Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.
Local directories are important for three reasons:
- They routinely appear in search results for local information;
- A local search is often the last stop before a consumer takes action;
- Without extensive SEO, your business stands a greater chance of being found by search engines via a directory than through your website.
Here is a list of twenty-five of the top directories — arranged alphabetically — where you can claim your listing. Most are free. In some cases, directories offer both free and premium listing services.
Even though Bing owns less than ten percent of the search market, it is still used by millions of people. Bing Places for Business offers listing options for single and multiple-location businesses, as well as agencies that want to claim listings on behalf of their clients.
A service of American City Business Journals, a business news site, the BizJournals business directory offers free and premium listing options. Frequented by business executives, the site is particularly useful for business-to-business companies.
Citysearch partners with Infogroup, a data aggregator, for local business information. It offers an express update service that allows businesses to add or update listing data. However, typically, it takes one to two months for info to appear.
Powered by business listing service Dex Media, businesses can claim their listing for free by calling 1-877-433-9249. Paid promotional opportunities are also available.
One of the older services on the list, Discover Our Town provides comprehensive city guides that include travel information, area attractions, and restaurant listings for cities and towns across the United States.
Started as a directory for lawyers, plumbers, roofer, electricians, and exterminators, eLocal now includes all major consumer-oriented business categories. Businesses can list for free, and advertising is available.
Companies can claim a listing by entering their phone number. EZlocal then searches its database to find the entry, should it exist. Unlisted businesses can create a new listing by completing a simple three-step process.
Formerly a site where customers could “check-in” to local businesses, Foursquare changed its model to resemble that of customer rating and reviews sites like Yelp. Businesses can add or update listing information via the business portal. Both free and premium services are available.
If there is just one site where you claim your listing, it should be Google My Business (GMB). With a search market share exceeding sixty-five percent, if your business can’t be found on Google, in the minds of many consumers, it just does not exist.
Read the article “Google My Business: What You Need to Know” to learn how to claim your GMB listing.
10. Judy’s Book
Most likely, you’ve heard of Angie’s List. Allow me to introduce you to Judy’s Book, a rating and review site that lets consumers add new business listings when they write a review. Companies that wish to list on the site must pay a monthly fee, which starts at $29.99 ($19.92 per month if paid annually).
Similar to Angie’s List, Kudzu lets consumers find service providers in their local area. Basic profiles contain contact information, the website address, and areas of service or specialties. Listings are free; advertising options are available as well.
Local.com provides free listings for businesses across popular categories, including auto repair, food and dining, healthcare, professional services, and shopping services. In addition to business listings, the site includes local community events and activities. Local.com also partners with Yext, a fee-based directory listing service, offering premium plans that enable businesses to add or claim listings on other directories as well.
13. Magic Yellow
Fashioning itself as a type of “Yellow Pages,” Magic Yellow helps people find local business information, including user reviews, ratings, and maps. The site has more than 18 million businesses listed in its directory. Businesses can add or claim their listing at no cost.
One of the largest online resources dedicated to small business, Manta has a database consisting of individual companies, industry segments, and geographic-specific listings. The site also offers educational resources and promotional opportunities for small businesses.
Mapquest uses Yext for business information. However, companies that do not wish to pay for premium listings can contact the business support team to get a basic listing displayed on the site.
16. Merchant Circle
Merchant Circle bills itself as the largest online network of local business owners in the nation. It helps small businesses connect with other local businesses and reach local customers with free marketing tools and social media features.
Mojopages utilizes social data to help consumers find local businesses and guides users to those that are trending on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Businesses can claim an existing listing, but the ability to add new listings is still being implemented.
18. My Huckleberry
Primarily intended for use by service businesses, My Huckleberry offers local business listings and a recommendation engine that lets consumers ask others for suggestions and advice. Companies that list on the site can include their address, phone, website link, and photos.
Pushlocal is a local directory that allows businesses to send real-time information such as deals, specials, and events to subscribers’ mobile devices. Businesses pay a monthly fee to use the service.
Also powered by Dex Media, Superpages helps consumers find local business information, such as driving directions, hours of operation, website addresses, and customer reviews.
Unlike the other directories on this list, twibs is designed to help users find businesses that have a presence on Twitter.
Owned by marketing company Hibu, Yellowbook offers both free and premium services. Businesses already in the directory can claim their listing, which gives them the ability to update information. Businesses must contact Hibu to add their listing, however.
To claim a listing, businesses enter their phone number, which Yellowbot searches to find whether or not it resides in the database. Once found, Yellowbot offers the business either a free basic listing or a premium listing that, for $49 per month, provides an enhanced listing, free hosted website, and online reputation management.
We typically associate Yellow Pages with the traditional business phone book, but it is also an online directory where companies can claim their listing free of charge, update business information, and promote the business through the use of coupons. Advertising is also available.
Whitepages is a directory where people can search for information about individuals and businesses. Whitepages also uses Yext for business information but allows companies to add or update their listing for free through Express Update, the same service utilized by CitySearch.