10 Business Directories to Increase Your Website Traffic
April 26, 2021
Table of Contents
It is not easy to promote a local business online. Entrepreneurs and SMEs have different challenges to overcome.
An easy way to improve your website traffic is to submit your business to a business directory. Yet, which business directory is best for your business? What are the important details?
At the end of this article you will know:
- why citations and backlinks are important for your business
- how they help improve you website traffic
- which business directories to submit
- which details to submit
What is a business directory?
A business directory is an online or printed listing of businesses within particular niche-based categories. They can be categorized not only by niche but also by size, location, or activity. Business directories are called web directories as well.
One way local businesses can get found online is by being on business directories such as online Yellow pages.
Many business directories are based on the internet by today’s standards and moved away from the physical format. They have a native search function that allows the user to search business by Zip Code, country, state, local area, or city.
Business directories guide users and help them in their search for companies, services, or products in an area in a more precise way.
Often a website or media listing (or business listing sites) of information, business directories list all businesses within a group.
They are listed by the following criteria: business type, locality, activity, volume, and size. It is the online version of the yellow page as mentioned above. Details on Business directories may sometimes vary from one to another.
Examples of information mentioned can be business name, addresses, telephone numbers, location, or products the business provides.
But also the number of employees, the served region, alphabetically by industry and any professional association.
Why do you need it?
Why should you submit your business? A business directory helps any business. Here are some key things that business directories will help your business with.
- It helps amplify online presence. A business directory is a good way to boost your only presence aside from social media, Google, etc;
- It can help improve local visibility. Potential clients who are located nearby will have a better time finding you;
- It helps boost the likelihood of you being found on or offline. Especially for local businesses (more on that later);
- It can improve business reputation. Thanks to a rating system that some directories offer the reputation of your business will go up;
- It helps with brand awareness;
- It can boost your SEO. SEO means Search engine optimization. When you are searched on a search engine such as Google, you will be found more easily on the search results;
- You can rank higher on Google. More likely to figure on the higher pages of Google;
- It is profitable. There is a wide variety of free business listings. Those that are not, are often very cost-effective for what you get;
- Marketing grows rapidly;
- It has good return on investment;
- It is a low maintenance strategy. A business directory will help you with updates, maintenance, etc. on their directory;
- It’s used by professionals. A lot of businesses rely on business directories and figure on them;
- It is affordable publicity;
- It can increase website traffic;
- Directory websites are versatile.
Let’s have a more in-depth look at the benefits of high-quality directory listings. You will find also some consequences that local businesses can face if they ignore a business directory for their online presence.
Increasing your visibility and authority comes hand in hand when figuring on a business directory. High-authority listings give you 2 big reasons to be on them:
- More likely to figure in search results, which in turn will improve the quality and quantity of your web traffic.
- The credibility of your business will be a lot higher. It means a lot more for potential customers, consumers and search engines alike (so your target audience will visit this site).
Making the best out of a business directory includes major benefits. The most obvious one is that search engines tend to give priority to business directories with:
- Detailed business listings
- The ones that have high standards
- The ones that are well organized in categories.
Search engines are notoriously picky and prefer certainty. As such, businesses that appear in directories get to be trusted. They also figure higher on rankings which attracts more local customers to their business website.
Search engines have a preference for companies that they know. Being listed on relevant or niche directories will allow them to learn more about your business.
More than that, it increases the odds of your business appearing in their search results. Choose your directory wisely because only the most specific listings are also more likely to help you target the right audience.
Cons of bad listings or no listings
Directories, as mentioned, will help your business’ online presence. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that not submitting to a popular local and niche directory makes it hard for your business to be found online.
If you write on Google “plumber London”, you will not directly find plumbers websites, but lists of business directories. You will find the names of the plumbers in London.
Search engines like Google cannot understand your business if they don’t find you on reliable directories.
If they cannot find you through mentions, it becomes more difficult for the search engines to recommend you to potential consumers. The reason for that is that your business will not turn up in search results.
What is worse than not being on listings is having incomplete or outdated information on the listings you figure.
Both customers and search engines use business directories to get information about a business. That can be business hours, phone number, address, website, opportunities, etc.
If the information they find about your business is incomplete potential customers will give up visiting your website. Limited information will thus result in reduced visibility on search results and is just overall bad for the business.
It is also important to have the same information on every business directory you submit to.
How bad data can damage your brand
The worst part of bad data is that it can damage your brand. It Is also confusing for search engines and potential customers.
Inconsistent logo, the website link and address to name a few can have all kinds of negative consequences on your business.
Needless to say, that wrong, outdated or incomplete data can have heavy consequences for your business. Reduced credibility and visibility are among the core problems.
Search engines that are uncertain about a business, feel less confident in showing it to potential customers in search results.
Do not let bad data spread. A mistake would be to let outdated, incomplete and/or wrong data on business directories and wait until it gets spread.
Thus, you should avoid incorrect NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) from the start, update your information regularly and do not let wrong it unattended.
Who needs a business directory?
Why not turn to online business directories as your marketing strategy? Especially for small businesses and business owners, it can be just the right tool you need to boost your online presence and reach. This is due to the fact that their purpose is solely online.
Opportunities are made for those who create them and know how to make use of them. Business directories are a great place to start for many reasons.
In addition to that, since more people are susceptible to finding your business, this will result in indirect profits. For SMEs, online businesses and entrepreneurs, it is important to have this kind of presence.
Business directories also generate reviews, increase your engagement rates on social media, etc. This will only help when developing your business and making profits.
Do not limit business directories to just lead generators for companies and customers. Their true potential can be reached if used for marketing and as a formidable tool for expanding your business.
These websites will only benefit you in defining your niche, expanding your customer base and making you generate more income.
What information should I put?
The most relevant business details you have to insert are:
- Business name
- Website address URL
- Physical address
- Phone number
- Images of location and products
These are all important elements. And, even more importantly, you are in direct control of them. In this way, you can be consistent with your brand image.
Advantages of local business directories
Business directories boost your business’s online presence. Especially for local businesses, which can struggle to find customers.
Also, when you are part of a directory, you can easily connect with businesses that are also part of it. Which can give you opportunities you would not have had access to otherwise.
Business directories are a good way for local businesses to be found easily.
Boost Online Presence
A lot of directories nowadays draw from other, bigger directories to make up their own list.
This is only beneficial to your business if you update your NAP information regularly. Or else this will prove bothersome and have a negative influence on your online presence.
Other than that, this phenomenon helps you figure in more business directories. For local businesses, this is ideal. Consider that local directories will have more impact nowadays, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local Vs Non-local directories
You should implement the benefit of local SEO. It allows avoiding competing for space in the search engine results with larger businesses on the other parts of the country.
Local SEO can capture foreign consumers because of mobile searches. Furthermore, local consumers that are satisfied with your product or service are more likely to return and transform into lifelong customers.
Engagement & reputation
Local business directories carry the role of engaging with future customers. Develop a channel where they can engage easily with your business or reach your website.
Online directories are most of the time regarded as trusted sources for customers to find businesses on, like Google My Business.
As an SME and entrepreneur, one of your main goals should be to build trust and reputation. The main concept behind this is that online directory sites provide an already established network.
Every time your business is seen, it improves the awareness of your brand in the customer’s eyes. It increases your opportunities for having a business from them.
Note that this is relevant for every business but especially for SMEs, online businesses and entrepreneurs starting a business. Brand awareness will make sure more and more customers are attracted to your business.
Local SEO and search engines
Local business directories are very useful and good reasons to utilize them are because they include another link to your website. They also will aid you to boost your ranks on the search engine pages.
Hand in hand with this, local directories help you boost search engine optimization. When people know how to find you, it helps them search for similar businesses to yours and it also helps SEO.
High-quality links from directories to your website are heavily favoured by search engines, and social media links likewise. This helps improve SEO rankings.
Figuring on a directory is basically free business advertising. The value added by a business directory is not something to pass out to SMEs and entrepreneurs.
It is effective. Many online business directory sites for which listing your local business are free and only cost effort and maintenance.
List of business directories that still have value today
Here are a couple of popular directories (some business listing sites) that are a great place to start when tackling directories. They can be free business directories or they can have a fee. However, in this list, there are not included all the UK small business directory.
Google My Business
If talking about business directories, we have to talk about Google My Business. Google My Business has a wide range since it is seen as the most popular search engine in the world.
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations. For these reasons, you should create your business profile.
It helps to manage businesses’ online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. Their goal is to help customers find your business. As an added value, Google My business tells them your story:
- You can verify your business
- Let million people leave reviews on your My Business page
Bing places, much as Google my business, is a free Bing service. It allows businesses to add their listings to Bing. Where Bing Places shines is for local, small and chain businesses. It shows the business listing in local search results, making it more visible to potential customers.
Blogarama is quite different from the others. This platform claims to be the “oldest blog directory”.
So why is it part of the list? Aside from blogs, Blogarama has been offering a business listing service. There are three plans and the business plan is around 10 euros a month.
Kompass is an online business directory that provides free information, updated on a regular basis. As a straightforward directory, they make sure the NAP details of your business are there and visible.
Details of your products and services are also part of the information they want to provide. Kompass’ listing, free of charge and regularly updated, will help your business generate great results for your various marketing operations.
Open corporates is the largest open database of companies in the world. Open corporates makes high-quality, official company data available to all. They really rely on trust as they say that their data can be accessed, analysed and examined when it’s needed.
Yahoo is the third most popular search engine and much like Google and Bing, it offers a listing service.
Yell offers marketing programs for businesses. It also has a wide range of businesses listed, especially UK businesses. In fact, it is included in the UK business list of UK business directories. Publishing yellow pages since 1966, Yell was originally a part of the General Post Office.
As of April 2021, it has been operating in the online marketing space creating over 110,000 websites. It has also been managing around 90,000 PPC campaigns for customers in the United Kingdom.
AboutUs first started as a business domain directory, it now allows all sorts of different websites to be listed on it. This doesn’t undermine its usefulness as a business directory.
Best of the web (BOTW) is claimed to be the “Internet’s oldest business directory”. It has been around since 1994 as a trusted directory for many businesses over years.
Yelp a very popular local business directory. It is good for SMEs and entrepreneurs alike. Yelp is very useful if you want your business to be found by potential customers.
CONNECTS: business and Chamber directory
Where does our business platform CONNECTS fall into all of this? In this article, we uncovered what a business directory is. CONNECTS is not only a business directory but also a Chamber directory.
For Chambers of Commerce, Chamber Directories follow the same base concept. They have an online or printed listing of Chambers of Commerce within particular niche-based categories. The major difference is that they are specifically for Chambers of Commerce.
Most commonly, they are separate but sometimes you can find websites that serve both as Chamber and Business Directories. Chamber or Business directory websites can include features like:
- Intercommunication between the participating businesses and Chambers
- Reviews for the customers to add, comments, and sometimes even feedback
CONNECTS offers these services as well as trusted opportunities. You can also make communities where you can choose who has access to it, and more.
Both businesses and Chamber can join our platform.
You can try our free trial for new members.
Are you a member of a participating Chamber? Join our Business Development Platform for free.