the Local Map Pack and the top three organic search results. These prominent positions are located just beneath paid Google advertisements and the Map Pack.

Similar to all SEO practices, various factors, including the well-known Google algorithm, play a crucial role in determining which businesses receive premier exposure and subsequently attract valuable organic search traffic.

From a local SEO perspective, one group of factors revolves around establishing a strong local presence, relevance, and authority.

To clarify, local businesses must demonstrate to search engines that:

  • They are physically position in a close proximity to their customer base.
  • They offer services or products that align with specific categories.
  • They are a reliable and authoritative source of information, effectively addressing their customers’ inquiries.

Local directories serve as a crucial platform for businesses to tackle the essential factors of visibility, accessibility, and credibility. Hence, the answer to our initial question is undoubtedly affirmative – local SEO still necessitates directory submissions.

Nevertheless, it is vital to discern that not all business directories possess the same level of influence or authority. Therefore, it is crucial to assess each directory’s value before deciding whether it is worth inclusion, especially when some directories demand a fee for listing.

Adhere to Best Practices

Additionally, it is imperative to adhere to best practices concerning the consistency of data and contact details or information when submitting to directories.

Furthermore, there are tools available that can expedite the process of setting up and maintaining directory listings, particularly for businesses with multiple locations.

Given the vast number of directories available, managing information and content across all of them can become burdensome for small businesses.

In our forthcoming discussion, we will delve into strategies for addressing each of these factors and explore how directories can either assist or hinder local businesses in their quest for enhanced discoverability.

The Significance of Establishing a Strong Local Presence and Ensuring Consistency

It is evident that in order for a business to achieve a favorable ranking in a specific location, it must be able to provide evidence of its existence, residency, or ability to offer services within its designated service area.

Two primary methods of establishing a business’s location are through its website and its Google Business Profile (GBP).

When applicable, a local business website will include detailed information about its physical address, which can be tagged with local business schema to facilitate easier discovery and indexing by Google.

Additionally, many websites will incorporate a map, preferably a Google map, which serves as a reference for verifying the business’s location.

Furthermore, relevant geographic details can be included in the title and heading tags of the website to strengthen the local focus of the business.

Reinforce the Information

Creating and optimizing a Google Business Profile serves as a means to reinforce the information and focus of a local business website. In some cases, the process may be reversed.

It is crucial for the Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) information to match consistently across both the website and the GBP.

The service areas selected in the GBP should be in close proximity to the actual business location.

Likewise, the chosen service categories should align consistently.

Local directories play a role in extending the web presence and validation for search engines beyond the website and GBP.

Consistency is key here as well, especially in terms of NAP information and website URLs.

Pro tip: Whenever possible, including multiple URLs in a local directory listing is advantageous. Consider including relevant links such as your GBP profile, Facebook page, and listings in other local directories that are relevant to your business’s local orientation.

Local Relevance

Ensuring local relevance requires careful consideration of your presence in appropriate directories and categories. It is essential that your categorization aligns with how you have defined your services or products on your website and in your local currency.

There are three distinct types of local directories that you should explore for potential listing submissions.

The first category is known as “global” directories, such as Yellow Pages and Yelp, which provide local listings and reviews across various locations worldwide.

While many of these directories offer free basic listings, they often charge a fee for advanced features, enhanced functionality, or increased search engine visibility.

Conduct An Organic Search

To determine if paying for a listing is worthwhile, you can conduct an organic search using your primary keywords to see if the directory ranks well (or better than you) for those target keywords in local search engine results pages (SERPs).

Alternatively, you can directly inquire with the directory’s representative about the potential organic and referral traffic your paid listing could generate.

If the directory cannot provide such statistics, it is prudent to approach their ability to deliver a return on your investment with caution.

Two Other Types of Directories

In addition to general local directories, there are two other types of directories that can be beneficial for businesses. The second type focuses on specific industries, catering to travel and tourism-related businesses, such as TripAdvisor, or construction and trade businesses, like Houzz.

These industry-specific directories can also be assess using the same methods we discussed earlier to determine their potential value for your business.

The third and final type comprises directories offered by local Chambers of Commerce, Service Organizations, and other non-global entities. These directories are more tailored to the local community and may provide additional validation for your business presence in a less subjective manner.

Effectively Validate your Local Presence

It is highly recommended to consider the first two types of directories mentioned, as they can effectively validate your local presence in a more objective manner. However, when it comes to small, local non-global directories, it is essential to thoroughly evaluate their ability to deliver value in terms of organic visibility and referral traffic.

The directories you choose to submit your business to, and the specific categories under which your products or services can be found, play a significant role in defining your business’s relevance within the local community.

Local Authority

Local directories are valuable resources for businesses, especially those that have established authority in their respective domains. These directories can significantly enhance a business’s authority and increase its visibility.

To identify these authority boosters, you can utilize the SERP test mentioned earlier. Simply put, any directory that outperforms your website or GBP page for a specific keyword presents a valuable opportunity.

By being listed on such directories, your business not only gains visibility through them but also builds authority.

Additionally, certain directories, similar to GBP, allow you to share content or include links to relevant content. While this may require some time and effort, it can be highly beneficial to distribute your content through these directories.

This approach can complement other platforms like GBP and social media, provided that the directory has significant visibility and local authority.


It is important to acknowledge that numerous directory services provide the option for users to submit reviews. While Google reviews hold greater significance in terms of organic authority, it is worth noting that search engines like Google also take into account reviews posted on other platforms.

Just like with the local SERP test, it is crucial to be mindful of whether you or your competitors have been receiving reviews in locations other than the Google Business Profile (GBP).

It is pertinent to consider that prospective customers and potential customers may also be consulting these reviews in their decision-making process when comparing your business with others before making a purchase.

Managing Multiple Locations

Establishing and managing business listings on various directories requires a significant amount of time, especially when there are constant changes to business information or offerings. This task becomes even more complex for businesses with multiple locations.

Fortunately, there are paid services and solutions available to simplify the process of managing multiple locations. Platforms such as Uberall, Semrush, and Yext offer centralized management tools that can efficiently handle the initial setup and ongoing updates for local directories.

Additionally, they also provide support for mapping services like GBP, Apple Maps, and Facebook locations.

It is worth noting that some of these services go beyond directory management and offer additional features such as review management and social account integration. This allows businesses to conveniently oversee and engage with customer feedback and maintain a strong online presence across various platforms.

How Are Your Directory Listings?

Indeed, it is crucial to acknowledge that directory submissions remain a crucial component for achieving successful local SEO. To commence this process effectively, it is advisable to initiate a suggested SERP test, which aids in comprehending the position of your listings and directories in relation to your targeted keywords.

Alternatively, numerous listings management services provide a convenient auditing tool, which swiftly evaluates the extent of a business’s presence across various prominent local directories. By utilizing such a tool, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the coverage your business enjoys across these relevant directories.

Subsequently, armed with this knowledge, you can carefully deliberate and determine a submission strategy that aligns with your desired level of visibility, organic traffic objectives, and financial resources.

In Conclusion

While there may be some debate about the effectiveness of directory submissions in local SEO, it is clear that they still have a valuable role to play in improving search engine rankings and increasing online visibility for businesses.

By carefully selecting relevant and reputable directories, regularly updating business information, and utilizing proper NAP consistency, directory submissions can be a powerful tool for local SEO success.

However, it is important to also focus on other aspects of SEO, such as creating high-quality content and building backlinks, in order to see the best results and stay ahead in the ever-changing digital landscape. Ultimately, a comprehensive approach that incorporates directory submissions along with other SEO techniques is the key to achieving long-term success in local search engine rankings.

If you want to stay updated with a wide range of Local SEO trends, actionable insights, and innovative solutions, please subscribe to our blog.

Moreover, if you looking for a Local SEO and Marketing Company to help you rank locally, we at Brian Zenarosa Digital can help you out. Book a discovery call today.