You need a local business listing to grow and promote your business. Typically, you already know how hard it is to make your small business stand out on the internet, especially when it’s all about your small locality and the complicated search engine and oversaturation keeps getting trickier.
Fortunately, local business directories, otherwise called web directories are out there to help. These directories are commonly used by your potential customers to search for ‘local businesses near me’. For instance, a potential customer in need of a cleaner would quickly search for ‘cleaners near me’ and on these business directories before trying to remember your name directly, if they ever found you before. Your local marketing strategy must be on point. Again, you don’t want a customer in search of a cleaning service in New York to find you, when you are actually a cleaning service in Denver. That’s where these business directories come in.
Why every local business needs a free business listing or directory?
A business directory helps validate where your local business should be found by online searchers. It is a directory that allows you to display important information about your business including contact information, hours, and location, alongside pictures and other relevant information. When you use the right keywords on your listing, you will show up on search results in that locality or depending on your business. According to Moz research, local citations, local business listings and web directories are still a ranking factor for small businesses.
75 Free Business Listing Sites To Empower Your Business
Let’s talk about the free business directories you can start using. Do remember that there are a great number of directories out there. But we always recommend starting from the big sites, then working your way to industry-specific and location-specific directories.
- Advertisement -
- Facebook Pages
- Moz Local Directory
- Instagram for Business
- Google My Business
- Bing Places
- Blogarama – for bloggers
- Express Updates – This actually acts as a watch dog and will help build your reputation for free).
- LinkedIn Company Directory – An excellent B2B social media listing to promote your business.
- Local Stack – This combines social media with customer recommendations to rank your business, but you must be there to participate).
- Apple Maps
- Zillow – ideal for local real estate businesses
- Postmates – suitable for local food businesses
- Homeadvisor – free business listing suitable for local real estate businesses
- The Knot – for local business catering to the wedding industry
- Hubspots Solution Directory – Excellent B2B directory to empower your growth
- Better Business Bureau – ideal for building your business reputation as well
- Yellow Pages
- Merchant Circle
- Angi, FKA Angie’s List
- Alignable – Great small business network to connect with other local business owners.
- American Towns
- Local Guides
- ChamberofCommerce.com – Ideal for local businesses in American states supporting local communities.
- City Squares
- Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory
- Just Landed
- Neustar Localeze
- Call Up Contact
- Cylex US
- City Local Pro
- My HuckleBerry
- Eventective – suitable for event planners
- Gathering Guide and Punch Bowl – ideal for event planners
Read this: Unbeatable ways to market your business for free
How to make the most of your local business listing sites
Now you shouldn’t stop at merely listing your business on these listings. Sure, you need to ensure they are doing the right things to point back to your actual business. But you need to ensure that everything on that web directory helps you build traffic, credibility and trust. Here’s what you should do:
- Your listing should always link back to your website. This is also a powerful way to drive your backlink strategy. Do realize that studies show that the top three local listings receive 60% of all traffic. That’s where you have the most authority, so push your advantage.
- Ensure your company information remains consistent across all the business listing sites you add or update your business to. This includes information about your hours, location, certification, website URL, alternate phone numbers, brand partners, payment forms accepted, taglines, social media profiles, categories, business name/title and contact information.
- Ensure you have a detailed description of your business to reflect your organizations values, culture and mission. Tell that unique story that drives your business and you will be winning customers with ease.
- Graphics are important. Your customers want a visual picture of your business, so show it to them. Add pictures or videos of your office, employees, processes, finished products and lots more.
- Ask for reviews: Customers are quick to find your listings online when they have complaints to make. So push to your advantage by asking your customers with great experiences to equally leave reviews behind on your listings.
- Be careful about the web directories you choose: Always ask yourself, if a customer finds me here, will they view my business as legitimate? This helps you weed out the directories you don’t need for your specific business.
- Show up on directories where you most direct competitors are: Consider your location and industry and make sure to list your business on directories that businesses like yours use. You can use the tool CognitiveSEO to analyze your competitor’s website backlinks and figure out their web directories.
- Aim for First page: Be sure to make your listing keyword optimized and use directories that feature your business category.
- Pace yourself: You don’t want to go from zero links to 1,000 backlinks to web directories. Doing that will harm your business and lead to Google penalties! It’s better to go slowly adding yourself to business listings over the course of a year. I recommend shooting for about 5 directories every couple of weeks.
- Don’t focus on directories alone: It’s important to use a mix of web directories. Don’t just focus on listings that are just listings. Ensure you use social sites, and blogs as well in your strategy to grow better.
- Go offline: Believe it or not, people still use offline and physical directories to find businesses. Depending on your location, industry and whether you have a local business, there are lots of offline listings you can take advantage off. Many are actually paid listings but you can find low-cost opportunities in freebie guides or magazines, local or national magazine publications and booklets. Your local competitor may also guide you towards a valuable link source. If they linked on a credible directory, they might actually brag about it on your website. Be sure to check their media page, ‘featured on’ page or about page for such information.
Promote your business on a local free business listing
Whether you are just starting out in your local business, now is the time to take advantage of those listings. The sooner you build credibility and trust on platforms that your potential customers visit, the better the chances of success for you. Take advantage of these free business listings, and web directories on our list to promote your business and build your local SEO.