How Hard Is It to Outrank Yelp and Other Directory Websites in the SERPs?

Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
11
In your opinion, how hard is it to outrank Yelp, BBB, Manta, Homeadvisor, and other local directory websites in the search results?

I manage roughly 20 local SEO clients in various industries, and for some results, I see as many as five directory websites in the top 10 SERPs for local search queries.

I'm trying to understand how easy or difficult it is to outrank directory websites.

I always wonder if it makes more sense to try to outrank Yelp and other directory websites, or if it makes more sense to try Barnacle SEO with some of my clients.
 

pony

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
18
It depends on the query, can you send any examples?

With some queries, you can tell the users intent is to look for a directory style website, which may make it very difficult to compete.

I work in an industry where a large percentage of users will go to a third party site while they are earlier in the funnel and there isn't much we can do about changing that intent. We don't exert as much effort on keywords with that intent as we do with keywords where we know customers are looking for us, and are thusly more likely to convert.
 

Ben Bowen

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2013
Messages
51
Over the last few years in my industry (landscaping) I have seen more and more directories on page 1. There are very few broad queries that don't see them as the top 4-5. I have a strong site and a large blog that gets a lot of traffic, so I started publishing my own "directory" blog posts. These often rank 1 or 2, ahead of Yelp, Houzz, etc.

If Google wants directories, give them a directory.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
11
It depends on the query, can you send any examples?

With some queries, you can tell the users intent is to look for a directory style website, which may make it very difficult to compete.

I work in an industry where a large percentage of users will go to a third party site while they are earlier in the funnel and there isn't much we can do about changing that intent. We don't exert as much effort on keywords with that intent as we do with keywords where we know customers are looking for us, and are thusly more likely to convert.
I would prefer not to give away the specific examples of my clients. It's across many different industries. Just know I am talking about queries for [industry product|service] in [location] queries.
 

Joe Goldstein

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
6
You should definitely balance them out between barnacle SEO and optimizing the individual websites.

Some people are always going to go directly to Yelp, and you should be there when they do. And other people are going to avoid it like the plague and go to the first SMB website instead, so you should be there too.

But for the people who just click on whatever's ranking first, you can absolutely outrank a Yelp result - sometimes. You're not going to beat them on engagement, internal linking structure and on-page content, but you can beat them on relevancy and raw link strength. Links from complementary SMBs and local news outlets really seem to help there.
 

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