Back in the good old days, having your business listed in the White Pages or the back of the newspaper in the classified section was a great way to bring in customers.
These listings, also called business citations, are still valuable today. There’s no longer as much a need for printed citations.
Instead, businesses need online citations to get their name out there. Citations are good for more than just referrals and brand awareness. They also help move your website up search engine results pages (SERPs) through local SEO.
And that’s especially helpful in the competitive recycling industry. The explosion of plastics and growing concerns about the environment have led to the birth of thousands of recycling companies in the US.
If you want your business to stand out amongst the crowd, recycling industry directories are a great way to make that happen.
Local SEO is the process of increasing a business’ visibility in Google’s local search results and on Google Maps. It’s the best way to draw in local clients without paying for expensive Google Ads.
Local SEO all starts with a Google My Business (GMB) profile. GMB profiles enable businesses to appear on Google Maps for common industry keywords.
Additionally, GMB profiles allow your business to appear in local results, below paid ads, but above organic search results.
After you’ve created your GMB profile, local SEO can begin to do its work.
By optimizing the three factors that Google says determine local search results: relevance, distance, and prominence, local SEO can bring in the local recurring clientele that helps keep recycling businesses alive.
Distance is simply how far away your recycling business is from a given search (using location services) or location search terms. This factor is why you usually only see results in a three-mile radius in Google’s local search results.
This is how well your business matches a given query. The best way to improve relevance is by adding all your services to your website so it can properly match relevant keywords.
Prominence is how well-known your recycling business is in a community. Local SEO can take effect here because, according to Google, prominence is determined by backlink profile, SERP rankings, and website quality.
Local SEO can also build prominence by increasing the number of citations your business has.
Citations are online references to a business that usually contain a business name, address, and phone number (NAP) and sometimes a map, link, and reviews.
There are two basic types of citations: structured and unstructured. Structured citations are citations in recycling directories, GMB profiles, and the like. In contrast, unstructured citations are online references to your business that could be located at the end of an article, press releases, blog post, or even video.
Here’s an example unstructured citation for our client, Generated Materials Recovery, from an article about a new initiative to turn plastics into fuel for Phoenix on the city’s website.
This is an online reference to their business, but it does not contain a link, map, or address. Still, citations like this can be very valuable in building brand reputation and authority.
The more common type of citation, however, is a structured citation. These usually come in the form of general citations from the likes of Bing Places, Yahoo Local, or the Better Business Bureau, and more industry-specific citations (which we dive into in the next section).
Industry-specific, structured citations are some of the most valuable for local SEO when the information exactly matches the NAP in a GMB profile. This is a critical piece to improving local SEO, so review any existing citations for inconsistencies, as well.
Here’s an example citation for Generated Materials Recovery in ScrapMonster, a site that has one of the biggest directories in the recycling industry.
Securing a citation at any one of the following recycling directories can help improve your company’s domain authority. And a better domain authority means better visibility in search engines. And that means more sales.
ScrapMonster has over 70,000 recycling and scrap businesses listed in its directory, making it one of the biggest on this list. A citation on ScrapMonster gives you a lot more than just NAP placement as well. They allow you to fill out an about section, give you a backlink, provide a review option for customers, and more.
Recycingproductnews.com mainly provides industry research and insightful video content, but they also have a recycling business directory on their site that has thousands of businesses. Their citations provide the usual NAP, plus a backlink. RPN’s solid organic traffic means landing a citation here is a great way to drive traffic to your website.
Letsrecycle.com is a UK-based company that is also mostly known for industry news, its research-focus, and recycling events. However, they also have a directory that lists companies that do recycling and waste management services, vehicles, and equipment.
The ISRI is an industry association for scrap recyclers. They have one of the best, most readily searchable directories around. They provide not only NAP but also links to emails and company websites. Their directory is searchable by individual, company, or commodity handled and has thousands of listings.
Recycling industry directories can also be found outside of private businesses. Many times it makes sense to get a citation in your local or state government directory. Here’s an example of the state of Georgia’s recycling business directory, where any state recycling business can secure a citation free of charge.
If you are in the recycling equipment business, in particular, this is the best citation possible for your business. The specific nature of the Recycling Equipment Manufacturers Directory makes it far more likely to convert visitors to clients.
ENF’s Plastic Recycling Business Directory is for plastic recyclers only. If your business does plastic recycling, you should think about securing a citation from this directory. They have businesses listed from all around the world, bringing in some interesting traffic. And they have over 23,000 listed companies.
The association of Plastic recyclers is one of the largest recycling associations on the planet. Its members represent more than 90 percent of the post-consumer plastic processing capacity in North America. The business directory has thousands of listings and provides a high domain authority backlink as well.
Hub-4 is known for its recycling industry magazine, but its directory is well worth the effort to secure the citation. Hub-4’s recycling directory allows users to search by category or name and provides a quality citation for its members that includes NAP information and a backlink.
Securing citations in recycling industry directories and implementing local SEO best practices isn’t always a walk in the park. Sometimes you need to call in the experts for some help.
After all, it takes time to build backlinks, develop quality content, and submit to industry directories—time not every recycling business owner has.
If you’re intrigued by local SEO and want to do more, but just can’t find the time, feel free to contact us. We’d love to help get you started on your digital marketing journey.
Markitors is an SEO digital marketing company. We work with small businesses to rank their websites higher on Google, resulting in more traffic and leads. Explore what’s in our SEO toolbox: audits and keyword research, digital PR, technical SEO and local SEO.