There are so many completely free ways out there to help market your business online. Among those, local directories are the gold mine in the free marketing department.
When you go do a search on Google such as, “Best Social Media Marketing Agency in Milwaukee” you’ll notice that you don’t see any actual social media marketing agencies up on the top of the search engine results page. You’re going to see business directories that are ranking agencies using their own algorithms.
The same goes for a lot of industries, which is why making sure your business is listed on these local directories and that your profiles are also optimized is so important! Adding pictures, making sure your hours are up to date, etc.
Sure, there are a LOT of them out there that you can list your business on and while they’re all important, we understand that your time is valuable. So we have compiled our list of the top 5 local directories to make sure your business is on today.
Google My Business
If your business doesn’t have a Google My Business page, this should be a top priority for you. Seriously… leave this blog post right now and go do it… we’ll wait….
Alright, welcome back.
Creating your GMB page does a lot for you, especially if you are a local business.
When someone conducts a Google search for whatever type of business you are (especially when they put “near me” in their search), there’s a good chance that Google Maps is going to be near the top of the search results, and people click those. Once they do, they’ll be able to see things about your business such as:
- Client reviews
- Hours of your business
- Promotions you have going on
- Services you offer
- Photos and videos
- Menu if you’re a restaurant
- Contact information
As you can see, there are a lot of things a person can learn about your business before even talking to you or visiting you. Google also uses this information to help index your website and GMB page for the searches you want to get found for.
Google My Business is so important that we wrote a guide on how to list and optimize your GMB.
Facebook is a powerhouse when it comes to local directories.
Again, it is a tool to help you be found on search engine result pages, but Facebook also has its own, very powerful, search engine that millions of users conduct searches on. You can be found by business type, business name, and if Facebook thinks your page is relevant enough, they’ll suggest that other Facebook users follow it.
If you are posting, not only is it more likely that your business will be found, but there’s a whole new type of way that you can be found. Your actual posts!
Facebook does a good job (not as good as it used to be) of sharing posts from your business page to people who they think would benefit from seeing your content. It also shows Facebook that your page is active and that helps out discovery as well.
We created another blog on Tips for Creating Your Business’ Facebook Page.
Yelp is a directory that can literally make or break your business. Yelp is huge in the service-based world such as landscaping, plumbing, restaurants, or bars but is surprisingly important for other company types as well.
If you’re a service-based business, Yelp will most likely be at the top search engine result pages for a lot of keywords around your business and the services you offer. Yelp also has its own internal search engine (notice a pattern here?)
If you fit into this category, it should be a goal of yours to make sure that your Yelp page is set up, optimized, and updated regularly. Even if you don’t fit into this category, we’d recommend you still at the very least setup and optimize your Yelp page!
LinkedIn is a platform that a lot of small businesses have stayed away from for a long time, and for good reason. LinkedIn, for the first time ever, announced its new focus on wanting to help small business pages in 2019. They’ve come to realize that small businesses are actually a viable market for them now, which is very exciting for us!
People may not use LinkedIn as much for their internal search engine as Facebook, but it still gets used.
The benefit of LinkedIn is the ability to have your business listed yet another place online. Another opportunity to be found via search engines internally sure, but also externally on Google, Bing, etc.
Industry-Specific Business Directories
Such as Avvo for attorneys and lawyers
This is another one of those directories that has a huge opportunity to help you out when done correctly. If your industry has a specific business directory for it, you should definitely be on said directory.
These tend to be a place that potential clients are often checking to find who is the best fit for them, reviews, and other industry-specific information that Google My Business or Yelp sometimes fall short on.
I won’t go through and name all of the different directories, but you should be able to do a Google search yourself to figure out if your industry offers one of these!
If you’re already on all of these directories, that’s great! Make sure they are optimized and updated regularly and you will notice the difference! Good luck!