Showing up in search results is not automatic when you start your business. There are a few steps you need to take to make sure your business is added to online directories so consumers can find you.
Consumers can choose from over 70 different online directories worldwide to look for businesses and services. Claiming your free online listings in such directories is important for your visibility and sales.
However, for most small businesses, adding your business to 70 online directories seems unmanageable. There are solutions for this if you have it in your budget by hiring a company to do it for you (two are listed below). But, if that is not in your plan or budget, you can pick from a few of the biggest players and add your business yourself – for FREE.
Based on consumer search behavior In the United States, here are the top 6 online directories we recommend you list your business in.
#1 Google My Business
Google is by far the most used search engine in the world with over 3 billion searches made every day. If there is only going to be one place you claim your business listing, it should be in Google My Business.
When your business is verified by Google after a few steps, it will appear on Google Maps and as a search result in people’s Google searches.
Being findable on Google also allows people to leave your business a review, which is important for your word of mouth marketing. You can also create unique offers or discounts to promote that will come up with your business in search results.
Get started with your listing here.
#2 Bing Places
This online directory is in the top 5 of most used directories worldwide. While it is far behind Google, it still gets over 100 million search inquiries each day.
When you claim your listing on Bing Places, it is recommended you do it after you have claimed your Google My Business listing. This is because you can import your verified Google My Business information into Bing Places, saving you the time of entering it again.
Within Bing Places, you can also create unique offers and posts, much like with Google My Business. This is an added bonus to create calls to action for users that see your business in their search results.
To claim your listing, click here.
Yelp is a common choice among consumers who are looking to find a type of business or service, and want to hear what consumers have to say about them.
This online directory is a good option to list your business as well as an excellent place to get reviews. When you claim your free Yelp listing, your business will be findable by the keywords you choose to describe it, and allow people see photos of your products or business.
Click here to claim your listing.
If your business is in food, recreation, or hospitality it is a smart move to claim your business listing in TripAdvisor.
This platform is commonly used by people who are planning their vacations and outings and want to know what is in the area they will visit. TripAdvisor also has robust capabilities for consumers to post pictures and videos of their experiences, giving your business free promo from people who have interacted with you.
To add your business, click here.
Claiming your business on Yahoo! is a little confusing. They have partnered with a company called Yext to manage this process.
When you request to claim your business, once approved, you will have a basic listing for people to find you in your local area. Yext will try to convert you into a paying subscriber to get added benefits, much like what you get from Google My Business or Bing Places for free, and try to up-sell managing all your listings worldwide. Nonetheless, having your free listing won’t hurt, just make sure that’s what you are signing up for.
Click here to claim your local basic listing.
#6 Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages is the original business directory, around for over 50 years. While it is no longer a printed publication, it is still alive online.
Claiming your listing in Yellow Pages is much like the process with Yahoo!. Yellow Pages has teamed up with a company called Thyrv who also try to convert you into a subscriber who pays for them to manage listings on search engines worldwide. However, the basic listing you can claim will allow your business to be findable in local searches, so it is worth having.
To get started with your listing, click here.
To learn the Top 7 social media sites of 2019, click here.