The Local Business Directory List
One of the best ways to give your local SEO a boost is by claiming and optimizing your local business directory listings and the online business directories that are important to your industry. This will help to increase your visibility in Google AND on the local business directory sites your customers are using to find you while still providing potential customers with valuable information about your business. Since Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most popular online business directory, below is a step-by-step process for claiming and optimizing your Google Business listing. (Skip to the actual list below Step 5 if you’ve already taken care of your Google Business listing)
Step 1: Claim Your Business Page
To claim your Google listing, you need to navigate to google.com/business and login with a Google account (Gmail, G+, etc.). Next, you search for your business by name and address. Once you have found your business you will need to go through a verification process to ensure you are the right person to manage the page.
Step 2: Ensure Consistency of Name, Address, and Phone
Your business’ name, address, and phone number is oftentimes the most important piece of information customers will be looking for on your online business directory listings. Providing customers with old or inaccurate contact information will only lead to frustration, but that’s not the only reason you should make sure your name, address, and phone number is consistent across all listings. It’s also important because it is one of the most important factors contributing to your business’ local search ranking according to Moz.
Step 3: Upload High-Res Photos
Uploading high-res photos of your business and employees will tell a visual story about what customers can expect when they stop by your location. There are a number of different types of photos you can upload to your GMB profile, including a preferred photo, profile pic, logo, cover photo, as well as additional photos as you see fit. These pictures will do more than just make your listing look good. They also help drive clicks. In fact, profiles with pictures see 35% more click-throughs than businesses that don’t.
Step 4: Keep Hours of Operation Up-to-date
One other valuable piece of information customers look for on your directory is your hours of operations. When doing so, you should be sure to include special holiday hours or any changes that are made to your hours over time. Doing so will avoid any potential frustration or confusion that may occur if your hours are inaccurate.
Step 5: Collect and Manage Online Reviews
Online reviews also factor in heavily to where your business ranks in local search, but it’s not just enough to have collected a large number of online reviews. You also need to respond to and interact with your online reviews. Doing so will not only help give your local SEO a boost, but it will also help build trust and loyalty with customers and potential customers alike.
Which local business directories are best?
Google is just one of the many local business directory options available to you. It can be hard to know which ones are best. Below we highlight the sites that we feel will drive the most value. When deciding which listings are best for you, it’s important to do your due diligence and identify where your customers and potential customers are going to conduct research.
Angie’s List: More than 3 million households trust and use Angie’s List’s 10 million local business directory and reviews to find the best local service providers like roofers, plumbers, handymen, mechanics, doctors, dentists, and more.
Better Business Bureau: For more than 100 years the Better Business Bureau has helped millions of consumers find businesses, brands, charities they can trust. Their local business directory hosts reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses.
Bing: Bing Places for Business is a free local business directory that enables businesses to add their listings to Bing. Doing so will improve local search ranking, provide customers with correct and accurate information about their business, and gives businesses better control over their online reputation.
Cars.com: Cars.com is a leading online destination that helps car shoppers and owners navigate every turn of car ownership. A pioneer in automotive classifieds, the company has evolved into one of the largest digital automotive platforms, connecting consumers with local dealers across the country anytime, anywhere. It provides car buyers with a comprehensive set of research tools and the largest database of consumer reviews in the industry.
CitySearch: CitySearch is an local business directory guide to a city’s dining, entertainment, retail, travel, and professional services. Different than many online review sites, CitySearch uses a thumbs up/thumbs down method of rating businesses.
ConsumerAffairs: ConsumerAffairs is a consumer advocacy and news website that provides consumers with relevant information about businesses to improve their decision-making process. The site aggregates reviews for businesses across a wide range of industries including home services businesses like alarm and security, pest control, moving companies, solar, and much more.
DealerRater: DealerRater is an online review site focused on auto dealers. The site includes more than 2 million reviews and its content is exposed to 14 million users on a monthly basis.
Dex Media: Dex Media provides marketing solutions to local businesses to help them grow and be successful. They also operate a number of different services, including Superpages.com, which is highlighted below.
Edmunds: Similar to Cars.com, Edmunds.com offers consumers access to vehicle listings across the United States. The site also includes vehicle reviews, tips for purchasing a new car, and dealer reviews.
More Local Business Directory Sites
Facebook: In addition to being the world’s largest social network, Facebook also provides 40 million small businesses a place to interact with customers and a place for customers to post and read reviews.
Google My Business: Google My Business is a free tool provided to business to manage their online presence across Google, including Google Search and Google Maps. Claiming your location gives you control over how information about your business is presented and enables you to interact with your customers via online reviews.
HealthGrades: HealthGrades has aggregated more than 3 million reviews of healthcare providers, including doctors, dentists, hospitals and more. The site provides patients with the information they need to make informed decisions and allows physicians to provide an accurate representation of their practice online.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn Company Pages enable businesses to share valuable content and engage with followers, employees, and potential employees. In addition, businesses can create sponsored content to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and extend the reach of your company’s updates.
Local.com: Local.com is a local-search engine with a database of over 16 million business listings encompassing every zip code across the United States. Local.com gives searchers access to useful information like hours of operation, reviews, services offered, and much more.
MerchantCircle: MerchantCircle is a network that helps connect small business owners with other local businesses in their community and offers free marketing tools and social media functionality to help them better reach local customers. They help consumers by connecting them with online reviews, testimonials, and tools that let them talk directly with businesses.
Solar Reviews: Solar Reviews is an online review site that connects consumers with reviews and contact information of solar installers in their area.
Superpages.com: Superpages.com is a top online resource for finding information and insights on businesses and retailers. The services helps consumers find information about local businesses ranging from driving directions, hours of operations, and customer reviews.
Whitepages: Whitepages is the leading source for caller identification and phone spam detection in North America. With a database of more than 600 million mobile and landline phone numbers in the US, and over 1.5 billion unique numbers in its global database, Whitepages leverages its extensive data insights to identify unknown calls and texts and to monitor phone-based threats for consumers and businesses.
Yellowbook: Yellowbook helps consumers find the latest business listings, reviews, phone numbers, addresses, maps, directions, and more of local businesses.
Yelp: Yelp helps connect people to local businesses like dentists, hair stylists, mechanics, restaurants, and much more. To date, Yelpers have written 115 million reviews.
Yext: Yext enables companies of all sizes to manage location data across their websites, mobile apps, internal systems, and the industry’s largest ecosystem of maps, apps, social networks, directories, and search engines including Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo.
YP.com: Yellow Pages has been connecting local businesses with consumers in the community for more than 100 years. The site reaches 70 million consumers on a monthly basis and provides them access to a business’ name, address, and phone number along with relevant information like online reviews.
Zillow: Zillow is more than just a website that helps individuals find properties that are for sale or rent in their area. It also helps connect home buyers and home sellers with local real estate agents to help walk them through the home buying process.
As with any local business listing, the key is getting your happy customers to recommend you with reviews. Podium’s industry-leading review software makes it easy to interact with customers for reviews, customer insights and business growth. Call or text 1-833-276-3486 to find out how you can put Podium to work for you.