How to Show Up in Online Business Directories

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Key Takeaways

  • You want to want to create maximum exposure for your website and brand throughout the year.

  • Appearing in online business directories will help more customers discover and interact with your business.

  • You’ll attract more website visitors and build greater brand engagement and revenue. 

 

When Craig Newmark moved to the San Francisco area in the 1990s to take a job as a computer programmer for a major investment firm, he had high hopes for an IT career  ... until he was laid off during an economic downturn. With a small severance package and suddenly plenty of time on his hands, he started a “just for fun” project and created a small online message board allowing fellow programmers to share information and job listings. 

Newmark’s new website coincided with the release of popular online browsers that made accessing the Internet – including Craig’s message board – easier and more efficient than ever. Years later, Newmark’s project is still going and growing strong. You know it today as Craigslist, a leading online forum for buying and selling local goods and services. And Craig knows that his little project has made him a billionaire

Like Craig, you may have a passion that has suddenly turned into a business and in the spirit of Craigslist, you may be looking for online directories to list and promote your business. While you may have little (or no) experience in this area, it’s not as complicated as you may think, and listing your website and brand with the right directories can help you attract more website visitors – and revenue. Here is a little direction to get you started. 

What Are Online Business Directories?

Let’s start with the basics. An online business directory is a listing of businesses that are categorized by niche, location and category. Securing a place in the right online directory will help your audience find you and can set you apart from the competition. These online directories provide vital information about your small business and give your audience everything they need to take the next step and click on your website. 

The Benefits of an Online Business Directory

Listing your company in an online business directory gives your brand instant credibility. By providing another way for people to find your business, a business directory listing will give you more opportunities to connect with customers, qualified leads and sales opportunities. 

What to Include in an Online Business Directory Listing

Although every online business directory is different and has its own unique guidelines, there are several key elements you should always include in your business listing, including:

Consistent Contact Information

Make sure your company name, profile, address, business hours and product and service information are always listed the same way in each listing. This will help with search engine optimization (SEO) opportunities that will link people to your business listing and website when they are looking online for solutions to their challenges. 

Your Website Link

While this may sound obvious, this is the way people will make direct contact with your business after finding your directory listing. Also, consider adding different tracking links at the end of your URL to help you determine how much traffic (website visits) you are receiving from each business directory listing. 

An About Us Section

Just as you have an About Us section on your website, it is important to have one within your business directory listing, too. Typically, this can be a condensed version of your website content. Keep in mind that in many cases, a business listing may be the first contact a customer or prospect has with your business. A good About Us section could be the prompt they need to take that next step and click on your website. 

Photos and Videos

One way to stand out from many of the other online business listings is to include photos and videos of your products and services. Over 70 percent of all consumers prefer learning about products or services via video versus any other form of communication. This will help to attract the interest of customers and prospects, create brand engagement and lead more to become buyers and repeat customers. 

Submitting Your Business Listing Information

Most major online business directories feature various business categories that represent multiple business segments. Your goal is to be in as many relevant online business directories as possible. Each directory has an online submission form you will need to complete in order to be included on their site. You will need to have all of your business information, plus any copy, photo and video sections you wish to include, ready to upload. 

While many of the top business directories are free, some require payment if you want to include a more detailed listing. Often, you can save money on your investment by committing to an automatically renewable annual plan. Also, some listing providers have multiple directories and allow you to appear on more than one site for a discounted rate. Once you have provided all of your information, you will be notified once your application is accepted. 

One great option to check out is Register.com's Business Directory with Review Management. It's the easiest way to update your business online and keep your information up to date across all of your preferred online directories. It also helps you manage your reputation with ease, so you can make sure your customers are happy with your products or services.

Online Directories to Focus On

To enhance your online presence and help customers to find your business, you should be listed in as many online business directories as possible. These are some of the largest and most important directories available and many of them are free. Next to each directory, you will see a “domain authority” percentage. This is an SEO score (from 0 to 100 percent) that predicts how likely a website page is to rank on search engine results pages. 

Directory                                                                                 Domain Authority

Facebook                                                                                            100

Apple Maps                                                                                        100

Google My Business                                                                         100

LinkedIn Company Directory                                                            98

Bing                                                                                                       94

Yelp                                                                                                       94

Better Business Bureau                                                                     93

Foursquare                                                                                          92

MapQuest                                                                                            92

Hubspot                                                                                               91

Direct Customers to Your Website and Brand

You’ve got a great website and brand and you’re ready to attract more customers and business. An online business directory is a great way to do that and using this information as a guide will give you a big head start on getting found.

 

Products mentioned in this blog post include:

Images: Shutterstock