Using Local Directory Listings to Climb to the top on Google

So you’ve opened a new pizza joint in Coffs Harbour and you want to get noticed. Once upon a time you might have taken out a big ad in the Yellow Pages or called your restaurant AAA Pizza so the listing would appear at the beginning of the directory’s “pizza” section.

Now you want to show up first when someone does a Google search for “Pizza Coffs Harbour”. But this doesn’t mean that directories like aren’t important. In fact they play a critical role in improving local search.

How Do Directories Impact Local Search

When you search for “Pizza Coffs Harbour”, search engines want to present you with the most relevant list of pizza places in and around Coffs Harbour. To do this they scan the Internet to find websites that will be relevant.

It’s all very well if your website mentions the keywords “pizza” and “coffs harbour” multiple times, but search engines want proof that you are for real. One way they get that proof is through “citations” from local directories.

Citations in well-established and well-indexed directories, like, increase the degree of certainty the search engine has about your business’s contact information and categorization – so they feel more confident that someone searching for pizza in Coffs Harbour might actually be interested in your website.

All other things being equal, if your business is mentioned in a greater number of local directories you will rank higher than businesses with fewer citations.

Quality – Just as Important as Quantity

However, if you want your new pizza joint to move up the Google ranks fast then the quality of your citations is going to be just as important as the quantity. Here are the key things you need to consider.

Choose the Right Directories.

Make sure you choose directories that are both high authority and relevant.

Relevance relates to your geographic location and your business category. So you don’t want to list your Coffs Harbour pizza joint in the Canadian yellow pages or a directory of corporate business services.

Search engines take much more heed of listings in directories that are well recognised – so focus your energies on the big directories like TrueLocal and YellowPages. Click here for a list of high authority Australian directories.

Be Accurate & Consistent – for goodness sake get your name right!

Search engines look for evidence that a citation actually relates to your business. To do this they make sure that the name, address and phone number (NAP) in the citation matches what they already know about you.

So if you are listed as “Fred’s Pizza Joint” in one directory and “Fred’s Pizza” in another, search engines get confused. The same happens if your address is listed as “1/23 Harbour Drive” in one directory and “23 Harbour Drive” in another. And it’s even more confusing if some directories list an old address.

To maximise the effectiveness of your citations make sure that all information is up to date, accurate and consistent!

Take the Time to Be Thorough

Getting local listings sounds easy. What’s not so easy is filling out local directories to their maximum potential.

It’s time consuming and tedious, but you should include as much information as possible in each listing.

A study from the Local Search Association identified the information that consumers want to see when they search for a local listing (see chart below). Every added piece of information gives you a little local SEO uptick, as well as helping customers find out what they need to know.

Local Search - Coffs Harbour

Source: Local Search Association & Burke, Inc., “Local Media Tracking Study”, June 2014.


If you are trying to rank better in local search then have a look at your local listings. Is your information consistent across all your listings? Are you listed in all the major directories? Are your listings thorough? If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, then your time will be well spent improving your listings.


Movers and Shapers offers clients a local directory listing service. If you don’t have the time or patience to clean up old listings or create new ones let us do the job for you.