Can someone purchase a product if they have no idea that it exists? Will someone decide to dine at a restaurant if they haven’t ever heard about the place? Probably not, right? Similarly, your audience may not find or contact you if your business isn’t listed in online or internet directories and that is the last thing you would want as a business owner. Apart from shaking hands with missed opportunities, your business may lose out to your competitors if they have taken proactive measures to list their business across online directories.  

Online directories are key in boosting a business’s visibility and paving the way for smooth and direct communication between a business and its customers. Today, around 94% of consumers turn to online directories to find a local business and nearly 80% of them have faith in online directories as much as personal recommendations.  

This blog explains why it is a cardinal sin not to list your business in online directories and how to find the right directories.  

Let’s start by understanding what we mean by online directories.  

What is an Online Directory? 

An online directory is a business website that lists all the key details of different businesses including phone numbers, email IDs, and more. There are also industry-specific online business directories that list information about companies from a certain industry making it easier for customers and potential clients to find specialised services and products.  

Benefits of Listing Your Business in Online Directories

It is not hard to guess that online directories boost your business’s presence online. That said, listing your business in online directories has a few more glaring benefits which we will touch upon in this section. 

1. Better Visibility

We can’t emphasise enough how online directories help businesses improve their visibility. However, it is worth noting that listing your business in online directories isn’t the magic pill that will solve your SEO-related problems. However, you are likely to generate more leads if your business is listed on high-ranking business directories. It is a good idea to list your business on popular directories to ensure your clients find you. Always cross-check that all the details are listed correctly to ensure your potential customers can find you without any hiccups.  

2. Brand Awareness and Credibility

One of the major benefits of online directory listings is that they boost brand awareness even if it doesn’t translate into more leads or conversions. As mentioned earlier, these directories increase a business’s visibility and create awareness one way or the other. For example, if someone comes across your business listed in multiple directories, they will link your business to that particular service or product. In short, it improves your business’s credibility increasing the chances of attracting business from potential customers.  

Find the Right Online Business Directory Like a Pro

If you think listing your business in a handful of free online directories will do the trick, you may want to think again. Spend time researching and finding apt and relevant websites where you can create a business listing. It is also important to understand that there are thousands of online directories, and it is easy to get lost figuring out which directory is suitable for your business.  

Here are a few useful tips which will help you find the right online business directories relevant to your audience and industry.  

  • Relevance

Let’s say you offer lifestyle-related services and products. It wouldn’t be a good idea to list your business in directories that are not remotely linked to your industry including medical, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, etc. In this case, it makes more sense to find directories that list lifestyle and consumer brands to ensure you can reach relevant audiences.  

  • Domain Authority

Now that you have shortlisted a few relevant sites for listing your business in local directories, you need to consider their domain authority. The domain authority determines the credibility of a website and establishes trust among users. The higher the domain authority of a directory, the more established, trusted, and reliable it is.  

There are various tools at your disposal including Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush to evaluate the domain authority of a listing.  

  • Features

Online business listings come in different formats. As a business owner, you need to identify the type of online directory you want your business to be listed on. For example, do you want to be listed on a modest yet effective name, address, phone and website URL listing (NAP+W) or a more detailed directory that allows you to add images, videos and document reviews? It is a good idea to explore online directories that offer more features, allowing you to showcase your business in a better way. 

Popular Online Directories Examples

While there are thousands of online directories, we have handpicked some of the top and most popular choices trusted by millions of businesses worldwide.  

  • Google My Business

Probably one of the leading online directories in the world, Google My Business is an absolute must for a business looking to establish a footing in the local market.  

  • Bing Places for Business

Remember that Bing is the default search engine for Internet Explorer and Edge. Although only 6% of the world’s population uses Bing, it is the second-largest search engine in the world. Bing Places for Business is equivalent to Google’s Google My Business allowing you to reach those who do not use Google.  

  • Facebook

While Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, it is much more than that. Since Facebook pages are indexable in Google Search, your audience can find your business or its Facebook page by typing relevant keywords or business names.  

Some of the other noteworthy online directories include Yelp, Yellow Pages, FourSquare, HotFrog, AboutUs and more.  

Parting Words

Running an online business is not an easy feat. But, getting discovered online among the crowd is equally challenging, giving business owners enough – to rack their brains. Listing your business in online directories is a great way to let your potential customers know about your business, its services, and more. Additionally, these directories help you improve brand awareness and allow your customers to reach out to you in case they need to find more information. 

Frequently Asked Questions – Online Directories

What is the purpose of online directories?  

The purpose of online directories for customers is to help them discover, explore, and reach out to local businesses. Businesses use online directories so that local and other relevant audiences can find and get in touch with them.

Do online directories help SEO? 

Yes, online directories can improve your SEO by increasing your online visibility and getting backlinks.  

How can I get my business listed on online directories? 

Start by finding a few relevant online directories. Determine whether you want to be listed on paid or free directories. Enter all the required details correctly and submit your listing.