What makes the perfect ROI for any business?
When the investment is $0.
Many of the biggest online directories offer an opportunity to promote your business and reach new, potential customers for free.
And as business owners, free advertising to attract new customers is a strategy that many of our competitors still don’t exploit to full advantage.
Online business directories are the best way to capture the attention of those searching directly for your services, but the key to being found online is to be visible where your potential clients search.
“Claimed and verified business directories that are complete and up-to-date are essential to increasing visibility and ensuring that prospective customers can find your business online,” explains Brad Weber, CEO of Avita Group, a digital marketing and reputation management company in Calabasas, California.
In addition, having a professional directory page across several directories, with not only contact info, but also content about your business, reviews and other info assures the viewer that your business is legit and worthy of contacting.
You can create these listings yourself or hire a digital marketing agency to handle the time-consuming task of creating proper, professional directory listings. More importantly, the agency can manage these listings to make updates.
Let’s explore several of the most powerful online directories that should be created and updated often to keep your visibility active and fresh.
Best Online Directories To Use for Your Business
1 – Google My Business (GMB)
When talking about basic SEO for dummies, Google always places at the top of any list when it comes to your business being found online.
The GMB directory is a free business listing that allows your business to be more visible on Google search results.
You can include information directly related to your business such as hours of operation, links to your website, images and directions to your business. You can also add new content often such as topics or promotions that link back to your actual business website.
You’ll need to activate your listing if you haven’t already. And then you can start optimizing your business listing.
2 – Yelp
Between desktop and mobile users, Yelp boasts nearly 175 million unique visitors every month.
That easily makes Yelp one of the most powerful directories to help people find and connect with your business.
Make sure that you have an active listing on Yelp and encourage satisfied customers to write positive reviews about your business.
It’s important to monitor your Yelp account to ensure that information is correct and see what customers are saying about your business.
Responding to all reviews – good or bad – protects your web reputations and shows you are dedicated to providing the best services to your customers.
3 – Bing Places for Business
Bing is the second most popular search engine after Google – but that’s way after Google. While Bing may only boast 3% of the worldwide search engine market share, the service has seen an 11% user growth since 2019.
Bing is the default search engine for Microsoft products which still dominate the desktop market. So, having a Bing Places account helps you reach more PC users.
Similar to its Google My Business counterpart, Bing Places listings appear in Bing Search and Bing Maps with your business name, address, hours of business and links to your website.
4 – Local.com
Local search has become the benchmark of businesses really trying to stand out in their target community. In fact, 86% of users rely on local search results to find the business they’re looking for.
Take a Family Law firm for example. Potential clients will most likely be searching for phrases such as “family lawyer near me” or “family lawyer in Sarasota”.
When trying to maximize local SEO for lawyers, it’s important to also include registration in local directories.
Local.com is the ideal solution. This online directory helps users find businesses in their area with information such as driving directions, contact information, reviews, ratings and more.
This is a vital directory to boost local SEO.
5 – Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serves as an ethical marketplace for consumers. BBB is one of the top 1,000 websites in the U.S. and in the top 4,000 globally.
Thus, having an accreditation through this site is a great way to increase trustworthiness with potential customers.
You can start by getting your business listed and then monitor any complaints so that you can improve customer relations.
You’ll first need to apply for accreditation, but once your business is approved your customers can visit the site to ensure that you are a business they can trust.
6 – YP (Yellowpages)
Yellowpages – the same company that used to drop off those large, yellow business directories on your doorstep – has been exclusively online for three years.
Claiming your business is free and beyond a business listing YP stays relevant by offering coupons and regularly posting blog content to drive internal links back to their directory pages.
This site has a high conversion rate because the people that visit YP.com are specifically looking for contact information. 60 million people visit YP.com each month with 91% of those customers contacting a business within 24-hours.
7 – Nextdoor
Nextdoor has evolved from your friendly neighborhood website to a viable business directory.
The platform has a highly engaged user base with 67% of members sharing business recommendations on the site. It’s free to create your business listing and offers advertising options or business posts to attract customers.
The look and feel are very similar to Google My Business posts, but come with the advantage of appearing in the feed of everyone within 3 miles of your business. And with over 100 million visitors each month, Nextdoor ranks as one of the top 100 websites in the United States.
8 – Facebook Business Pages
Facebook Business Pages offer a free opportunity to increase brand awareness and generate sales using Facebook. As a social platform directory, it’s geared toward B2C businesses.
To create a Facebook Business Page you need to have a personal Facebook account and click on “Create a page” from the drop down menu and follow the steps to build your business profile. This profile includes business category, contact details, customer reviews, photos, videos and upcoming events.
9 – LinkedIn Business Pages
A LinkedIn Business Page is similar to a Facebook Business Page, but is targeted at businesses instead of customers.
This B2B social platform proves a powerful way to drive brand awareness and increase quality engagement with professional audiences. Creating a LinkedIn Business Page allows you to promote your products and services, post job opportunities and more.
Posting on details pertinent to your business or industry also helps create authority in the eyes of people who search for your page.
10 – Foursquare
Foursquare is a location type app that lets visitors find a variety of businesses in their area. It help potential customers discover and share information about businesses and attractions.
While not nearly as popular as Yelp, Foursquare does provide listings for various businesses and is visited by over 20 million people monthly.
11 – Manta
Manta is one of the largest online business directories that is dedicated to helping small businesses become more competitive and visible in the marketplace.
Business owners can claim their own page and customize it with contact info and details about your business’s areas of expertise to reach a wider audience.
Which Online Directories Are Best for Your Business?
These online directories will help you boost your business and increase visibility with potential customers. Achieving top rankings and engaging prospects requires dedication to online marketing.
Ultimately choosing which online directories you should create listings with for your business depends on two key factors:
- Will the listing increase the chances of your website being seen by more potential customers?
- Will a listing on the site deepen consumer trust in your business?
Understanding your audience is key when determining which online directories will be best for the overall growth of your business.
Creating a free business listing with a variety of online directories listing the same information ensures the search engines confidently shows your profiles more often and helps to massively drive your SEO, increasing visibility to potential clients.