Finding the right directory to help your seniors housing Web site

by Jody O’Donnell, SEO Manager, G5 Search Marketing

Members of G5’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) department, affectionately known as “10 SERP Plaza,” are often asked: Which directories are the best for me to sign up for?

We consider ourselves the best people to answer this question as our entire department assumes that every inquiry should end “with regards to my SEO?”

And we answer it, at least initially, with a question of our own: Which are the best directory targets for the seniors housing market?


When developing your target list of directories, first establish a clear objective. Are you trying to get good, trusted citations from directories and improve the consistency with which search engines see your business information across the Web? Or are you trying to drive traffic directly to your Web site?

The first objective is back-linking while the latter is more about driving traffic and conversions. This is an extremely important distinction. Deciding which is more important will point you to the best directories to accomplish your goal.

Many directories are built more for search engines than for human users. It doesn’t take long to look at a directory and identify which audience it is targeting. One tell-tale sign a directory is targeting search engines is how they list. If they don’t use images or anything else to give a real live person more information about what your listing is, they are focusing on search engines. Search engine citation style directories will have your business information and little else, as illustrated by this example:

Directories that are more traffic driven sites generally have links back to the pages and have rich content for each listing. This can range from pictures to driving directions to operating hours, etc., as illustrated by this example:


Some of the best directories on the Internet are entirely free. There are various levels of time and effort you must commit to successfully take advantage of these directories. The commitment varies on a directory-by-directory basis.

The foremost free directory is DMOZ. This site gets a lot of credence from the search engines because it is well edited and has been around for a long time. It boasts a shocking PageRank of 8, a rating Google assigns to Web sites that shows authority based on a scale of 0 – 10. Some other general high quality free directories are and Yahoo!.

The downside to a free directory is the application process and the data entry required. Denial is not uncommon, particularly for DMOZ. And be aware of paid directories that look to be the exact same as other directories. Search engines inherently give less credence to any links that cost money and are not specified in the HTML as a paid link.


There are many generic directories that cover varied industries across the Web. These are just general directories (not unlike the Yellow Pages) and may not be as valuable as finding one that is more specific to your industry. The more specific the directory, the more it can boost your SEO industry expertise.

It is much more valuable to optimize your Web site by finding a directory that aligns with your specific business. For example, if you have a Web site dealing with assisted living, you will want to find a directory that specializes as close to this industry as possible. A generic senior living or senior care directory, while still valuable, is not as valuable as a directory that deals just with assisted living. A more targeted directory will likely give a larger boost to your Web site SEO and citations because it is as close to your business as you can get. Listing your assisted living business in a directory for defense lawyers is probably not going to do much for you. Directories can be helpful in getting good, accurate citations to your Web sites. They can also drive traffic and calls-to-action (phone numbers, brochure requests, etc.) for your communities. It takes time to research, time to apply, and time to track your return. But it can increase your online profile, and thus your leads and potential business opportunities—making it worth the effort.

Topics: Articles