SEOWeb Directories

The Difference Between a Web Directory and a Local Business Directory

Technically, a web directory can be a local business directory and vice versa, but there are certain distinctions that can be drawn between the two. For web directory coupons, checkout my new coupons page where you can find the lowest prices for top notch web directories. This is a proven and excellent way to boost your keyword rankings.

Location targeting

  • A web directory usually refers to a general online directory with hundreds to thousands of categories spanning across many industries. So, a general web directory can accomodate listings in just about any industry and the business can either be a local business or a strictly web-based business. There are also niche web directories that specialize in certain industries.
  • A local business directory is intended more for businesses with a physical address that can be mapped.

Search features

  • With a web directory, the search feature is very limited. You might be able to search by keyword and category, but that is probably as detailed as it’s going to get.
  • The search features on a local business directory allow you to do searches that are more refined. For example, you may be able to search for a keyword or category within a specific zip code or city. This advanced search feature makes it quick and efficient for customers to find local businesses in their area.

Listing details

  • Web directories typically only list the website link(s), description, and sometimes a logo image.
  • Local business directories usually offer listing features that are more robust, such as images, business hours, business address, contact info, list of services, a map, social media links, website link, rating feature, etc..

Listing cost

  • There are probably hundreds of thousands of web directories on the Internet. Out of those, maybe 99% are worth submitting to. Very few of the good ones offer free listings. For the majority of strong/quality directories, you can expect to pay a review fee. Among the paid directories, listing options can range from monthly, to yearly, and even permanent.
  • The great thing about local business directories is that most of them do not charge for a listing.

SEO benefits

  • General and niche web directories are typically better for SEO because they provide “dofollow” links with each listing. What does this mean? Yes, these directory links can help with your organic rankings.
  • There are some local business directories that do pass link juice, but most of them do not. For this reason, some web-based businesses do not find value in submitting to local business directories.

Direct traffic

  • Let’s not fool ourselves. Most of your traffic will come in from the search engines, but there are some quality directories that are capable of sending a considerable amount of traffic – for instance BOTW,, Yahoo, or Alive Directory.
  • Local business directories generally do a better job of driving traffic to business websites because they do a great job of targeting customers. For example, when you look for a business on Yelp… think of how targeted those listings are. When you run a search for Chinese Food in a specific city, that’s exactly what you get in the results. You can’t do this with a web directory because what you get is results from the entire world.

As you can see, there is a big difference when you look deeper into each type of directory.

Choose a directory based on your needs

Web directories can be used to promote both local and global businesses because they provide SEO benefits and sometimes traffic. Local business directories, on the other hand, do not work for all types of sites because not all sites are locally based. Some sites only do business online and may not have a physical address.

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