As is expected with digital and online news for businesses, we talk a lot on this blog about best local SEO techniques. Search Engine Optimisation is, of course, far from a one-trick pony, but getting your business details out there (NAP – name, address, phone), along with information about what you do, is one of the key parts of giving your company a strong online presence.
User-experience, Bounce rate, Social Media, Content engagement – all of these are critical to effective optimisation. But what’s one thing that ensures Google gets your details into the view of your audience? Having those details available to Google.
As such, website owners will submit their website to search engine directories – and quite rightly – but online business directories, particularly local listings, are equally important and need your NAP.
Keep in mind that it’s critical you keep a record of what listings you have submitted to so you can always keep records up to date. Your details need to be consistent across the web if you want Google to count them all as representing your company’s site.
Below we’ll run through the best business directories you need to get listed in. There are more out there of course, but if you’re looking to get started, here are some suggestions.
A warning though before we get started: steer clear of paid listings unless you’re sure of their authenticity and credibility; lots of these sites will have so many links coming from them, many of them spam, that Google often counts the whole site as spam and will penalise you in the results page.
UK Free business directories to get found on Google
A fairly obvious starting point. Google, whilst always clear that they are there for the user first, website second, usually make it easy enough to get in their good books. As far as local listings go, they’ve provided a first-stop shop for getting your details out there. Hit ‘Get On Google’ and if your business doesn’t show up in the search, go ahead and enter your details. If it does, and you didn’t put it there, claim ownership of it and get cracking on the info!
(No Longer Active)
DMOZ is a fairly well known business listing, and whilst it may not be the prettiest layout you’ve ever seen, it’s certainly one you need to submit your site to. Not only is it, as just mentioned, well known, there are also rumours that major search engines like Google count a listing in DMOZ as a sort of ‘validation’ of a site’s credentials. So whilst daily views have undergone a sudden drop from a high of around 800 million in March to below 500 million at time of publishing, make sure you include this in your list of ‘must-dos’.
With a Page Rank (PR) of 7, and getting between 300-400 million views each day, Yell.com is a great place to get your business listed. It’s a comprehensive directory that’s sort of the modern-day Yellow Pages that used to be left on our front doorstep. Details, location and ratings all show up on the front page, and it’s got a great ‘Your Recent History’ section for your loyal clients.
CYLEX not only has a healthy PR of 6, but boasts some cool attributes not all directories have which can give your listing a real individual feel. On the home page, CYLEX say: “Make your presentation page more appealing with a menu, brochure or price list. Expand your customer base by regularly posting Special Offers.” If you get listed here, make the most of it and integrate deals with your normal marketing channels.
As with CYLEX, FreeIndex gives you great flexibility in how you present yourself on your listing. Their free service is effective and with good rankings you can move up the list in popular searches. They also offer a premium service for around £8/month that, by all reviews, is well worth it.
As with Business Line, Thomson Local has gone for the visual approach to business listings and it’s working. They have a great Page Rank of 6, and although their daily views have been dropping like a lot of these directories and are now at around 40 million, they’re still a trusty site to be mentioned on.
Business Magnet is another directory that allows customisation of a business’ listing page, which for many website owners is a real value-adder. Whilst it has a decent PR of 5, its daily views are dropping and are at around 15 million at this point. Still, as with the other directories in this list, it is a popular source for local businesses and is well worth utilising.
The Lacartes directory is a bit less fashionable than the last few we’ve spoken about, and only has a PR of 4. But the best thing about this site is its reach. It’s Search Engine juice may not be a prolific as DMOZ, sure, but it gets around 100-150 million views daily, which means you’ve got a good chance of being spotted.
To round of the list we have Locanto. This site has a great focus on location, with a giant map and city list on the home page. Its PR is 4 and it only has around 40 million hits a day, but it’s free and is another good chance to get a local classified out there.