For local businesses of all kinds, maintaining an online presence – especially on those platforms where your target audience might already be looking for you – is key.
The ways users search for local businesses are varied and are not limited to performing a Google search. For example, a local café might be discovered as a user scrolls through the neighborhood via a mapping service such as Google Maps or when they browse highly-rated cafés on a review site such as TripAdvisor.
If your local business listings are mismanaged, and there is different information in different places, it won't be very easy for users to find you. Therefore, it’s important to claim your profiles on business directories or merge Google My Business listings where necessary, to keep them up-to-date.
In short, here are the benefits of listing your business on relevant business directories:
- Positive reviews inspire trust and help your site to rank better
- Appearing in multiple business directories increases brand awareness
- A listing on a popular niche directory is the perfect way to rank for local searches that your own site doesn’t usually rank for
As many of these opportunities are completely cost-free, getting listed in an online business directory really is a no-brainer. In this guide, we'll break down how to choose where to list, how Semrush can help you with local citation services, and provide you with a list of top business directory sites to take a look at:
- How Do I Choose Where to List My Local Business?
- Automation: Use Semrush to Help with Local Business Directories
- The Best Local Business Directory Sites (Plus a Few Others)
- Other Local Business Directories
How Do I Choose Where to List My Local Business?
Out of the many local business directories, platforms, and social networks, you’re likely wondering which ones are important for your business?
The answer really depends on two things: traffic and credibility. How likely is your target audience to visit this site? And if they do, is your business going to gain credibility by being listed there?
If you perform sweeps through local business listings for NAP consistency and add your business onto additional listing sites that can bring you leads, you’ll be in a better position to make a good impression on your customers.
Consistent NAP across platforms is important for user experience as it means your customers will know exactly how to find and contact you. It’s also considered a best practice for local SEO as it gives search engines a clearer picture of your business.
Automation: Use Semrush to Help with Local Business Directories
If you don’t have time to manually list your local business on relevant sites, Semrush’s Listing Management Tool is worth considering.
Input your business name, address, and phone number once (known as NAP), and the tool will add it to platforms including Google Business Profile, Facebook, and Yelp. You can also update your NAP details once, and they’ll be automatically updated across the business directory list.
Some key benefits of the Listing Management Tool include:
- The ability to easily upload your business information and view consistency issues
- The ability to monitor keyword performance in key locations
- The ability to respond to reviews within our platform and publish
The Best Local Business Directory Sites (Plus a Few Others)
Now you know why it’s worth doing, we’ll take a look at the best opportunities for directory links – a process that you can automate using our local business listing service.
The sites have been sorted by Authority Score, Semrush’s metric for measuring a domain's authority based on its quality, popularity, and backlinks. This will give you an idea of which opportunities to focus on first.
1. Google Business Profile (Authority Score: 98)
Google Business Profile is a free tool that enables you to manage how your business appears across Google products such as Google Search and Google Maps. Google Business Profile information is used to display business address, business hours, category, and reviews, so make sure it’s up to date.
A study that HubSpot referenced claimed that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. Ensuring your local business listing on Google is up to date is critical when almost half of users are looking for a business nearby.
2. Facebook (Authority Score: 98)
With roughly 2.8 billion users, Facebook is one of the best places to maintain a business presence. You can create a Facebook Business Page for free, which acts as a microsite for your company and gives you a greater ability to interact with customers.
3. LinkedIn (Authority Score: 95)
LinkedIn is the biggest social media platform for business professionals with 260 million active monthly users. A free LinkedIn Company Page can be a great source of leads and partnership opportunities.
More than just a hiring tool, business owners can identify prospects with commonalities and contact these “warm” leads instead of making cold calls.
4. Apple Maps (Authority Score: 95)
While not as popular as Google Maps, Apple Maps still attracts 23.3 million users a month and is the default mapping app on iOS devices. Local businesses can claim their Apple Maps listing for free and can ensure their NAP details are accurate.
5. Tripadvisor (Authority Score: 87)
If you’re in the hospitality sector, you need to be on Tripadvisor. a listing on the world’s largest travel platform means you’ll reach the millions of travelers who use the site each month. Businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and holiday rentals can be added via the Claim Your Listing page.
A 2019 study revealed that 63% of travelers trust review sites for advice – more than trust guide books (39%) and second only to friends’ recommendations (68%).
6. Yelp (Authority Score: 86)
Yelp brings in more than 178 million unique visitors every month, making it one of the most popular sites for reviews and recommendations of local businesses. If you haven’t done so, be sure to claim or update your local business listing.
In a 2016 paper, Harvard Professor Michael Luca showed that a one-star increase in Yelp rating led to a 5-9% increase in revenue for restaurants in Washington State. Yelp is too important to ignore.
7. Bing Places (Authority Score: 59)
Bing places for business is its own version of Google Business Profile. A free listing on America’s second most popular search engine means you’ll appear in Bing’s search results as well as on Bing Maps.
Other Local Business Directories
We named some of the most important local business directory sites, but here are a few more that you should take a look at. From some of the niche directories to others that are important to be on, we've got you covered.
Note: Any references to estimated monthly organic search traffic are courtesy of Semrush's Domain Overview Tool and are accurate from January 2021.
8. Better Business Bureau (AS: 88)
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a directory that helps consumers find businesses they can trust. Creating a listing is free, but accreditation comes with a fee.
9. Foursquare (AS: 83)
With 50 million monthly active users, location discovery app Foursquare is still a popular choice for finding nearby businesses. Claim your listing for free.
10. The Business Journals (AS: 81)
The Business Journals media platform features local business news from 43 U.S. cities and has its own online business directory.
11. Local Chamber of Commerce
Membership to your local Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for networking with other business owners and includes a listing in their membership directory. However, it is not free.
A list of local chambers in the U.S. can be found here.
12. Houzz (AS: 81)
A popular community for home renovation and design, with 40 million monthly users. Houzz is one of the best places for finding interior designers, decorators, and landscapers.
13. The Yellow Pages (AS: 78)
The Yellow Pages, the original printed small business directory, is still going strong online. More than 60 million monthly consumers rely on yellowpages.com, the YP app, and The Real Yellow Pages each month.
14. Angi (AS: 78)
Six million households rely on Angi (formerly known as Angie's List) for reviews and ratings of home services such as roofing, plumbing, and heating. The site has more than 700 service categories.
15. FindLaw (AS: 78)
FindLaw has eleven million monthly visitors and is home to the largest online directory of attorneys. It’s ideal for finding legal professionals.
16. Superpages (AS: 76)
A long-running and authoritative directory, Superpages offers a free business listing. It receives an estimated 317k estimated organic visits each month.
17. HomeAdvisor (AS: 74)
The leading site for finding tradespeople, HomeAdvisor is suitable for home repair and home improvement businesses. It has 4 million unique monthly visitors.
18. Nextdoor (AS: 73)
Local businesses can claim their free listing on this hyperlocal social network for neighborhoods. Nextdoor has grown quickly, with 270,000 neighborhoods globally and 50 million local business recommendations.
19. Thumbtack (AS: 73)
Thumbtack is useful for finding local professionals in categories such as home, wellness, events, and lessons. The site has an estimated 4.6 million organic traffic each month.
20. MerchantCircle (AS: 72)
MerchantCircle has upwards of five million merchants listed nationwide. It offers free and paid options for a local business listing.
21. Healthgrades (AS: 71)
Healthgrades is the top-ranking healthcare review site that has information on over three million U.S. doctors, hospitals, and healthcare providers.
22. Alignable (AS: 67)
Alignable is a platform where small business owners can connect and generate referrals. It is similar to LinkedIn and has 4.5 million users.
23. Hotfrog (AS: 65)
Launched in 2006, users can search Hotfrog for local businesses by keyword and location. It generates an estimated 20.3k organic search traffic each month.
24. Tupalo (AS: 65)
Local search and discovery community Tupalo reaches 3.5 million people each month in multiple international markets.
25. ShowMeLocal.com (AS: 65)
ShowMeLocal.com was founded in 2006 to help local businesses get their contact information online quickly and easily. It has an estimated 104.5k organic search traffic per month.
26. CitySquares (AS: 60)
CitySquares is a neighborhood directory bringing online exposure to local businesses such as restaurants, shops, and hairdressers. Estimated monthly search traffic: 11.8k.
27. B2B Yellow Pages (AS: 54)
One of the oldest business-to-business directories, B2B Yellow Pages, has over 16 million local company listings and an estimated 130.8k monthly search traffic.
We hope this list has helped you to identify the most important business directories, review platforms, and online mapping services for your business. The most relevant ones are likely to be those that bring you leads while also enhancing your brand’s credibility.
So, if you're going to list your business manually, it's time to get started! Alternatively, Semrush’s Listing Management Tool makes it easy to manage listings across multiple platforms, respond to Google reviews, and see how your listings perform. You could save some time sweeping through some of these local business listing sites and have our tool do it for you.