One of the first marketing steps you should take, particularly if your business has a physical location, is to submit it to business directories. These directories not only help people find your business, but they provide a valuable collection of backlinks to your site that will help with search engine placement.
When submitting to these directories, make sure you fill out as much of the business profile as you can. You never know what people will be specifically searching for, so being thorough will ensure that your traffic is as robust as possible. You are also going to want to keep your information consistent directory to directory; a text file with all your business information that you can just copy/paste from is helpful here. And keep an eye on your business listing, particularly if the directory allows customers to post reviews. Engaging with past or potential customers here, and in all instances, should be a top priority.
The following list of almost five dozen directories is broken down into what I feel are the top 10 you should submit to RIGHT NOW, and the rest, arranged alphabetically, that you can submit to when you get the chance. The overwhelming majority of them are pretty general in nature (i.e. welcoming businesses from numerous categories), and free to submit your business to. I did include one notable subscription service, and only because I think it is worth the price, but that decision is up to you.
That said, I generally don’t recommend paying for these, although they will try very hard to get you to shell out money for a Premium account with added perks, features, and benefits (some of which are, admittedly, pretty nice). You’ll probably also save yourself a considerable headache by setting up a specific email address to give them, so you can automatically redirect directory email to a special folder. Because they will email you. Death, taxes, and directories trying to get you to upgrade, man.
The Top 10
OK, on with the list. First, the top 10. Focus on getting your business listed with these ASAP.
The heavy-weight for personal interaction, this is also a must for your business listings.
Google My Business
Manage your Google business listing.
Add and update your business listing on Bing.
Add or update your business info that shows up in Apple Maps.
LinkedIn Company Directory
Make a LinkedIn company page to push your brand.
Find and claim your business page to keep track of reviews.
Free business registration.
Claim your listing so you can control it.
Over a million business use Foursquare. Claim your business by signing up.
Pricing starts under $10/month. Get a free listings report.
Other Important Business Directories
And the rest of the list. You should really submit to as many of these as you can as well, but you can be a bit more leisurely about it.
Features free business listings worldwide.
Register your service for free.
Free US-based business directory.
Short for Best of The Web, this site offers free Jumpstart listings, as well as Premium plans.
Get free enhanced business pages for companies from countries around the world.
Call Up Contact
Free listings for businesses in the US, Canada, South Africa, and other countries.
Free to join, with over 15 million visitors a year.
US-based, featuring 32,000 cities.
For businesses across the United States.
A mapping site that can send traffic to your business website.
Free membership nets you a directory listing, website, email, and more.
US businesses can take advantage of their free basic listings.
Features over 15 million business listings across the US.
Free business listings available for all 50 US states that include offers, photos, social links, and more.
Free business listings that also include a free social media management tool.
Free listings for businesses and services in the United States.
Centered around popular cities within the US.
Get a free business profile listing at this home improvement directory.
Features 120 million businesses in 38 countries.
Features listings and free publishing channels for your business.
Listings for the US, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand.
Claim your free business listing.
Features feedback on millions of businesses from homeowners who have used their services.
Business listings and more from 211 countries.
Lists business and services, including reviews, across the US.
Features a variety of online tools and services.
Has over 100 million consumer visits per year.
Free business listings covering over two dozen countries.
Free United States business directory listings.
Free listings and reviews for the US, Canada, and the UK.
US business directory, although they also run sites for other countries such as Brazil, Germany, and Sweden.
Manages over 9300 city business networks around the world.
Features 1.4 million companies across the US.
Free business listings.
Provides listings and estimates for local businesses.
Offers free basic business listings from countries around the world.
Offers a variety of online tools.
Bills itself as the “oldest and largest independent website directory on the planet.”
Focus here is on travel-related services, accommodations, shops, etc.
An advertising and business networking platform that connects businesses and consumers. It also incorporates a social network for members.
Register to add your business listing.
Free listings. Site has almost 60 million visitors per month.
Helps local businesses around the world present themselves.
These will get you started. Do you have a business directory that is working well for you? Share your favorite directory in the comments!