Neighbourly launched its business platform in 2015, allowing business to create a listing in the local directory. The directory focuses on connecting local residents to the business by means of the local directory, however, the listings are crawlable by Google rather than being protected by a login-wall.
I created a listing for SearchMasters, advertising our Palmerston North SEO services. I met someone at a Manawatu Chamber of Commerce meetup, and when I mentioned SearchMasters, I was surprised to hear that they recognised us from our Neighbourly listing. Typically, business directories are on the decline and seem only valuable for getting a link for your website. I can’t remember the last time I got an enquiry via SearchMasters’ Yellow Bronze listing. Perhaps Neighbourly is an outlier, and useful for marketing as well as SEO purposes.
I was surprised to see that for the phrase “palmerston north seo”. Searching from Palmerston North, our Neighbourly listing is ranked 9th, whilst a Neighbourly category page is ranked 8th with SearchMasters as the only listing in the category. It seems that Neighbourly local listings provide a quality link, can rank on Google in their own right, and are actually read by locals.
The Neigbourly local business listings are free, and there are paid options which allow the business to post articles to local news feed.
How to Create a Neighbourly Listing
Get Started at the business apply page, and enter your details. Make sure that the email you enter along with your name, is a sales email because it will use that email for the contact form. Fill in the details on the rest of the pages, but make sure to click “Add Another” under the contact details options, and select add website URL.
It is worth noting that the category pages contain direct links to the business’ website. With this in mind, it is important to add descriptive tags that contain keywords that your want to rank for. The category will be able to rank easier if it contains many businesses already. Try Googling a relevant keyword with “site:neighbourly.co.nz keyword here” to help find categories that have a number of businesses in them already.
Submission usually takes a few days, and is usually quickly cached by Google. Make sure that you link into the listing from a few different websites so that the Neighbourly listing is more likely to rank in its own right. For example, you could write up an article on infonews.co.nz and link from it to your Neighbourly listing using descriptive link text.
Let me know if you have success in creating a Neighbourly profile and getting it to rank for your business name, or a competitive search phrase.