The days of looking up a business in the phone book are nearly past. Like a lot of things, the digital world has made this information easier to find. So instead of listing your business in the phone book or local newspaper, business owners turn to online business directories.
When it comes to SEO and business directories, there is a bit of contention in the air. This is because black hat SEOs (aka the people who go against Google guidelines and do more damage than good to a website) have abused online business directories in the past. They did this by adding businesses to hundreds of crappy, low-quality directories that never see the light of day, just so they can get a link pointing back to their client’s website (a backlink).
Doing something online just to get a backlink isn’t the best strategy when it comes to making Google happy. If you obtain relevant backlinks to your website in a natural way, you’re going to be Google’s star pupil. However, if you add your business to an online directory, purely for the link, then you may need to re-think your actions.
There are some business directories that I have listed my own business on and I also recommend my clients to do so as well. This is because these online directories are actually used by people searching for businesses.
Online business directory listings help to:
Create more touch points online for your brand/business
Aid your online reputation (e.g. when someone Google’s your business name, you want to ‘own’ all the results on the first page if possible)
Send what we call ‘referral traffic’ to your website by the user clicking through from one of these business listings to your website
Build up your backlink profile (the more relevant backlinks you have, the more ‘popular’ you are in Google’s eyes)
Show your business to people searching on Google for your services/products near you. Google uses all the mentions of your NAPW (business name, address, phone number and website) to ascertain that your business actually exists and where
Pro tip: Choose a specific format for your NAPW and stick to it. Right down to using ‘St’ all the time verse ‘Street’. The more consistent your NAPW is, the easier it is for Google to comprehend. I typically stick with the format that shows on the Google My Business listing.
Which online directories should you list your business on?
If it looks like a shitty website, then don’t list your business there! Where-ever you create a mention of your business online (whether it includes a backlink or not) you want to make sure that it makes sense for your business to be mentioned there.
Most of the directories I have listed Grand Cru Digital on and help my clients to list their businesses on are the well-known directories alongside a number of industry-specific directories and local directories.
The industry-specific and local directories you’ll probably already know of or you’ll come across them at some point. For example, as I am based in Sale, Victoria, there is a local Gippsland Business Connect directory which I signed up for as soon as we moved to town.
Pro tip: Create a Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet to keep track of any business listings you create and their login information. This is handy if you need to update these listings down the track, for instance, if you change address, phone number, etc.
Online business directories to add your business to today:
Without further ado here is my list of free business directories I have seen drive website traffic and customers/leads to mine and my clients’ websites.
I highly recommend working with Casey if you need assistance with SEO & Google Adword campaigns. She was great to work with and knows her stuff. We are already seeing terrific results with my businesses online presence and brand awareness and l look forward to seeing this grow. I have learnt alot ab
03:47 13 May 19
Oh my god this women is seriously amazing! Thank you Casey for being such a pleasure to work with. Casey knows exactly what she is doing and was very happy to explain to me as if she was explaining it to a 5 year old haha cause I was way out of my depth. I'm so glad I paid for a service that was abl
10:50 22 Apr 19
Casey has been wonderful to work with. She held our hand every step of the way and gave us so much information to manage our Google listing. With her knowledge and support we have managed to increase our online presence in an new location that we have been targeting. We couldn't recommend Grand Cru
00:06 27 Oct 18
Casey was a dream to work with - really efficient, incredibly informative. Huge relief to deal with someone competent in this area. Highly recommend! Thanks Casey!
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04:15 26 Oct 18
Casey at Grand Cru Digital is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in providing SEO and online marketing support. She is brilliant to work with - she responds quickly to all queries and always provides well thought out strategies and suggestions. We have seen a marked increase in traffic to our s
02:18 25 Oct 18
Grand Cru Digital is fantastic to work with. Casey is pro-active, results driven and always making valuable suggestions to improve leads and traffic to our business. An excellent company to work with.