Online directories can be extremely effective in boosting your local SEO. When used properly, they can showcase your business in the best possible light, boost your website's standing in Google and help potential customers find you with ease. Following is an overview of the most important directories for your consideration.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a simple yet highly effective way to showcase your business to potential customers. The site allows you to provide plenty of information to make it easy for people to find you, including your address, phone number and email address. You can also post all sorts of relevant information, including up to date printable coupons and special offers, video and/or image files, business hours, payment information, information regarding deliveries and customer reviews.
Yelp is a well-known directory that is used by millions of people. It allows users to post a business address and phone number, images, relevant information, reviews and more. You can even use the website to send public and private messages to customers if you so desire. However, you have to be particularly careful when managing reviews on this website. It is against Yelp's Terms of Service to actively solicit reviews from your customers; businesses caught doing so will have these reviews listed as untrustworthy.
Angie's List is a respectable business website with millions of members. It offers review collection tools and other helpful marketing tools, a messaging center that allows you to communicate easily with customers and top of the line services for those who need help creating a business profile.
Merchant Circle may not be as well-known as Google, Yelp or Angie's List but it is a great tool for small, local businesses in any area. Business listings are free; what is more, the site offers various free marketing tools as well as the ability to post business blogs.
Better Business Bureau
A good Better Business Bureau score can help potential customers see that you are a legitimate business with a high standard of customer satisfaction. The website will list your business name, address and both positive and negative reviews. However, unlike many other business directories, it also allows users to see if there is pending legal action against a company. Potential customers can also see at a glance how many negative reviews you have received, why the negative reviews were given and what actions you have taken to resolve customer complaints.
If you own a hotel, restaurant, bar or entertainment venue, then getting your website listed on TripAdvisor is a must. This website is the go-to spot for those who are looking for places to stay, eat and enjoy life in any given city. TripAdvisor reaches nearly 400 million people every single month and allows businesses to list the name and address of a place of business, services provided, photos, and customer reviews. Unlike other online directories, TripAdvisor account creation isn't free; there is a flat subscription rate for businesses that want to create an account. However, the great exposure, free promotional tools and in-depth analytics make the sign-up cost more than worth it.
Foursquare stands out from other online directories because it not only offers typical directory services but is also a buzzing social networking website. Foursquare has 50 million active users and makes it particularly easy for mobile phone users to find businesses in a local area. It is often used by people who are new to a particular area and are looking for a nearby business that can meet their needs. You can use this website to not only post business information but also advertise special deals that will help you stand out from local competitors in your immediate area.
What about Other Online Directories?
The directories listed above are by no means the only online directories you can pick from. Other great options include:
- Bing's Places for Business
- Yahoo Local Listing
- Yellow Pages
- White Pages
- City Search
- Best of the Web
While all these directories have much to offer, a business owner with limited time and resources will want to start by listing a business on the largest, most important directories. It is better to have top quality, complete listings on large directories than it is to create haphazard listings on a multitude of online directories.
If this list of directories seems daunting and you don't have time to create top quality listings and handle other important aspects of your business, consider getting in touch with us at your convenience. Brandgy offers a plethora of local SEO services that will enable you to reach your target audience quickly and effectively both now and in the future.