By Richard Harroch
It’s important for business owners to list their companies in prominent and reputable business directories. Often these listings are free, but even if you have to pay a small fee, it can be worth it.
In this article are all the potential benefits of having a business profile in a business directory, what you should make sure to include in that profile, and a list of top business directories you should submit to.
What are the benefits of a listing in a business directory?
There are a number of benefits of listing your company in a business directory, including:
- Exposure to potential clients and customers. Listing in a business directory can lead to more buyers of your products or services.
- Enhanced exposure to search engines. Listing your business in a business directory can lead to increased visibility with Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. If you get listed in a trusted business directory, your business will have a greater chance of showing up higher in search results, and you’ll receive more organic traffic to your website.
- Boosted SEO through backlinks. Most business directories will allow you to include backlinks to your website and links to your social media accounts from your business profile page. This can help with your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and increases the likelihood that a customer can find you when doing a search on a search engine.
- Improved online presence and brand awareness. Having a strong online presence can increase your visibility and enhance your standing with potential customers. A listing in an online business directory will also improve your brand’s awareness and credibility.
- Low-cost or free marketing. Unlike most other types of marketing (such as pay-per-click ads on Google or Facebook), a business directory listing is cheap, or even free.
What should you include in a business directory profile?
Here are the key items to include in your online business profile:
- Business name. Be consistent with the use of your business name. Make sure you have thought through the key issues in coming up with a great name. See 10 Tips for Naming Your Startup Business.
- Address. If you have a physical location, then you need to clearly provide the full address. For example: 1234 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94118.
- Phone number. Include the phone number that prospective customers can call.
- Website address. Your website address may be the most important thing you provide, so make sure it’s a properly working hyperlink.
- Social media accounts. Include hyperlinks to your social media accounts, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), TikTok, Pinterest, and others.
- Business description. Make sure to include a great business description that will help the search engines. Don’t say, “We provide great services to our clients.” Be more descriptive, such as “We provide great dentistry services to clients in the San Francisco/Bay Area.”
- List of specific products and services you provide. Add a list of all of the key products and services you provide. An example for a law firm in San Francisco would be (as appropriate): (i) personal injury cases in San Francisco; (ii) car accident cases; (iii) wrongful employment litigation; (iv) business formation; (v) contract drafting and negotiation; and (vi) wills, trust, and estate planning.
- Images. Some directories allow you to upload images, so consider adding your company’s logo or relevant images so that your listing stands out.
- Keywords. Include keywords that your potential customers may be searching for on Google and other search engines.
- Location. If you are a business catering to local customers, then make sure the profile identifies the city where you provide products or services. For example, don’t say, “We provide air conditioning repair services;” instead say, “We provide air conditioning repair services in Las Vegas, Nevada.” Consider providing a hyperlink with directions to your store.
- Business hours. If you have a physical location or you are a service provider, list the days and hours you are open for business, such as “Open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.”
One more tip: check out competitors’ profiles. It’s helpful to review profiles of business competitors in business directories to see how they describe their businesses.
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List of top business directories
The following is a list of top business directories where you should consider listing your business:
- AllBusiness.com—One of the leading sites on the web for startup and growing businesses, AllBusiness.com has a comprehensive Business Directory that allows companies to post a business profile with links to their website and social media accounts. The site allows detailed descriptions of a company’s products and services, contact information, and other promotional info. Go here: https://www.allbusiness.com/business-directory
- Better Business Bureau—The Better Business Bureau site allows you to claim a free business profile. The Better Business Bureau brand is well respected. Go here: https://www.bbb.org/get-listed
- Bing Places for Business—Bing, the search engine from Microsoft, allows you to place a new business listing in three easy steps. Go here: https://www.bingplaces.com
- Facebook Page—Facebook allows businesses to have their own Facebook page for free. It helps in organic search and with Facebook’s own search. You can continually publish and update content about your business. Go here: https://www.facebook.com/business/tools/facebook-pages
- Google Business Profile—Google allows you to post a free Business Profile. This was formerly called “Google My Business.” You can manage your Business Profile directly on Google and on Google Maps. Information can include location, hours open, address, website URL, and phone number. Go here: https://www.google.com/business
- LinkedIn—LinkedIn, the popular social business network, allows you to post a business profile page with lots of information about your business, including being able to post periodic updates or events relating to your business. Go here: https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/linkedin-pages
- Superpages—Superpages provides an online business directory that offers a basic profile for free and an enhanced paid profile. It is affiliated with The Real Yellow Pages. Go here: https://marketing.yellowpages.com/en/claim-your-listing?-from=advertise-with-us-SP
- Yelp—Yelp is a popular online directory where many local businesses post their profiles. The basic listing is free, and you can also pay to increase traffic to your listing. Yelp is especially popular for restaurant businesses and contains many reviews. Go here: https://business.yelp.com
Business directories offer many benefits to companies
Millions of companies are included in business directories. By listing your business in prominent business directories, you will be able to enhance your online presence and improve your marketing. It’s also important to keep your profile up to date as new products or services are added over time.
FAQs about business directories
What is a business directory?
A business directory is an online listing of companies, typically including a description of the business, the location and phone number, website address, and the list of products or services the business provides.
What are the benefits of listing a business profile in a business directory?
Having a listing in a business directory offers exposure to new clients and customers, enhanced exposure to search engines, better search engine optimization via backlinks, improved online presence and brand awareness, and free or cost-effective marketing.
What are the best business directories for a company to get listed on?
There are many good business directories that list company profiles, including AllBusiness.com, the Better Business Bureau, Bing Places for Business, Facebook Pages, Google Business Profile, LinkedIn, Superpages, and Yelp.
About the Author
Richard D. Harroch is a Managing Director and Global Head of M&A at VantagePoint Capital Partners, a venture capital fund in the San Francisco area. His focus is on Internet, digital media, and software companies, and he was the founder of several Internet companies. His full bio appears here on AllBusiness.com.
Copyright © by Richard Harroch. All Rights Reserved.