As a local business attracting customers in today’s technology-driven world, you must get your business name and profile listed in all the major online directories. Many of these directories are well-known websites and social media platforms such as Facebook or Yelp, where any business owner can make a page for their company. However, many less-popular or local websites allow business owners to list their companies for free as well.
Listing your business on every possible business directory is the best way to make sure your business maximizes its SEO and is visible in as many searches as possible. In addition, creating a free business listing with the same information on a variety of local business listing websites helps search engines confidently show your profiles more often, focusing on keyword searches related to your products or services. In other words, listing your business massively drives your local SEO. This will increase the reach of your business profile in searches across multiple search engines in local and mobile queries.
Benefits of business directories
These are some of the many benefits of creating a free business listing on a business directory, social media platform or review site:
- Boosting your online presence. Before the internet, businesses relied on phone books, newspaper ads, and other forms of traditional marketing and advertising to make themselves known. In the online era, no marketing plan is complete without maximizing your online presence. For a strong online presence, creating a business page for your company on every possible review site, social media platform and free business listing site is vital.
- Making your business known locally. Local SEO is important to the success of businesses that target an audience in a specific geographic region. Without a proper presence in online directories, your business may fail to reach a potential customer who could travel just minutes from their home to get what they need from your company. Without creating a free business listing in directories – which almost always include geographic filters – you may struggle to make your business name known to that potential customer, among thousands of others. There are many ways to promote your business locally, but start by ensuring your site has a presence on sites listed below.
- Getting your info out there. Want potential customers to know when your store is open, how to get in touch, what services you provide and how much other customers trust you? Free business listings allow you to share information such as your business hours, contact information, and addresses on platforms where users can search for businesses based on specialty, location, and ratings.
- Driving your brand engagement and reputation. Even customers who ultimately choose another business over yours or don’t click on your link will see your business name. This recognition cements your brand’s reputation in potential customers’ minds – especially if your ratings are high – and increases the chances that they’ll choose you in the future.
Important websites where you should be listed
Ready to get your business listed in all the right search engines and directories? This list shows the top 48 places where you can list your business for free. Following the list are a few pointers on how to get the most out of your local listing profiles.
1. Yelp for Business
Grow your business with Yelp. Add or claim your business, keep your page up to date, respond to reviews, view click and call reports or get ahead of the game with premium upgrades and simple, powerful advertising tools.
2. Google My Business
Engage with customers on Google for free. With a Google My Business account, you get more than a business listing. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.
3. Bing Places for Business
Get Online Customers for Your Business
Add your business to Bing for free and help online customers discover your business. Chances are Bing has a listing for your business already. Claim an existing listing or add a new one. If your business has multiple locations you can add them in one go using the bulk upload tool.
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
- Just Local Business
- HERE Map Creator
- Judy’s Book
- Yellow Pages Directory Inc.
- Insider Pages
- Business Local Pages
- Yahoo Small Business
- Apple Maps
How to list your business on business listing websites
Although no two free business listing websites operate in the same way, you will likely need to follow roughly these steps to list your business on the platform of your choice:
- Claim your business page. Your business may already have a page on some platforms. These pages tend to be incomplete placeholders that the platform – or a user – has implemented to ensure that your business at least appears in the directory.
- Complete your business listing. Whether or not you have to first claim an existing business page, you will need to complete your listing with valid, up-to-date information so that potential customers get a full picture of your company. Include your address, phone number, services offered, hours of operation and any other contact methods.
- Verify your listing. In theory, any internet user could claim your business listing as their own. That’s why business directories require you to verify your identity and your business before your listing goes live. This is usually as simple as filling in a string of numbers that the platform delivers to you by text, email or phone call.
Checklist for when you do get listed
There is more to securing your presence in search results than just listing your business in these directories. Follow the checklist below to make sure that your listings work for you and generate the widest possible reach for mobile and local internet searches.
- Ensure your info is consistent. Check to confirm that your business’s name, address and phone number are the same on every listing.
- Add a detailed company description. Let your company shine with a great description. You should highlight your company’s history and product or service offering.
- Include a link to your website. One of the greatest strengths of your local online profiles is the link to your business’s site. This has the potential to drive massive amounts of traffic to your website. Local listings are mostly used in mobile searches, so be sure your website is mobile-friendly, or you could lose visitors fast.
- Claim the listing. Some local search engines allow a user to claim their profile through a short verification process. Claiming your profile can increase its reach immensely.
- Include secondary business information. Over 30% of local searches are for the phone number, address or hours of operation of a business. Be sure to include items like your hours of operation, menu or calendar of events on your local profiles.
- Add pictures and videos. Visual media items like photos and videos have a much higher conversion rate than standard text. Be sure to upload images and videos to your profiles.
- Gather customer reviews. Reviews send signals of confidence to search engines and mark engagement from customers. You should always encourage customers to leave reviews of your business and respond to those reviews.
If you’re looking to get noticed by a wider audience or reach members of your local community, a great (and free) place to start is online business directories. The 48 sites listed above give you an effective, no-cost way to improve your chances of being found by your audience online.
Adam Brewer contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.