If you have a business that serves a local audience, such as a retail store or restaurant, getting listed on local directories is an important part of your marketing strategy. These sites are usually free to list on, leaving you with only the cost of creating and uploading the listing as your only expense. There are many directory sites out there, but it can be difficult to tell which ones are worth your time to get listed on. Many directories require a paid membership to be listed, which makes them not worth your time and money. That said, there are several useful local directories out there that won’t cost you anything to list. The trick is knowing which ones offer value for your business without costing you anything in return.
Why is being listed on local directories important?
Being listed on local directories is the first step toward building your local online presence. These sites are often the first result when someone searches for businesses in their area, making them essential for local SEO. If a potential customer is looking for a business near them, but can’t find you on any local directories, it’s unlikely they’ll ever find you. Getting listed on local directories is an important way of making sure potential customers can find you, and that they have a way to contact you. Beyond just making sure people can find your business, getting listed on local directories is also an important way of generating new leads. Even though these directories are local, many of them allow you to accept new customer requests through the site. Having a presence on multiple directories can give you access to a significantly larger customer base.
Do’s for getting listed on local directories
- Select directories you can get listed on for free – There are many directories out there that will charge you money to be listed on them. There are also a few that will charge a one-time fee, but also continually charge you a monthly fee. Avoid these sites if you can. Instead, look for sites that offer their listings for free and welcome local businesses to get listed on the site.
- Make sure your information is accurate – One of the biggest mistakes people make when getting listed on local directories is to provide inaccurate information. For example, if you’re listed as a restaurant, but sell ice cream, you’re going to be listed under the wrong category. Make sure everything you list is accurate and relevant to your business so you can attract the right customers.
- Look for ways to engage with customers on the site – For example, if the local directory allows customer reviews, make sure you respond to everyone who leaves a review. Responding to reviews is a great way to show your customers that you care about their experience.
- Make sure you’re committed to keeping your listing current – This includes updating your information as it changes, such as your hours of operation, address, or contact information. Many sites will remove your listing if it’s out of date, so make sure you’re keeping everything up to date.
Don’ts for getting listed on local directories
- Don’t just list yourself on the first directory you find – There are many different local directories out there, and some are better than others. Find a few that are relevant to your business, and then decide which one you want to spend your time getting listed on.
- Don’t pay to be listed on any directories – While there are a few directories that might charge you a one-time fee, you shouldn’t have to pay to be listed on local directories. If you see any sites asking for a payment, avoid them and find an alternative that doesn’t charge you.
- Don’t try to game the system – There are certain things you can do to help improve your chances of getting listed on a directory, but there are also things you shouldn’t do. For example, you can submit your business information to directories manually or you can use online directories such as Yext. However, you shouldn’t try to use automated systems to submit your information to directories. This is against most directory policies and could get your listing removed.
The Big 3 Local Directory Sites
- Yext – Yext is one of the most well-known local directory sites. You can get your listing on their site for free and it will automatically update when your information changes.
- Google My Business – Google’s own directory is a must-have for every local business. Getting your listing on this site will help you rank higher in the local search results. Make sure you follow Google’s guidelines for getting listed on the site.
- Bing Business Portal – Getting your listing on the Bing Business Portal is another great way to get listed on the major local directories.
The Dark Side of Getting Listed On Local Directories
While getting listed on local directories is generally a good thing, there are a few sites that you should avoid at all costs. These sites are more focused on making money from people listing on them than providing any real value for their users. Avoid these sites if you can, as they won’t help your business, and could even damage your online reputation.
Getting listed on local directories is an important part of any local business marketing strategy. While there are many directories out there, not all of them are worth your time to get listed on. Make sure you’re only spending your time and effort getting listed on sites that are worth it. Not only will this save you time, but it will also help you focus your efforts on the sites that are most likely to drive traffic to your business. Go through the list of directories and make sure you’re only choosing ones that are reputable and trustworthy. This will ensure you get value from the time you spend getting listed on these sites, and it will help your business become more successful.