Colan Nielsen

LocalU Faculty
Jul 19, 2012
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Hi Folks,

My company is creating our very own online business directory. It will serve Insurance to start and will be branching out to other industries shortly after.

I was wondering if anyone here has experience doing the SEO for an online business directory?

What sort of ranking timeline projections did you do?

What were your SEO tactics to get it ranking?

How much time did you need to allocate to optimization and support?

Would be GRATEFUL if anyone could share some feedback.

Thanks in advance!


LocalU Faculty
Jul 19, 2012
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Hey Colan,

This is a great and tough endeavor. I have no personal experience with this, but I remember a great series of posts on Expand2Web on the topic. Here are the parts:

Part 1 – Generating Income Through Local Search Websites
Part 2 – The Local Search Advertising Business Model
Part 3 – How to Uncover Local Search Trends With Google
Part 4 – Building The Most User Friendly Local Directory Sites
Part 5 – Streamline Your Workflow as a Local Search Entreprenuer
Part 6 – The SEO Equation for Long Term Traffic
Part 7 – Making Advertising Sales to Small Business Owners

It is more towards the monetization of such a website, though. I think there are way too many variables involved, so it is hard to give even rough estiates to each of your questions. Probably the only one that is not severely variables-dependent is the SEO tactics one. I would suppose that in general what works best in terms of SEO would be structuring the content in similar way to Yelp, with primary focus on displaying relevant content on each page. For instance, if someone is looking at the page of John Doe - State Farm Insurance in Rancho Cuccamonga, for instance, it might be good to display some thumbnailed results in the sidebar(s) for other agents/agencies in the area. User-generated content could be a big help, but for this you would need very strong overall marketing strategy, and significant investment of time and money into getting the right kind of technology to be able to collect that UGC and display it in proper manner. If not, you could create your own localized content. It would require strong content marketing strategy.

I hope this helps!


Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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I would definitely employ some version of a premium profile if the business owner links back to your site for you. Thumbtack does that as well as a few other lesser known search directories.

Tyson Downs

Jul 29, 2013
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Nice post Nyag. Thanks for the info.

I am in the process of creating a healthcare vertical directory, hopefully some of those will be of benefit.


Jan 20, 2014
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Good Morning,
We are in the process of launching our directory. I would be happy to talk about our experience and expectations. Reach out offline.
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