Free And New Business Listings: 30+ Online Business Directories

Free local business listings on search engines, internet yellow pages (IYP’s), interactive business directories, local business directories, and vertical directories are the foundation of a comprehensive l

ocal search marketing campaign for your small business.

Four Reasons To Optimize Your Free Business Listings Now

There are four primary reasons why you need to be proactive and optimize your business listings for local search in multiple, trust

ed directories.

First, each directory has their own audience/sphere of influence to bring visibility to your local business listings.

Second, many of the listing and category pages of these directories appear in the organic results of search engines and mobile search.

Third, many of the directories listed below publish local business reviews that are displayed in Google local business listings.

Fourth, when Google finds your business listing in a trusted directory through a web crawl, they often cite the web page featuring your business within your Google local business listing, also known as your Place Page.

Here is an example:

google-web-citations.jpg

Why are web citations important? Because each citation is considered a vote of trust in the eyes of Google–the more votes you have, the higher your listings can rank in Google’s local business results.

Web citations help you rank higher in Google’s local business results

google-web-citations-local-ranking.jpg

There are other very important factors as well, and local search expert David Mihm features a perennial list of local search ranking factors that explains almost everything you need to know about ranking your local business listings in the Google 10-Pack 7-Pack.

The List Of Online Business Directories

Many of the directories below allow you to enhance your free business listings with keyword-rich business descriptions, categories, products/services, and more. Be prepared to provide/update the following information:

  • Business Name
  • Address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code
  • Local Phone Number (Do not use an “800” number)
  • Fax Number
  • Business Description
  • Business Category – Ex. Automotive
  • Business Subcategories – Ex. Auto Repair, Auto Glass Repair, Brakes
  • Website Address
  • Email Address
  • Service Area
  • Brands Offered
  • Products/Services
  • Year Established
  • Hours of Operation
  • Coupon Information/Special Offers
  • Payment Options
  • Business Associations/Affiliations/Awards
  • Call to Action
  • Tagline
  • Logo Image or Link
  • Business Photos/Images
  • Product or Service Photos/Images
  • Videos

Most of the directories listed below link to the page where you can claim/verify your current local business listings, or submit a new business listing.

Data Providers

1. InfoUSA

You can’t search the InfoUSA directory directly, but it is one of the most important databases to maintain up-to-date, accurate business listings. InfoUSA calls every business to verify information, assuring accurate listings.

Companies can add new business listings or update an existing one. Allow 60 days for verification.

2. Localeze

Localeze bills itself as “the largest online content management company serving businesses, local search engine publishers and ready-to-buy consumers.” They provide brands (with multiple locations) the #1 solution for business listing management, featuring contractual agreements with an impressive list of distribution partners.

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Allow 30 – 60 days for updates/inclusion.

Search Engines

1. Google Maps

Google dominates local search market share with a hefty 26% share so you need to be here. Google collects data such as reviews, business hours, photos and more from trusted partners and various websites, and combines this information with what you enter in Local Business Center.

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Verify your listing by phone if possible. If you have access to the phone number on your listing, choose phone verification. Google will call you and, once you enter a PIN, your listing will immediately be verified.

Google is launching a turnkey local advertising service called Local Listing Ads. If you don’t have a professional website you can use your Google Place Page for your advertisement.

2. Yahoo Local

Yahoo offers basic (free), enhanced, and featured listings. Many categories in Yahoo Local rank well in the organic results of Google search.

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. It is standard for a listing to remain in “Review Pending” status for up to 5 business days from submission.

3. Bing Maps

Similar to Google and Yahoo, Bing search displays local business results for searches that DO NOT have a geo-modifier. For example, a search for “hair salon” yields a set of local business results for the city I am in. The Sponsored Listings in Bing Maps are managed by Yellowpages.com.

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. You can verify an existing listing by phone. For new submissions, you will receive a verification letter in 2 – 4 weeks which includes a PIN number.

4. Ask City Search

AskCity has recently changed their name to Ask City Search and does not offer the ability to create or update local business listings because their published listings link to Cityearch.com business listings (below).

Internet Yellow Pages (IYP’s)

1. SuperPages >

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Your listing will be live within 24 to 48 business hours (no updates occur to SuperPages.com on Saturday or Sunday) pending approval by the Quality Assurance team.

2. Yellowpages.com

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Once your listing has been reviewed and accepted, it will be published within 30 business days. Free listings remain active for only 12 months and Yellowpages.com will send you a reminder to resubmit your listing one month before your listing expires. There is no charge to renew your free listing.

3. Yellowbook.com

Businesses can submit a new basic listing. You can enhance a new or existing listing by advertising with Yellowbook.com. After submitting your new listing you will be contacted by an account representative.

4. DexKnows.com

Dex does not accept new business listings unless you advertise with them. Submit your listing to Localeze for inclusion into the Dex index. You can update an existing listing by creating an account with Dex.

Interactive Business Directories

1. Yelp

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. New and updated listings go live upon email verification. Yelp leads the way in online review interactivity by providing an interface that allows businesses to address complaints publicly (and directly), and thank customers privately. Yelp is awesome for business and rapidly growing.

Yelp was founded in 2004 and surpassed the IYP’s in traffic earlier this year.

2. Citysearch

Citysearch does not accept new business listings (Note: The Add a business form is still not working). Submit your listing to InfoUSA for inclusion. Existing listings may be updated by clicking on the “Own this business?” link associated with the corresponding listing.

Citysearch is one of the oldest local business directories as it was originally MSN Sidewalk in the mid 90’s.

3. Insider Pages

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. New and updated business listings are published immediately.

Insider Pages is a local search property of Citysearch, acquired in the spring of 2007.

4. Kudzu

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. New and updated business listings are published within 48 hours.

Kudzu was founded by Tom Bates, Nancy Nethery and Frank Bongiorno. It is owned by Cox Search Inc., a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises.

5. Local.com

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Local.com will provides you with a listing confirmation number. New listings are live in 1-2 business days.

Local.com was launched in 2005 and Borrell Associates recently named Local.com one of the top three fastest-growing local online advertising companies in North America.

6. Open List

Open List does not accept new business listings nor do they offer businesses an option to update or enhance existing listings. Submit/update your listing through Localeze.

Founded in 2003, Open List is part of the Marchex Network, which features over 200,000 local and vertical Web sites that attract more than 33 million unique monthly users.

7. Judy’s Book

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Local Business listings are published upon approval.

Google publishes Reputation Trends from Judy’s Book in their local business listings. Judy’s Book is currently offering an app (beta) that publishes Judy’s Book reviews on the websites of corresponding businesses.

8. YellowBot

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Per YellowBot: “Due to the volume we receive and because of the fact that we take the time to verify each and every new submission we receive the time it takes to show up can vary. If you do not see you listing within a few weeks just drop us anther email. Include your business name, location and the date of submission and we will look into it for you.”

In 2008 YellowBot won an SES award for Most Innovative New Search Engine.

9. bizjournals

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Per bizjournals: “Thank you for your listing submission. Our customer service staff will promptly review your listing and send you a confirmation when the changes are posted to the directory.”

bizjournals is the online media division of American City Business Journals, the nation’s largest publisher of metropolitan business newspapers. It operates the web sites for each of the company’s 40 pr
int business journals as well as a local online business directory.

10. Merchant Circle

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. New and updated business listings are published immediately.

MerchantCircle launched in June 2006 and was awarded the title of “Media Newcomer of the year” by AlwaysOn magazine in 2007.

11. BOTW Local (Best of the Web)

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Once you verify your submission by email, your submission will be placed into queue for one of BOTW’s editors to review.

BOTW launched as a general web directory in 2002. In 2008, they launched their local search offering, BOTW Local. BOTW Local provides users with detailed business information for over 16 million businesses in the US.

12. Fave

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. New and claimed business listings are published immediately.

Launched in 2008, Fave differentiates their local business listings with video and banners provided by business owners.

13. CityVoter

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Per CityVoter: “This listing has just been added and will be reviewed by the CityVoter team for accuracy. Until then, this business will not be generally accessible on this site – thanks for your patience!”

CityVoter partners with local media entities across the nation to provide local business listings, including tips and recommendations.

14. HotFrog

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. New and claimed business listings are published immediately.

HotFrog was first launched in Australia in May 2005 and has since grown to cover upwards of 19 countries and contains over 10 million company listings.

Additional interactive directories to consider include Praized, CitySquares, and ShopCity.com.

Local Business Directories

I define local business directories as directories exclusive to a city or region. Examples include local newspapers and city directories. For the purpose of this article, I am going to use Scottsdale, AZ as the city of focus. Find valuable local business directories by scanning through the web citations of competitors and other local businesses in Google Maps.

1. AZCentral.com

Businesses can submit a new listing or update an existing one. Business listings are powered by Local.com.

Launched in 1995, AZCentral.com is the interactive division of the Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Arizona’s daily metropolitan newspaper.

2. Shop in Phoenix

Businesses can submit free listings. After registration, you will be contacted by phone to finalize the approval of your free listing and review advertising opportunities.

3. Scottsdale.com

Businesses can submit free listings. Per Scottsdale.com: “We have received your form submission. Someone will get back to you if necessary.”

4. Directory of Scottsdale

Businesses can submit free listings. Per Directory of Scottsdale: “Your site was submitted and is now awaiting approval.”

Vertical Business Directories

Vertical directories list businesses by industry and location. For the purpose of this article, I am going to use Dry Cleaning as the industry of focus. Find valuable vertical directories by scanning through the web citations of competitors and other local businesses in Google Maps.

1. DryCleaners.org

Businesses can submit free listings. Upon submitting your listing, an email will be sent shortly to the supplied email address. Check your email and click on the verification link to activate your listing.

2. GreatAmericanCleaners.com

Businesses can submit free listings. Email GreatAmericanCleaners.com for inclusion into their index. Listings are published upon approval.

3. DryCleaningCompanies.com

Businesses can submit a business listing for a one-time fee of $24. DryCleaningCompanies.com offers a free listing in exchange for a link back to their website.

There you have it. Make it a priority to increase your local search visibility and generate more traffic to your local business listings. Claim/submit your listings in trusted directories, optimizing them for targeted keyword sets.


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