How Google Business Profile and Other Free Online Business Directories Help Your Business Grow

top online directory options
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More and more, we are seeing an SEO shift where individual business websites are being displaced organically at the top of Google results with directories. Clutch, Upcity and so on are winning at successfully targeting keywords thanks to their strong Domain Authority and backlink volume.

While many of those directories make you pay to have any decent visibility on their platform, there still remain some free top online directory options that can prove even more beneficial than the paid ones. The more directories you are in, the more people will organically find you and make your business grow.  

Leading that list is the old standard Google Business Profile (GMB) along with various other local and free online directories. 

These platforms not only serve as a virtual storefront but also play a pivotal role in enhancing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. Such local business listing opportunities are increasingly becoming a central method for gaining the attention of users and customers. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of optimizing your Google Business Profile and leveraging local directories for an impactful SEO strategy using the following steps:

  1. Enhance Your Visibility
  2. Build Trust and Credibility
  3. Provide Valuable Insights
  4. Find Niche Directories
  5. Maintain Consistency Across Platforms
  6. Create Backlinks and Citations
  7. Optimize Your Profile
  8. Encourage Positive Reviews
  9. Monitor and Analyze Results 

The Power of Ranking in Local Search

Before we explore the benefits, it’s important to understand the significance of local search. When users search for products or services, they often include location-specific keywords, such as “best coffee shop in downtown New York.” 

This behavior has been on the rise, with a significant increase in “near me” searches. Google’s algorithms are finely tuned to deliver results most relevant to a user’s location, making local SEO a crucial component of any digital marketing strategy. 

SEO and web conversion experts can help you put together a strategy to build your search presence and provide data-driven optimization for empowering your ability to draw users through local search capabilities.


Google Business Profile: Your Virtual Storefront

  1. Enhance Your Visibility

Your Google Business Profile is essentially your online storefront. When users search for a business or service related to your industry, Google displays a knowledge panel with crucial information such as your business name, address, phone number, website, reviews, and more. 

By optimizing this profile and ensuring users encounter useful, relevant, and appealing information, you increase the likelihood of appearing in local searches.

One of our most successful clients that provides outsourced IT support in Los Angeles, saw their click through rate from viewers of their GMB listing to their website increase over 60% year over year after we began the process of managing their page with weekly content updates. 

  1. Build Trust and Credibility

Positive reviews and high ratings on your Google Business Profile build trust with potential customers. According to recent surveys, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 79% trusting them as much as personal recommendations. 

This trust can significantly impact your conversion rates. You may benefit from encouraging customers who have positive experiences to leave a review.

  1. Provide Valuable Insights

Google Business Profile offers a wealth of insights, including how customers find your listing, where they’re coming from, and what actions they take. This data helps you understand your audience better, allowing you to refine your marketing efforts and target potential customers more effectively. 

Focus on optimizing your presence in the channels where your customers find you, or consider developing a presence in unutilized listings or other channels where you may reach potential customers.  

online directories to boost your business

Free local directories like Google My Business and others help connect web users to your business

Local Directories: Expanding Your Reach

While Google Business Profile is a powerful tool, it’s not the only player in the game. Leveraging other local directories can further amplify your online presence and strengthen your SEO efforts.

  1. Find Niche Directories

Depending on your industry, there are specialized directories that cater to specific niches. For instance, TripAdvisor for the hospitality industry or Avvo for family law digital marketing

Just search for “your industry + directories” to see what’s available for your business.

In addition, here are 11 directories that will boost your business for free. Utilize directories such as these and search for others like them to begin to develop your local online presence.

Getting listed on these platforms not only provides additional visibility but also helps establish your authority within your niche. Potential customers increasingly seek industry-specific directories and learn from customer reviews before choosing where to bring their business.

  1. Maintain Consistency Across Platforms

Consistency in your business information, including Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP), across various directories is crucial for SEO conversion. Search engines use this information to verify the legitimacy of your business. 

Inconsistencies across listings can lead to confusion and negatively impact your search rankings. 

While consistency may seem like an obvious goal, in reality, many businesses fail to keep their information updated and accurate across listing platforms. Some businesses may forget about their online presence on certain listings as well.

  1. Create Backlinks and Citations

Being listed on reputable directories provides valuable backlinks to your website. 

These backlinks signal to search engines that your business is credible and authoritative, which can lead to improved search engine rankings. 

Additionally, citations (mentions of your business) across directories add to your online presence and can positively influence local search results.


The Synergy: Google Business Profile and Local Online Directories

While each of these tools holds its own merit, the real power lies in the synergy between them. Here’s how you can maximize their combined impact:

  1. Optimize Your Profile

Ensure that your Google Business Profile is complete, accurate, and engaging. Use high-quality images, craft compelling descriptions, and encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews. Ensure your profile includes a link to your business website.

Then, extend this optimization to other local directories, maintaining consistency in your business information.  For example, often, businesses forget to update their listed store hours, leaving potential customers to choose to go somewhere else. It’s also important to get your business listed in Google’s local pack.

  1. Encourage Positive Reviews

Positive reviews not only build trust but also improve your visibility. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile and other relevant directories. 

Respond promptly to both positive and negative feedback to show your commitment to customer satisfaction. Avoid defensive responses to negative reviews in most cases, as potential customers like to see a business that takes responsibility and seeks to ensure their customers are satisfied. 

Also, track the quantity and sentiment of reviews over time. Are you receiving more positive feedback, or is there room for improvement? What are the patterns indicating where your business can improve?

  1. Monitor and Analyze Results 

Regularly monitor the performance of your Google Business Profile and other directory listings. Analyze the insights to understand what’s working and what can be improved. Use this data to refine your SEO strategy and better serve your target audience.

For example:

  • Customer Actions: 

Pay attention to the actions users take after viewing your profile, such as calling your business, visiting your website, or requesting directions. What information are users finding valuable or seem to be searching for?

  • Popular Times: 

Analyze when users are most active on your Google Business Profile. This information can help you optimize your hours of operation or plan promotions during peak times.

  • Directions Requests: 

If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, pay attention to how often users request directions. This can give you a sense of the geographical reach of your customer base.

  • Photo Engagement: 

Assess which types of images garner the most attention. This can guide your content strategy for visuals on your profile.



A robust online presence is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. By maximizing the benefits of your Google Business Profile and leveraging local directories, you not only enhance your visibility in local searches but also strengthen your overall SEO strategy. 

While you can certainly make headway working on your own, it will be helpful to seek the assistance of professionals to get a head start on developing a robust local search presence. 

If you don’t have the resources to manage the listing strategies, we recommend finding a fractional CMO service agency to at least get you headed in the right direction.

Remember, it’s not just about being found online; it’s about making a lasting impression on potential customers and driving them towards conversion. Embrace the power of local search and watch your business soar to new heights in the digital realm.



Avita Group is a five-star rated California digital marketing agency located in Los Angeles, California. Our clients often have had previous agency experiences and ultimately find a long-term home with Avita Group.

We specialize in organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign management, Online Reputation Management (ORM), website creation and conversion rate optimization for every level of the sales funnel customer journey

The Avita Group team boasts a collective experience of over 30 years in the industry led by Founder and CEO, Brad Weber, and has worked with a variety of multi-million dollar companies to help them improve their ROI, build better brand awareness, and mitigate negative online reviews.