Website Optimization Blog

Do Local Directories Matter for Ecommerce SEO?

With a lot buzz surrounding phrases like local SEO, citation auditing, and ensuring your business is listed on all major web directories, an ecommerce marketer has to wonder if these local directories offer any SEO value. Given the non-location-specific nature of ecommerce SEO, one begs the question: do local directories matter for ecommerce SEO?directories ecommerce SEO

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to invest in local directories for your ecommerce SEO strategy, below we share some insights has to how these resources can be of benefit.

A Natural Catalyst to Ecommerce SEO & Inbound Marketing

Local web directories act as a natural catalyst in your ecommerce SEO campaign. This mostly centers on links, as natural backlinks (from other relevant websites) are the ultimate fuel for a successful ecommerce SEO campaign.

Although many links from directories are “nofollow,” (and thus have less SEO value,) these links help to make your ecommerce site’s backlink profile look more natural. So the optimized links that you build manually (with the intentions of ranking higher,) are better mitigated and balanced.

Generate Targeted Customer Traffic

In addition to the more technical SEO aspects of link generation, a more basic marketing benefit of directories is that many of these sites rank highly for keywords associated to your ecommerce store. As a result, you can often generate targeted traffic to your site directly from these directories.

Beyond local directories, there are industry-specific directories that can retain a fair amount of SEO value for ecommerce sites. Particularly if the directory is closely associated with your ecommerce brand and the types of products you sell, the potential for inbound traffic, as well as a relevant backlink, is significant.

Is Paying for Directories Worth It for Ecommerce SEO?

It is important to determine when paying for directory submissions is worth the investment. In some cases, there may be numerous benefits associated with a small fee for a directory listing. For instance, Yahoo! Local and Bing offer quality listings but at price. For ecommerce SEO, the cost is probably not worth it, but for local SEO, it is.

The directories that you may want to consider dishing out some coin are niche-specific directories, as these offer relevancy and value to both SEO and inbound marketing. Be selective and ensure that the directory is trusted and won’t appear to be spammy.

Often overlooked directories that can really boost your site’s authority chamber of commerce memberships, BBB opportunities, and other local business or government organizations that offer associations and directory listings. Because these websites are often highly authoritative and get fair amounts of traffic, they can be a nice boost for ecommerce SEO, regardless of local involvement. Google Penalty

Last Word on Web Directories

As a last word on web directories: always, always, always avoid directories that are labeled “SEO” or “link building.” This is a huge red flag and these directories will ultimately cause more harm then good. Steer clear of any directory that might appear sketchy or irrelevant. The listing or the link is never worth getting penalized over.

For more information on ecommerce SEO, link generation, directories, and anything else ecommerce web marketing related, visit our ecommerce branch here at the Web Presence Group.

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