(Originally published on Feb 13, 2014 and Updated on April 1, 2019)
Small business owners are always on the lookout for the lowest cost, highest value promotional opportunities on the Internet. Creating or claiming local business directory listings is a great way to expand ones digital footprint.
Many Internet service providers have identified the value of local directories which has spawned a bevy of mass listing services such as Yext.com, CityGrid and others. These services make it easy to claim a large list of directories that may or may not be relevant to a business. The listing provider’s monthly fees tie a business into a relationship with them for life since discontinuing their service will remove your business information from the listing enmasse. A more time intensive, but lower cost, approach is to claim ones business listings by hand with the top directories relevant for your industry.
The following list of directories are recommended for a wide variety of businesses and industries. Links to the business listing page of the directory will make it easier to begin creating or claiming your business listings.(*Note: Always be sure to search for your business listing in each directory before creating a brand new one. Removing duplicate listings in these directories is equally as important.)
- Google My Business : *Domain Authority 90
- This is often the first and arguably the most important location a local business should list their business. Google My Business is key for local SEO to ensure customers can find your business on Google Maps.
- Your first step will be to sign in using an email account associated with Google. If you don’t have one that is connected to Google, you will need to set one up. [Link to blog on how associate email with Google My Business] A Gmail account is an easy choice, but you can also associate a non-Gmail account with Google.
- There are usually several quick verification options (e.g. via a business email or telephone number) to get your profile published immediately. However, in certain instances, post-card verification is required and can take up to two weeks to be mailed and received.
- Yelp for Business : *Domain Authority 94
- Yelp has become one of the most popular and important directory and review sites for a business due in part to the rigid system of controlled reviews on the site. Yelp works tirelessly to ensure reviews submitted are by real people and customers through a series of algorithmic controls that filters questionable reviews out of site.
- Like most directory sites, you will be guided through a search process to see if your business is already listed. If it is, you will “claim” the listing. If not, you will be able to create a new Yelp listing.
- Four Square: *Domain Authority 92
- Foursquare, is a local search-and-discovery mobile app which provides search results for its users. The app provides personalized recommendations of places to go near a user’s current location based on users’ previous browsing history and check-in history.
- There are three steps to create a listing in this directory:
- First create an individual user profile.
- Next create your business listing.
- Lastly, claim your business listing.
- Upon claiming your business listing there is a one-time $20 fee to get your listing published in the directory.
- Claims to be “Trusted by over 150,000 partners and developers worldwide.”
- Angie’s List for Business : *Domain Authority 91
- Angie’s List is a popular directory and review site of service companies and health care professionals in over 550 categories. Angie’s List customers pay an annual subscription fee to access business listings and reviews from their local area.
- Categories include business description, service area, operating hours, services, payment options, 24 hour emergency service designation, etc.
- Crunchbase : *Domain Authority 91
- Crunchbase is a platform for finding business information about private and public companies. Crunchbase information includes investments and funding information, founding members and individuals in leadership positions, mergers and acquisitions, news, and industry trends.
- There are three steps to be aware of when setting up a free listing with this directory:
- First, create an individual user profile
- Next, create a company profile
- Lastly, you must use different social media account credentials to verify each profile.
- Paid listings afford you the opportunity to perform searches for investors, perform competitive analysis of other companies, and perform data analysis of your company’s performance.
- Manta : *Domain Authority 87
- Manta claims to be the largest online community dedicated to small business. Owners can list their business in the Manta directory for free and take advantage of networking, articles and numerous small business resources.
- Free listings include contact information, website link, business description, 3 business categories, products/services, years in business, state of incorporation, NAICS and SIC codes, etc.
- Enhanced listings range in price from $49 to $99/mo and include more prominent listings, competitor ad removal, multiple search keywords, etc. Compare plans here: Listing Upgrade Options
- Merchant Circle : *Domain Authority 87
- Merchant Circle claims to be “the largest online network of local business owners, combining social networking features with customizable web listings that allow local merchants to attract new customers.”
- Free listings include address, phone, embedded Google Map, up to three categories for listing the business, customer reviews and compliments as well as the ability of Merchant Circle members to “follow” your business on Merchant Circle.
- Paid listings include top search result positioning, business logo thumbnail image, social sharing buttons, website link, payment types, hours of operation, a simple blog, product descriptions, offers and recent news updates.
- Hot Frog : *Domain Authority 77
- This directory allows for a user to build a really robust business profile. You can list all products and services, create coupon offers, talk about news and updates with your business, and even share a portfolio of projects.
- Claims that “1.6 million people are making more than 372,000 inquiries to businesses on Hotfrog every month.”
- Next Door for Business : *Domain Authority 75
- This directory is great for local SEO because it targets the local neighborhood and surrounding local neighborhoods where businesses operate. You can also create events to go along with your listing.
- Recommendations have always been one of the biggest uses of Nextdoor. Members truly value their neighbors’ opinions about businesses, products, and services available in their communities on this platform.
- Bing places for business : *Domain Authority 53
- Bing Places for business another top-notch directory for local SEO. Many existing businesses are already listed in the Bing places for business directory. If your business is listed you just need to “claim” your business and update the listing.
- Free listings include address, phone, website link, hours, Bing map, customer reviews, and the ability for visitors to share the listing via email, Facebook, Twitter, and mobile phone.
*Domain Authority is a ranking metric (based on a 100 point scale) established by the SEO experts at Moz.com. It determines the power of a domain and how well it will rank in Google search results using a multi-factorial algorithm.
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