With the exponential uptick in “near-me” searches that shows no signs of slowing down, getting your name into free local business directories may be the best way to easily (and affordably!) promote your business. Here are 25 free local business directories for businesses and clinics of all sizes.
What is a local business directory?
A local business directory lists vital information about your business including hours, location, and contact information, along with pictures and other relevant information (e.g., reviews or other links). They can be as hyperlocal as a free local directory of Jewish businesses in Baltimore or as global as Google Business (the largest and most powerful business directory).
These listings pop up as organic search results on search engines. Google’s business listings pop up on a map or at the top of search results.
What are the benefits of signing up for local business directories?
Local business directories are one of the best tools for converting the curious into customers. But that’s not all. Other benefits to using local business directories include:
- Building backlinks: Google checks the number and quality of sites that link to yours (backlinks), and uses that to rank your site on their search engine. More and higher quality backlinks can equal a higher rank in organic search results.
- Increase in traffic to your site: The top three local listings receive 60% of all traffic, with number one pulling in half of that traffic. Local business directories, done well, can boost the number of visitors to your site.
- Visibility for your industry: If your business provides a rare but important service, a free local listing can help people find you when advertising just isn’t in the budget.
The best free local business directories
Before you get started, make sure your business has a business name or a DBA (“doing business as”) classification. You also need a dedicated business address and a phone number that matches your location (get a free one on Google Voice). Starting with a few directories is a good option. You need not list your business on every directory to see good results – just the few that are best for you.
A free local business directory is only as helpful as its online reputation, too. Here are 25 of our favorites with a great reputation and widespread reach.
There are more than six billion searches a day on Google. Update your listing and keep it current (and don’t forget to do it for multiple locations). If you choose no other directory to completely fill out, make it Google.
Moz‘s local directory can help you whether you have one location or 100+ franchises.
Yelp is one of the more controversial free local business directories, but with 178 million monthly users, don’t pass it by. This is especially true for restaurants and service-based businesses, like hair stylists and fitness studios.
4. Angie’s List
Angie’s List helps you focus in on your customer base by setting you up in a specific category for your local business (e.g., lawyers, plumbing, etc.).
Foursquare allows you to add status updates to your listing (a plus in this social media-hungry climate!).
Superpages and Yellowpages team up to give you double the bang for your free local business listing buck.
7. Yahoo! Local
Yahoo! Local is free for a basic listing, but if you pay $30 a month, they will add you to 40 more directories.
City-Data combines free local business directories with discussion forums on a variety of local topics (including recommendations for businesses).
Mapquest’s free business listings offer you the opportunity to first search for your business on several different sites.
10. Better Business Bureau
Your business listing on the BBB online business directory website shows your score and positive reviews (negative ones, too).
11. American Towns
Non-profits and community groups get a free listing on American Towns.
12. Local Guides
Local Guides offers free (and paid) listings for a variety of services and businesses.
You cannot ignore Facebook’s free local business directories with their domain authority score of 100 (a perfect score, natch).
Bing may not be as big as Google, but they are still plenty big enough (and important enough) for a local listing.
15. Express Update
Less a business directory and more a watchdog, Express Update sends your corrected business information to search engines, libraries, and in-car navigation systems – for free.
16. Local Stack
Local Stack combines social media with customer recommendations to rank your business (but you have to be on there to participate).
HubSpot is a B2B directory that puts your agency in front of other businesses looking to hire.
Another free online directory focused on small businesses and divided into easy-to-navigate categories.
Thumbtack is good for one-on-one services that might include everything from personal training to local plumbers.
Yellowbook is divided by state and then by major city, so it’s best for businesses in a major metropolitan area.
Just like the spokes of a wheel, Spoke is a directory that connects nearly one and a half million businesses with five million customers.
Veering slightly off course here, Blogorama allows you to list your blog in a directory for easy access. This can include blogs for your business.
23. Chamber of Commerce
Your town’s chamber of commerce is an organization that focuses on building and supporting local business in your town. Look to see if your town has a directory, but Chamber of Commerce also does the same thing online.
This online business directory is great for sole proprietors or small businesses.
Merchant Circle had 100 million visitors to its site last year. In addition to business listings, they also offer coupons and deals to consumers.
How to find more local business directories
The free business directories above are global, but what if you’re looking for more focused and local options? Try the following:
- Make sure the settings on your search engine are accurate for your location, and then search for “top local directories”
- Search using your location plus one of the following words or phrases: directory, add your site, add your business, or recommended links
Even if you really want to focus on staying small and serving your community with hyperlocal directories, it’s still a good idea to list your business on a few of the larger directories.
While getting listed on a free local business directories may be good for your bottom line, at Boost, we know you don’t have all day to pick which one is best for you. Local business listings are just one of the SEO strategies we use at Boost.
Get in touch today to see how we can help your business grow.
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 1-855-716-0428 to find out how you can put Podium to work for you.
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Detroit Voltage—Detroit, Michigan
Yogolandia Yogurt and Botana Bar—Chicago, Illinois
Promoting a local business isn’t easy these days.
Whether it’s because of oversaturation or complicated search engine algorithms, it’s all too easy to feel like no one will find your business in the local search results.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to improve your local SEO. All you have to do is list your business in online business directories such as Yellow Pages, Manta, and more. This is called building citations, and it’s a critical piece of a local marketing strategy.
Today, Google is inserting itself between consumer and local business websites much more often. For proof, you need to look no further than Google My Business, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), featured snippets, and most importantly, local packs.
By building citations, you can make sure that you appear in these local packs when people look for businesses like yours in their area. Business directories may seem like a thing of the past, but they’re a great way to grow your presence online.
What is a business directory?
A business directory is an online list of businesses within a particular niche, location, or category. One way local businesses can get found by online searchers is through inclusion in business directories.
You can improve visibility by listing your local business' NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) on directories, online business listing sites, and citation sites. Aside from improving your local SEO, these can also improve your rankings on search engines because the listings usually link back to your site.
Make sure your company listing has the following information once you add it to a directory:
- Consistent NAP. If you add or update your business on multiple business listing sites, make sure you're providing the same company information across each directory.
- A link to your website. Backlinks — also known as inbound links — are crucial to your company website's Domain Rating. Consider adding a tracking link at the end of this URL as well, so you can see how much traffic your website specifically gets from the business directories that are linking to it.
- A company description. Make sure you have a detailed description of your business that reflects your organization's mission, culture, and values.
- Multimedia. Give company searchers a visual taste of your business with a picture or video of your office, your employees, or your daily business operations.
There are plenty of location-specific and industry-specific business listing sites where you can submit your data. To start promoting your local business, however, you should start with the big sites and work your way toward the more niche directories.
First, let’s go over the top free business directories.
Free Business Listings
- Apple Maps
- Google My Business
- LinkedIn Company Directory
- Super Pages
Online Directories for Local Businesses
- Facebook Pages (Domain Rating = 100)
- Instagram for Business (Domain Rating = 99)
- Google My Business (Domain Rating = 98)
- LinkedIn Company Directory (Domain Rating = 98)
- Apple Maps (Domain Rating = 97)
- Yelp (Domain Rating = 94)
- Bing (Domain Rating = 93)
- HubSpot's Solutions Directory (Domain Rating = 93)
- Better Business Bureau (Domain Rating = 93)
- MapQuest (Domain Rating = 92)
- Foursquare (Domain Rating = 91)
- Yahoo! Local (Domain Rating = 91)
- Thumbtack (Domain Rating = 90)
- Yellow Pages (Domain Rating = 90)
- Angi, FKA Angie’s List ( Domain Rating = 91)
- Nextdoor (Domain Rating = 87)
- Manta (Domain Rating = 87)
- Merchant Circle (Domain Rating = 85)
- YellowBook.com (Domain Rating = 82)
- Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory (Domain Rating = 80)
- Local.com (Domain Rating = 79)
- Hotfrog (Domain Rating = 79)
- ChamberofCommerce.com (Domain Rating = 79)
- EZlocal (Domain Rating = 78)
- Brownbook.net (Domain Rating = 77)
- eLocal.com (Domain Rating = 77)
- City Squares (Domain Rating = 76)
- iBegin (Domain Rating = 75)
- EBusinessPages (Domain Rating = 75)
- BOTW (Domain Rating = 74)
- Neustar Localeze (Domain Rating = 73)
- Spoke (Domain Rating = 72)
- GoLocal247 (Domain Rating = 72)
- Call Up Contact (Domain Rating = 71)
- n49.com (Domain Rating = 71)
- Just Landed (Domain Rating = 71)
- Tuugo.us (Domain Rating = 71)
- Lacartes (Domain Rating = 71)
- City Local Pro (Domain Rating = 71)
- Hub.biz (Domain Rating = 70)
- Cylex US (Domain Rating = 70)
- Cybo (Domain Rating = 70)
- Fyple.com (Domain Rating = 65)
- Opendi.us (Domain Rating = 65)
- Yellow.Place (Domain Rating - 64)
- My Huckleberry (Domain Rating = 62)
- ExpressBusinessDirectory.com (Domain Rating = 62)
- Bizhwy.com (Domain Rating = 61)
- USdirectory.com (Domain Rating = 56)
- Finduslocal.com (Domain Rating = 50)
We used a few parameters to decide which directories would make it onto the list.
Domain rating is a score that’s given to websites to reflect how well they rank on Google based on their backlink profile. The minimum score is 0 and the maximum score is 100. Domain rating is similar, but not the same as, domain authority.
Our minimum required domain rating for the directories on this list was 50. We gathered the data from Ahrefs in May 2021.
We compiled this list for use by any business. Regardless of your industry or target market, you can submit your business to all of the above directories.
To make it onto this list, the directory had to be categorized as General. The only exception is HubSpot’s solution directory, which is categorized as Marketing/Advertising.
Add Your Local Business to Online Directories
Making sure that you have a presence where your potential customers might find you is critical to any local marketing plan. It’s critical to build citations not only for the added visibility but for the SEO benefits, too. Add your local business to some of these business listings and directories today — and watch your business and customer base grow.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in March 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Business listing local
48 Free Websites to List Your Business
As a local business attracting customers in today's technology-driven world, you must get your business name and profile listed in all the major online directories. Many of these directories are well-known websites and social media platforms such as Facebook or Yelp, where any business owner can make a page for their company. However, many less-popular or local websites allow business owners to list their companies for free as well.
Listing your business on every possible business directory is the best way to make sure your business maximizes its SEO and is visible in as many searches as possible. In addition, creating a free business listing with the same information on a variety of local business listing websites helps search engines confidently show your profiles more often, focusing on keyword searches related to your products or services. In other words, listing your business massively drives your local SEO. This will increase the reach of your business profile in searches across multiple search engines in local and mobile queries.
Benefits of business directories
These are some of the many benefits of creating a free business listing on a business directory, social media platform or review site:
- Boosting your online presence. Before the internet, businesses relied on phone books, newspaper ads, and other forms of traditional marketing and advertising to make themselves known. In the online era, no marketing plan is complete without maximizing your online presence. For a strong online presence, creating a business page for your company on every possible review site, social media platform and free business listing site is vital.
- Making your business known locally. Local SEO is important to the success of businesses that target an audience in a specific geographic region. Without a proper presence in online directories, your business may fail to reach a potential customer who could travel just minutes from their home to get what they need from your company. Without creating a free business listing in directories – which almost always include geographic filters – you may struggle to make your business name known to that potential customer, among thousands of others. There are many ways to promote your business locally, but start by ensuring your site has a presence on sites listed below.
- Getting your info out there. Want potential customers to know when your store is open, how to get in touch, what services you provide and how much other customers trust you? Free business listings allow you to share information such as your business hours, contact information, and addresses on platforms where users can search for businesses based on specialty, location, and ratings.
- Driving your brand engagement and reputation. Even customers who ultimately choose another business over yours or don't click on your link will see your business name. This recognition cements your brand's reputation in potential customers' minds – especially if your ratings are high – and increases the chances that they'll choose you in the future.
Bottom line: Listing your business on business directories expands your online presence and reputation in order to attract new customers. It can also positively affect local SEO.
Important websites where you should be listed
Ready to get your business listed in all the right search engines and directories? This list shows the top 48 places where you can list your business for free. Following the list are a few pointers on how to get the most out of your local listing profiles.
1. Yelp for Business
Grow your business with Yelp. Add or claim your business, keep your page up to date, respond to reviews, view click and call reports or get ahead of the game with premium upgrades and simple, powerful advertising tools.
2. Google My Business
Engage with customers on Google for free. With a Google My Business account, you get more than a business listing. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.
3. Bing Places for Business
Get Online Customers for Your Business
Add your business to Bing for free and help online customers discover your business. Chances are Bing has a listing for your business already. Claim an existing listing or add a new one. If your business has multiple locations you can add them in one go using the bulk upload tool.
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie's List
- Just Local Business
- HERE Map Creator
- Judy's Book
- Yellow Pages Directory Inc.
- Insider Pages
- Business Local Pages
- Yahoo Small Business
- Apple Maps
How to list your business on business listing websites
Although no two free business listing websites operate in the same way, you will likely need to follow roughly these steps to list your business on the platform of your choice:
- Claim your business page. Your business may already have a page on some platforms. These pages tend to be incomplete placeholders that the platform – or a user – has implemented to ensure that your business at least appears in the directory.
- Complete your business listing. Whether or not you have to first claim an existing business page, you will need to complete your listing with valid, up-to-date information so that potential customers get a full picture of your company. Include your address, phone number, services offered, hours of operation and any other contact methods.
- Verify your listing. In theory, any internet user could claim your business listing as their own. That's why business directories require you to verify your identity and your business before your listing goes live. This is usually as simple as filling in a string of numbers that the platform delivers to you by text, email or phone call.
Tip: Although no two listings are exactly the same, be sure to thoroughly fill out each listing by including consistent contact information.
Checklist for when you do get listed
There is more to securing your presence in search results than just listing your business in these directories. Follow the checklist below to make sure that your listings work for you and generate the widest possible reach for mobile and local internet searches.
- Ensure your info is consistent. Check to confirm that your business's name, address and phone number are the same on every listing.
- Add a detailed company description. Let your company shine with a great description. You should highlight your company's history and product or service offering.
- Include a link to your website. One of the greatest strengths of your local online profiles is the link to your business's site. This has the potential to drive massive amounts of traffic to your website. Local listings are mostly used in mobile searches, so be sure your website is mobile-friendly, or you could lose visitors fast.
- Claim the listing. Some local search engines allow a user to claim their profile through a short verification process. Claiming your profile can increase its reach immensely.
- Include secondary business information. Over 30% of local searches are for the phone number, address or hours of operation of a business. Be sure to include items like your hours of operation, menu or calendar of events on your local profiles.
- Add pictures and videos. Visual media items like photos and videos have a much higher conversion rate than standard text. Be sure to upload images and videos to your profiles.
- Gather customer reviews. Reviews send signals of confidence to search engines and mark engagement from customers. You should always encourage customers to leave reviews of your business and respond to those reviews.
If you're looking to get noticed by a wider audience or reach members of your local community, a great (and free) place to start is online business directories. The 48 sites listed above give you an effective, no-cost way to improve your chances of being found by your audience online.
Adam Brewer contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.
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