NOTE: there is a more up-to-date (and longer!) directory listing in our new blog post on Top Australian Business Directories for 2021.
How many Australian business directories online is your website listed in?
Directory listings may not be the first thing you think about when you’re setting up or revamping your website, but they’re worth looking into.
2 ways listing in Australian business directories helps your website
There’s two advantages to listing.
- If you’re listed in a directory that people are using, you stand a chance of getting some business. Or at least some leads and enquiries.
- Listing in directories helps improve your SEO.
You get more links into your site. Google – and the other search engines – assess your site as more authoritative, more trusted, and more respected.
Make sure you’re in the right business directories
You have to be a little careful with directories, though.
There are a lot of online business directories. A lot of specifically Australian business directories. They all have slightly different registration processes, so the process is manual and time-consuming. You need to be sure it’s worthwhile.
Even worse, some of the directories out there are essentially link farms. That means they’ve been set up just to create SEO links and not to help real people find real websites that they really want to visit. Google won’t like you very much if you link to those.
What you need to do is to list in directories which get a good amount of traffic. Preferably a decent amount of Australian traffic, since your aim is to attract business, not just improve your SEO.
But getting a good, up-to-date list of online business directories is hard – and it’s even harder if you’re in Australia and focusing on Australian traffic. I trawled the web and found a few, but all of them were a bit out of date. So I spent some time compiling, researching and updating. Here’s the list, as of September 2016.
Top 40 Australian Business Directories, September 2016
If the table below is hard to read, click on it to enlarge.
Just in case you’re not sure what those column headings mean:
- Moz Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. It includes factors such as the number of links to your site; the number of domains linking to your site, how trustworthy your site seems and so on. More details here.
- Alexa is a company owned by Amazon which provides web analytics. It collects traffic data from a panel of a few million users worldwide, then calculates a rank based on total traffic plus total pageviews. More details here.
Where there is enough data, Alexa provides a breakdown of traffic by country. This is where the Australian rankings come from.
- Ahrefs also provides web analytics. It is generally considered to have the largest backlink database available. (Backlinks are links coming into a specific site.) The Ahrefs rank is based on number and quality of backlinks. More details here.
The Ahrefs explanation is simple and good: ‘if Alexa Rank shows you how much traffic a given website has relative to other websites in the world, Ahrefs Rank shows you how good its backlink profile is relative to other sites‘.
What about other directories?
You may also want to consider some more targeted online business directories, aligned to your business. These may not rank so highly for SEO, but every little helps. And they may be a better way to get actual leads. Some options to consider:
- Chambers of Commerce
- Industry associations
- Industry-specific directories
- Location-specific directories. You may not have noticed, but http://manlyaustralia.com.au made it into the top 40 Australian business directories! That’s impressive for such a local site! There are many other such local directories, so try to find the ones for you.
How to find smaller, targeted directories
A simple way to do this is to use Google.
Search for terms such as
- [industry/location keyword] directory
- [industry/location keyword] add business
- [industry/location keyword] business listing
So for example a lawyer in Bathurst might search for
- legal services directory
- central west directory
- central NSW directory
- legal services add business..
and so on.
Be sure to check out every directory you find and assess its value before listing!
Which directories to list in and how to do it
Just about everyone should list on YellowPages, TrueLocal and Yelp. Womo, StartLocal and HotFrog are the second stage, but still almost universal.
After that, things get a little more complicated. There are probably directories you haven’t heard of on this list. Make sure you check them out before you submit your company.
- You want a good fit. If a directory doesn’t have any entries in your industry sector, it’s probably not going to have many searches either.
- Check whether there are upfront or ongoing costs. ShopSeek charge you for a listing. Quotation sites often charge per quotation. Many directories offer a basic free listing plus fancier paid options. Paid options may help you get business leads as well as SEO benefit. Only you can decide.
- You can see that some of the directories at the bottom of this list don’t have an Australian Alexa ranking. Most of these have a massive amount of traffic from other countries, often India or the Philippines. (Ozebiz 54% from India. Downunderindex 76% from India. Hudku a massive 95% of traffic from India!) So while they may be good for SEO (lots of traffic), they’re very unlikely to deliver useful leads. Unless you’re selling to India…
There’s no need to list on every single directory. Remember that directories are only one part of your off-page SEO. You may want to invest some time in other kinds of links to your site as well. (Comment on forums or on relevant blog posts. Write guest posts. Give testimonials to suppliers as long as they link to your site.) This will help keep your link profile balanced.
Preparing your submissions
As mentioned before, the directory submission process is very manual. Every directory has a slightly different process, but they’re collecting a lot of the same information, so it is possible to prepare. Here’s a checklist of what to do before you start submitting your business into relevant Australian business directories.
- Decide on the exact name you will use. (Do you need the ‘Pty Ltd’?)
- Be sure you have consistent contact details. Phone number is usually easy. What about web address? Will you include a ‘www.’ or not? And for street addresses, decide whether you want to include a suite number, floor number etc.
- If you don’t have a tag line, prepare one in advance.
- Have your logo file ready to upload. Jpeg is the commonest format. You may need a couple of different sizes. You may also want a square version and a rectangular version.
- If it’s appropriate for your business, have some images you can upload to show what you do.
- Have your ABN handy.
- Consider setting up a different email address to use for all the submissions. You will get confirmation emails where you have to verify yourself. If they’re all on a separate email address, it won’t clutter up your inbox for your day-to-day work. After all, does it really matter if the listings take a day or two longer?
- Be aware you may also get sales calls from directories who want you to upgrade to a paid listing.
So that’s the scoop on the top Australian business directories. Now it’s up to you to put this research to use for your site and your business.
..or if it’s all too hard and you simply don’t have the time, you could always ask us to do it for you!