How does featuring in the top list of business listings impact your online visibility?
Submitting your business to the essential list of business listings allows customers to easily discover you and find your most important information like phone number, opening times and address.
Some of these platforms are part of large social media websites like Facebook, search engine features like Google Business Profile or dedicated directories like Yelp, while others are specific to your location or industry.
The most important directories allow you to list your business for free, but you may find that niche directories require payment and should be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Having a strong presence in the most important business directories not only gets you visibility in the directory itself, but it also increases your chances of appearing in local search results. Online directories with a high Authority Score feed that link juice to your website and boost your local SEO efforts.
A result from top travel directory Tripadvisor appears in position zero on the SERP for “restaurants in London”
Google Business Profile relies on other local listings to verify all your information is correct, so it really pays to invest in making sure they’re all up to date.
A slapdash approach to distributing your listings can lead to lacklustre results. If Google can’t confirm your business name, phone number and address (NAP), the search engine giant is unlikely to rank your listing as highly in the snack pack (prime SERP real estate for local searches that you don’t want to miss out on).
Semrush’s Listing Management tool, a local business listing service, can monitor every directory your information has been submitted to, suggest optimizations and make updates across the entire list of business listings.
The top local business listings directories you need to know
While there are probably some local and niche directories your business should consider, you definitely need to be listed in the essential ones.
Here’s a list of business listings to get you started (a local business listing service like Semrush’s Listing Management tool will get your business into all of these - and fast):
- Google Business Profile
With Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), you’re not only getting a nice-looking profile on the SERPs when customers search your business name, but you’ll also appear in Google Maps and the local snack pack.
- Bing Places for Business
Often forgotten due to the enormous shadow cast by Google Business Profile, Bing Places is also well worth signing up for to get extra exposure for your local business listing.
- Yelp for Business
Claiming or creating a profile on Yelp for Business is not only going to increase your business visibility, it’s one of the best places to build reviews online.
You probably don’t need to be told the benefits of having a regularly updated Facebook page, but making sure all your business information is up to date there adds another nice link and citation to the list.
- Instagram for Business
It’s not all cat pics and makeup influencers, you know. Instagram for Business is a must for your NAP data - just make sure you post regularly to keep your audience engaged too.
Make sure you’re listed in LinkedIn’s company directory for another quality link and citation to help you get discovered online.
- Apple Maps
It’s worth putting in the effort to get your business looking great on Google Maps, but don’t miss out on being listed with Apple’s proprietary mapping service too.
Foursquare City Guide can’t recommend your business if it doesn’t have your listing, so you should really be on the radar of this juggernaut of location technology and data.
This doesn’t quite scratch the surface of all the local business listing directories you should submit to, but it’s a great place to start if you’re uploading all your details manually.
Completed our essential list of business listings? Go further with 27 free local business directories for small businesses
Manual distribution can be incredibly time-consuming and, quite frankly, boring work, so busy marketers use local business listing services to take the leg work out of it.
What is a local business listing service?
A local business listings service is a fast and simple way to get your company featured in all the most important online directories.
Semrush’s Listing Management tool distributes your details to a long list of business listings
Managing all these different directories without the help of a local business listings service is incredibly time-consuming, and the chances of inconsistencies and duplicate listings are much higher.
For example, Semrush’s Listing Management tool asks you to enter your business details - or connect to Google Business Profile - just once so there’s no need to update your info dozens of times.
The tool makes suggestions for timetable changes if there’s a holiday coming up and alerts you to any directories that need more data, like descriptions, map coordinates or cover photos.
How do I list my business without a local business listing service?
If you’ve got the time to go through the list of business listings manually and add your details to every directory one by one, you’ll find each platform has a slightly different process, as well as requirements for copy and images.
However, they all pretty much adhere to the following steps:
- Claim or set up your business listing
You might find your business is already listed so you can simply claim it. If not, you’ll have to create a profile and fill out the info yourself.
- Fill out all the information
Take your time to make sure you enter as much info as the directory will allow, and don’t skip anything to save time.
- Verify your listing
You’ll need to prove you’re the real owner before your listing goes live. For example, Google Business Profile sends a postcard to your location to verify your address.