The Best Business Directories For Small Businesses
Business directories are great for helping your business get seen online and therefore drive potential customers to your site. But they’re not just a traffic driver, they also serve as a key aspect of your SEO strategy.
Search engine optimisation or SEO is a key aspect of marketing that contributes to your sales revenue, business reputation, and website traffic – important metrics, right? Well, we definitely think so!
To improve your search ranking on Google, it’s important to build a collection of high-quality links that will give feedback to your website, so you receive relevant customers and Google recognises your website as valuable. Backlinks are the sort of links you want to be building. They are simply links from other websites that feed back to yours – it’s that simple. But these backlinks can’t be any old website that displays your website URL, they have to be trusted, and have a strong reputation in order to show the quality of your site.
Business directories are one way to start building your backlinks, you don’t need to pitch or spend time researching and writing, you simply have to present your business or sign up with your company information and you’ll be visible.
In this post, we’re going to walk through:
- Why business listings are so important for getting found online
- The best directory listings for your business
- Quick tips for setting up your profile on a business directory
What Is A Business Directory?
Directories are like virtual Yellow Pages for businesses. They’re designed to provide users seeking products and services with exactly what they’re looking for so they can choose the best provider for them.
Directory listings vary, but they generally contain the following information about a business:
- Phone number
- Customer reviews
- Special amenities
- Booking/reservation options
Sometimes a small fee may be required to list your business in a directory, but the leads that you will receive as a result will be worth it.
Google My Business
You’ll be glad to hear that Google My Business is a free business directory used by almost every business that’s got an online presence.
It’s an extremely useful tool that displays your business information so customers that search for your business can take the appropriate action to fulfil their needs. Essentially all of your contact details can be displayed alongside your office location and opening hours. You can regulate the amount of information you share, but the more, the better – at least in the eyes of Google.
Not only does Google My Business display all your information as part of your business listing, but all of its data is fed back to you as analytics so you know how many clicks, contacts, and impressions you’ve received, etc.
Here are some common informational points shown on a Google My Business profile:
- Opening hours
- Phone number
- Question & answers
- Social media links
It couldn’t be easier to set up your Google My Business account, all you need to do is go to Google My Business, enter your business details (NAP, etc), website links, and follow the various steps to verify your identity.
Yell.com is one of the leading business directories that has worked with the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple. Yell focuses mainly on localised business activity, with the aim of making local digital marketing easy. And it does just that, although there is a lot of speculation whether to use Yell, we’ll let you decide for yourself.
Similar to Google My Business, Yell allows businesses that are listed in their directory to link their website, phone number, and office address. With an option to ‘see more’, customer reviews and a clearer office location on Google map can be viewed.
Despite some negative reviews surrounding Yell, we think this free business directory can still provide a quality backlink for your business. You never know how many customers actually use the platform!
Different from Yell.com, where any business can create a business listing, Checkatrade specifies in trade and deems itself an online trade directory. Any business that is accepted can be proud that their standards meet that of Checkatrade.
Customers find Checkatrade extremely useful when looking for a business to hire. Focusing on local tradesmen, you have the option to narrow down your search using the specific trade and your postcode.
Alongside your business listing, an option to call or message the tradesman is provided. Above this customer reviews are listed, giving you an overall mark out of 10, and the individual reviews available for customers to view.
The reason Checkatrade is so respected in the industry is down to its joining criteria:
- Proof of identity
- References (customer experiences)
- Credit check
The requirements over the years have only been getting stricter, which is positive. This will ultimately improve the quality of Checkatrades website and yours!
Due to the strictness and standards created by Checkatrade, a membership starting from £49.99 + VAT is what is required. This fee makes it possible for customers to find reputable traders and allows your business to grow at the same time.
Honesty, if you work in the trade industry, being listed on Checkatrade is almost a necessity if you want to receive more work and positive reviews.
With thousands of businesses trying to sell their products and services around the world, sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the crowd – meaning customers can’t find you!
Yes, business listings improve the quality of your website and allow you to appear higher in the search results, but validation is the key take away.
Customers are looking for businesses that they can trust and reviews that can support their decision. We live in a digital world full of self-validation on platforms like social media, so it’s time you validate your business online.
Remember that building backlinks to your site and becoming a part of more business directories takes time, SEO normally does, so remain patient and wait for the results.