The giant yellow printed phone book’s heyday may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean business listings are a thing of the past. Today, it’s important to have your business listed with various online directories and websites.
While it’s still a way browsers may come across your organization, these listings also serve other purposes on the web. They add an air of legitimacy to your business, including some social proof when consumers find you on sites that publish user ratings or reviews. Looking legit is good, since people tend to be a little skeptical when searching the internet and about brands they don’t know and trust.
Also, consistent listings help your site’s SEO, especially when it comes to appearing in local and mobile search results on Google. We have to emphasize the “consistent” part; Google is more confident about providing information about your business if it finds the same information listed in multiple places. If you’re curious, we wrote more about this topic here.
Here are the leading online directories and websites where your business should be listed. Most are free (at least for the most basic listing type) or cheap to list with.
3 Essential Search Engine Business Listings
When you’re setting up listings for your brand, start with these business directories operated by the three largest search engines. These listings better position you to be found by searchers and have various other benefits, including hooking your company into their local search results and their mapping services.
- Google My Business – Create your listing here.
- Bing Places for Business – Go here to get your listing set up.
- Yahoo! Localworks – Start here to list with this search engine.
3 Big User Review Sites
Countless consumers visit these three sites to find information and reviews about businesses they’re considering using.
- Yelp – Every business should have a page on Yelp. It’s a great publicity and customer relations management tool. Head here after the three search engine pages.
- Angie’s List – This site is mainly dedicated to service industries. If you fit one of its many categories, you should be on Angie’s List. Go to the site’s Business Center here.
- Merchant Circle – Though less trafficked than Yelp, this general review site is a recommended place to be listed if you’re a local business. Get set up here.
It’s quick and easy to set up your business listing on all these sites. Each has its own features and marketing tools, some pricier than others. If you have the budget, you might try out some paid options for highlighting or advertising your brand on a few. You should be able to tell relatively quickly if it’s providing any ROI. If it’s not working out, try other ones; different types of businesses tend to have better results on different directory sites. Explore each one a little and pay attention to what sort of businesses are advertising on them.
- Mapquest – Go here.
- Yellow Pages – Start here.
- White Pages – Click here.
- Super Pages and Dex Knows – Head here.
- Foursquare – Visit here.
- Local – Begin here.
- Yellowbook – Set up here.
- Yellowbot – Go here.
- Citysearch – Start here.
- Manta – Click here.
- The Business Journals – Head here.
- Hot Frog – Visit here.