Most people looking for a service or products usually use Google or maybe Bing to find more information. So your business should be there, but other resources are also used by the mass of Internet users. And in many cases, the competition isn’t as challenging and the costs are usually minor to have your business in these listings as well. The business listing websites (directories) listed here are among the most used, and popular ones on the web, and can send your business site useful referral traffic. I strongly encourage you to take the time and use some of your advertising budget to submit your site to these directories.
Submit to Online Directories: Why Your Business Should Do It!
It may seem old school and potentially dangerous to submit to business directories (even in 2017), but these are safe and trusted sites that Google approves. In fact, Google recommends that you submit to business directories. (Google: Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories)) I was in attendance at a Google meeting where directory submission was advised specifically as a means to increase rankings.
Some of these listings will be paid, but many are free and you only need to claim your business listing already there. The best news, besides how it may help your search rankings, is that these directories can provide real referral traffic from potential clients or customers who are reviewing your company. Many of the business listing sites also have star-ratings and/or reviews for interested customers to learn about your customer service or product quality.
It is also important that you, as the business owner, claim and control your website and business information. Claiming your web address on these sites will help you do that. It also gives you another website where you can interact with your customers through their reviews and feedback about your services. This can make or break a local service business so be sure to keep track of your business listings and what is being said about your business. Responding to positive and negative reviews is crucial to show new customers you care.
Be sure to verify the accuracy of the information about your business on any of the business listing sites where your business information is already supplied. Your company name, phone number and address should be accurate and the same wherever you business listed. Sometimes you are allowed to include more information than just your NAP (Name, Address and Phone) so take advantage of this and include your website address, and details about your business that may help drive more traffic and increase your customer base. Provide all the information you can.
Business Listings: How Many Submissions Does My Business Need?
I would personally submit to every directory I have linked to below. Currently that includes 31 business directory sites (June 2017). They have all been verified as accepting business listings and are trusted by the search engines. As with most things in life, it is the quality and not the quantity that counts, so if you decide to do more than these I have found, be careful that the directory isn’t filled with spammy websites and it is being kept up-to-date with new businesses being added. While it is unlikely Google will penalize you for being in a few poor directory, it certainly won’t help, and if you submit to too many of them a manual penalty for Google is possible.
Trusted Directories: How Do I Find More?
The 31 business directories listed here are ones that I personally recommend. I tried to choose directories that would work for any type of business or industry. But one you define your niche (food services, home repair, etc.) there are many other directories you should consider. For example, many food service directories are available such as urbanspoon.com. You can hire Big Oak to find these for you and handle all the submissions, or you can begin the search for niche business directories and get your site listed. It is certainly wroth the time to find more that fit your business niche. Beware though, smaller niche directories can have many of the problems mentioned. Check for spammy listings and possible abandonment by the developers. Google will see these are bad links and they should be avoided.
Start Submitting Your Website.
Before submitting to these directories, take a minute and see if your site is already listed. In many cases, it will be and you just need to claim your business and then update and add information. I have placed them in alphabetical order; you should really submit to them all or contact us to help you. Call 804-741-6776 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bing Places
- Google My Business
- Yahoo Local/Aabaco Small Business
If I have left on a directory you think is important, please mention it in the comments below. I’ll review any submissions and add them if warranted.
If you don’t have the time (it can take many hours) or this seems confusing, please let us help submit for you. Even if you do submit to these, you should invest the resources to find the niche directories and localized directories that would be a proper fit for your business website. Let us help increase your rankings and site traffic today. Like this list? Feel free to copy and paste with links to the directories listed. Credit would be appreciated.