5 Simple Steps to Harnessing the Power of Online Business Directories


Customers looking for local businesses increasingly turn to online business directories for information. Local customers are tossing out their old, brittle print directories to use their computers and smartphone to find the best local business in town that meets their needs. Check out to know more.

According to a survey conducted in the United Kingdom, approximately 20 million local customers use online business directories monthly to search for local products, services, or businesses. Local consumer behavior is evolving. Print directories are no longer adequate for local consumers; they are shifting to online business directories for faster, better, and more detailed search results. Compared to more detailed local search engine marketing tools like local business directories, the limited information on a yellow page is quickly becoming obsolete. These directories can include a description of your business, its opening hours, price listings, a map of its location, and even your office or store photo.

These extra details can be added to your business directory listing in online business directories, including the hundreds of free business directories. Local businesses that take advantage of this opportunity are inviting new customers.

There are hundreds of paid and free online business directories available. But how do you know which ones are the best, and what is the key to perfecting your listing to stand out from your competitors without spending money?

5 Simple Steps for Improving Your Online Business Directory Listing

1. Select the most popular and relevant business directories.

The most popular online directories are those with the most online visitors or those that are industry-specific. However, a word of caution: not all niche or free manual listings are suitable; some have a small to non-existent user base. A quick Google search will tell you which are worth your time and which ones you should avoid at all costs. Google your “business type” plus “your location”: “accountant in Leeds,” for example. The local business directories on the first three search results pages should be prioritized. (See the online business directory comparison chart to see which guides have the most audiences: top UK online business directories comparison.)

2. Include your company in all directories.

Add or claim your business to all of them from the list you created in step one. Many local business directories obtain their listing data from a provider, so don’t be surprised if your company appears on some of them. It is critical for future success to list the correct name of your company, address, and phone number—review your company’s existing list to ensure the information is accurate.

Check your inbox for a confirmation email from each directory; follow the instructions in the confirmation email to complete your registration.

3. Include as much information as possible in your local business directory listing.

The beauty of online business directory listings is that you can include more information than just your company’s name, address, and phone number. You can have a business description, a clickable website URL, facilities, a list of services, logos, opening hours, pictures, etc. Make full use of this opportunity to personalize your listing to make it more relatable to your customers. Examine the information you entered to ensure it is 100% correct and accurate for each local directory.

4. Create or make use of a local Special Offer Voucher

Nothing beats offering vouchers or coupons on your local business directory listing for converting browsers into actual buyers. Local consumers pay attention to the words “free” or “special offer”; including them in your business listing will make it stand out from the competition. Of course, you don’t have to give your customers the moon and the stars; any offer is better than nothing.

Use different voucher codes on each directory to track which guides bring you the most walk-in visitors.

5. Participate in the communities on these directories.

Online directories are dynamic websites with a thriving, active user base. These users or local customers are actively rating and reviewing the local businesses listed in the directory, and their ratings and reviews are visible to other directory users. 70% of consumers trust online business reviews; business directories know this, so they prioritize local businesses with positive reviews in search results. You can use this as yet another small business marketing strategy. To rank your business listing, do one of the following:

Ask your existing, loyal customers to go online and leave a positive review about your business; participate in directories’ communities and encourage them to visit and test your business; or organize an ‘event’ at your office, shop, or store just for them.
However, never try to ‘bribe’ people to review your business, as this can backfire and generate a slew of negative comments, which you do not want.

Online business directories provide excellent opportunities for local businesses to gain new customers. However, updating and managing your business listings across multiple online directories takes a long time.

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