As an online SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist it is important to be up to date with the current methods and best ways to be found online. The most important thing for your business to be aware of is “how to get found online when customers are looking for you.” Rank High Media implements hundreds of techniques in doing just that; and has the ability to spread your web presence using these techniques.
One of the more rudimentary steps that is absolutely necessary is to submit to the most popular local directories where web surfers get their information. These surfers or potential customers either go directly to these sources or they happen upon them based on their position in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Either way it is important to submit your business and enter the crucial contact information so these searchers can take the next step and give you a visit.
You don’t have to join every available directory on the internet but creating accounts with the most popular and effective indexes will immediately increase your online visibility and have a direct impact on the amount of actual people you come in contact with. Of course, some people will tell you the more the better, this may be true in this case, but what is certain in regard to local search is that when someone finds what they want they usually physically go to get what it is they found.
Listed below I’ve comprised some of the top Local Business Directories with a brief description and a link to each one. It is followed by a lengthier list of high quality directories with links to the respective sites. The entire list has well over 60 business directories to visit, learn about, submit to, and reap the benefits by growing your customer base.
Top 20 FREE Local Business Directories
1. Yelp.com Yelp is the online leader as local business directory with user reviews to index your business. Yelp boasts over 41 million users a month. It also is a social networking site where members can share favorite recommendations.
2. Citysearch.com CitySearch is an online business directory which has local information about businesses and professionals in your town. It has many categories including restaurants, entertainment, retail stores, and other professional services. Citysearch has business contact information, maps, driving directions, and reviews for the listed US businesses.
3. plus.Google.com/local Google Plus Local Business Center helps potential customers to find you instantly. By inserting specific keywords for your business you will get found much quicker. Keywords like “lawyer,” “jeweler,” “pizza parlor,” etc. will give you an advantage over businesses with just their name. An entry in Google Plus Local Business Center gives you more control over your business information like its name, phone, address, and hours.
4. local.Yahoo.com Yahoo! Local Listings is an online local advertising directory which allows businesses to give business information to the searchers of your type of business. Yahoo! Local has Basic Listings which allows your general information along with a link to your site. It also has an Enhanced Listings feature that allows for adding longer descriptions, taglines, and photos.
5. http://www.Bing.com/businessportal Bing Business Portal is the perfect adjunct to Microsoft’s Bing Search. This fast growing and at this time still in Beta local business directory is a must. As with Google and Yahoo, do you really want to leave this one out? An obligatory step in creating the kind of publicity and search friendly exposure every business needs. Great features and enhancements for listing your business with exciting advertising options, coupon promotions, QR codes, and mobile apps. Bing Business Portal is certain to remain on the cutting edge.
6. MerchantCircle.com Merchant Circle has the largest network of business owners on the internet. Their main focus is connecting people with the best local merchants and top quality service providers. Merchant Circle is easy to use and a must for any business to be a part of to increase their credibility, visibility, and popularity with the public.
7. eLocal.com eLocal is an established, top notch local business city guide and search directory that prides itself on its reputation, easy navigation, and category specific information. The categories cover general niches right down to specialties of those fields. You may search for a plumber, then see which plumbers actually specialize in certain types of installations or jobs. They originally centered on select professions like lawyers, roofers,plumbers, and exterminators but recently expanded and offer all major consumer business categories.
8. Hotfrog.com Hotfrog is fast growing and may soon be the go to business index. It’s innovative, easy to use, and puts emphasis on the uniqueness of your business. Keyword selection plays a big part in matching potential customers to your Hotfrog profile and helps you get noticed fast by the search engines. You can add pictures, create coupons, and tell how your business is different from the rest. Don’t overlook this outstanding directory for your local business.
9 DexKnows.com DexKnows is an excellent local directory and resource for businesses. It offers online and print advertising, along with free marketing consultation. Listing within the DexKnows Directory helps companies get found millions of times every year.
10. Yellowbot.com YellowBot is a local search site for finding and reviewing local businesses. Adding your business to Yellowbot will further increase your business’s web presence. This site is on the cutting edge and integrates well with Mobile search.
11. Superpages.com Superpages is an extremely comprehensive source for local information with an array of services. It’s a top internet resource for locating information about businesses and services in your area. They help potential customers find local business information like driving directions, hours of operation, reviews, and much more.
12. Manta.com Manta is a rapidly growing business site and even claims to be the fastest. This business directory is very focused on the social media landscape as it integrates these features into members’ profiles. On Manta you can create status updates for your business which will circulate your business name throughout the network of millions and throughout your community.
13. local.Mapquest.com MapQuest is one of the oldest and most trusted sites on the internet and has always served as a reliable source for finding directions to specific geographic locations. After several iterations and a Beta phase (at this writing), Mapquest Local is another must for businesses to include their information in, as it is certain to remain as strong or better in the coming years.
14. local.botw.org BestoftheWeb states that they are the oldest internet directory. Someone had to be first, right? The certainty of this is of no matter because they offer a stellar platform with comprehensive, detailed, and reliable information to find what you need online, along with reviews to back your decisions. As you can tell from the link the local designation separates it from their flagship rating site known for rating other online entities, organizations, and websites. It behooves any business to enter themselves in this excellent directory.
15. YellowpageCity.com YellowpageCity very much like the traditional phonebook yellowpages is a dependable source for finding what you need. There are many variations now that wear the famed yellowpages logo so it’s hard to distinguish which is the original and how they differ, but they all have the reputation and years of service that people still can count on. I’ve included YellowpageCity in the ‘top twenty’ as a nod to what they represent and the fact that they have an important online presence which your business should definitely list on. They offer easy and accessible interactive listings of local businesses with website, email links, maps, and video.
16. ThinkLocal.com ThinkLocal is much more than an online business directory with regional features like weather, local attractions, and city spotlights. It also has a business blog with helpful marketing strategies. ThinkLocal free business listings include contact information, maps, driving instructions, and customer reviews.
17. ShowMeLocal.com ShowMeLocal offers an array of features like reviews, tell-a-friend, social bookmarking, feed subscriptions, and sharable links which help local businesses get their content out there. Interaction is the focus of ShowMeLocal and is what its members and audience will find. The more local businesses use their customized features, the more exposure the local business will get online which is what every business needs ands wants.
18. CitySlick.net CitySlick is a free, easy, no nonsense local business directory in keeping with the most effective and current focal points of the moment. Emphasis on advertising, coupons and attracting web visitors through content distribution are just a few of the effective marketing methods available by submitting a listing.
19. ExpressUpdate.com Express UpDate is a part of the Infogroup powerhouse. As a leader in technology they are an excellent choice among online local business directories and search engines. By adding a business listing you can engage customers, gather valuable data about those customers, and further increase your business’s ability to be found at just the right time.
20. Kudzu.com Kudzu like the fast growing vine, is yet another fast growing service gaining in popularity. It emphasizes honest feedback; good and bad, as well as its ease of use and fast answers about the services reviewed. Kudzu also integrates well with Facebook and Twitter which furthers your reach on the web.
Rank High Media of Fayetteville NC can help you sort through the confusion of submitting to these indexes. Whether you have a professional assist you or you handle it yourself, the important thing is to get started and see what an impact it will make.
Following are other Business Directories to submit to and create accounts with. These are all well-known and widely used services; some directories are favored by their members, the searching public, and search engines for various reasons. Determining a definitive list in order from the best on down, would really only amount to opinion. Some are easier to use and navigate than others and some may be granted precedence by a search engine that happens to be their parent company.
Many factors contribute to why some directories seem to be in the spotlight more than others, but as with all online entities, this list is a moveable feast sure to fluctuate and change with the times. It is also important to note the top directories featured on this list are free and balanced as both a desktop and mobile platform for searching local businesses.
These directories, albeit mostly free, offer paid memberships with enhanced features (as do the above listed). In addition to indexing businesses, some are actual social networks, mobile app reliant, advertising platforms, and coupon generating sites all with similar features and benefits to its members and searchers alike.
Comprehensive List of Online Business Directories for Local Businesses
Listing and managing your accounts in these directories can get tedious, so any service that makes things easier is an advantage. Yext PowerListings does this by letting you control over 30 indexes from one place. PowerListings keeps your index listings up to date with its most vital information. Your business name, address, phone number, and other categories on the Yext network. If you change information anytime, it’ll be updated everywhere.
Using Yext Enhanced listings lets you to add pictures, descriptions, and promotions to all of your listings on the Yext Network. Inform customers of a new product, company news, a new location or business hours, and of course any specials you may have. Just enter your information in your Yext account and it will quickly update your other listings across its network comprehensive.
Monitor what your public says about you by using Review Monitoring; Yext monitors your listings and its reviews. Whenever you are reviewed, it shows up in our Yext account. You can hone in on these reviews by searching for the main keywords related to your business. Also, you can save, export, or email these reviews and filter them by geographic location.
Yext can be incorporated into your Mobile Marketing plan too. With Mobile fast becoming the prefered (over Desktop) or at least dominate method of searching out businesses at the local level, Yext is compatible with the most current Mobile platforms.
You already know the importance of analytics in determining what is working for your online efforts. Yext Tracking lets you see impressions and profile views at the local level, you’ll get full analytics on local search performance so you can see which items perform best and recieve the most traffic.
I’m sure I’ve probably left some directories out, there are so many good ones that really help with getting your business name out there. What online business directories are your favorites and which ones work best for you? Be sure to add any I may have omitted in the Comments. I Hope the list is helpful, Happy Indexing!