Top 10 Free Places to List Your Business

In putting together this list, we looked at a variety of factors, including overall traffic, domain authority, share of local search and depth of listing content in compiling the list. All of these sites also have paid advertising options, but first you should take advantage of what they have to offer for free. Note that in most cases, you will need to be able to verify a phone number and/or a physical address to add your listing. We have included traffic figures for each site, using Compete.com December, 2010 data.

1. Google Places

By adding your business to Google Places, you show up on Google Maps and Google local results. This is one of the most important things a local business can do to get found on the web. Here are a few reasons why:

Compete puts monthly visits for maps.google.com at 58M, but Google.com and mobile are probably the bigger traffic drivers. If we conservatively estimate that 10% of search on www.Google.com is local, that amounts to over 300M locally-oriented visits per month. I don’t know of a good source for usage data for the mobile Google Maps application – please let me know if you do.

To add your listing: Google Places. And while claiming your Place Page is a good start, you should also invest the time in optimizing your page so that you rank well for your categories.  Here’s an article with some pointers on Place Page optimization: To-Do List: Creating a Fabulous Google Place Page

2. Facebook Fan Page

Apart from being the most visited site on the internet, over 1.5 million businesses have created fan pages on the network, and 20 million people become fans of pages every day (source). Facebook is a long way from being the first place where consumers search for businesses, but it has quickly become the most likely place for consumers to connect with local businesses online. According to Compete, Facebook received almost 3.5 billion visits in December, 2010, though little of this constitutes local business search traffic.
To create a page you must be logged in to your personal account. People who follow your page won’t be able to see your private information, FB just doesn’t allow people to anonymously create pages. Also, once you’ve created it, you can add other administrators to the page.  Create a Facebook Page. And here are some suggestions for how to engage with prospects and get people interested in your business: Great Content for Facebook Business Pages

Facebook users can also check in to locations, and Facebook has their own version of place pages as part of this functionality. You need to claim or create a place page in addition to creating a business page, and then link it to your business page. Here are instructions for doing this.

3. Yellowpages.com/YP.com

AT&T owned Yellowpages.com rebranded as YP.com, and it’s not your parent’s yellow pages any more. Under pressure from the likes of Google and Yelp, YP.com has a fresh look and more social content and features. They also distribute listings to a number of syndication partners. Currently at 29 million visits per month.
Claim your listing

4. Superpages.com

Superpages also went through a significant redesign recently, but doesn’t seem to be keeping up with Yellowpages.com or the others. Their traffic figures indicate same, but they did have a nice uptick last Fall. They get 19 million local search visits a month.
Get your free listing now

5. Yelp

The review site Yelp is the most popular social site focused on local business search. Given its emphasis on social content and interaction, Yelp tends to do better than other directory sites when it comes to attracting younger, more social users. Currently at 18 million visits per month.
To add your listing: Yelp signup page

6. Citysearch

Citysearch.com has been holding steady for a number of years now in terms of on-site traffic, but they have been growing their network of distribution through syndication and the recently announced CityGrid blows their distribution opportunity wide-open. Currently at 9 million visits per month. Citysearch is also a powerhouse when it comes to review syndication.
To add your listing:
add business – note that you must be logged in to a personal Citysearch account to see this page.

7. Yahoo! Local

As with many things Yahoo!, Yahoo! Local is holding steady, but not seeing the growth of Google or even Bing. But they still provide a very popular service, so worth making sure you are listed there. Local.Yahoo.com is currently at 17 million visits per month, and we estimate about 60 million more local search visits at search.Yahoo.com.
To add your listing: add a business page

8. Bing Local

Microsoft has long struggled behind Google and Yahoo! in the world of web search, but the tides have turned of late. Since Microsoft launched Bing.com last year, they have steadily been gaining search share. Bing local and maps operate under the www.Bing.com domain, which gets 654M visits per month. We estimate 65M of that to be local search.
To add your listing: Local Listing Center

9. LinkedIn

LinkedIn isn’t exactly a place where people go to look for local businesses, but it does offer rich business listing functionality, and the domain carries quite a bit of authority. LinkedIn has also been adding many useful features for businesses, such as the ability to announce promotions, share articles and blogs, and list open jobs. LinkedIn is very important for business-to-business exposure, since people will often browse from a personal profile to a business profile. Currently at 48 million visits per month, though very little of this is local search traffic. Add a company to LinkedIn

10. Localeze.com

Localeze is not a local search site itself, it is a back-end data provider to many other local search services. Create an account on Localeze

Honorable Mention – Universal Business Listing

Universal Business Listing’s basic submission service costs $75, but deserves mention here. UBL.org provides an automated submission service that gets your listing into Acxiom and InfoUSA, back-end data providers similar to Localeze. UBL also distributes business information to a number of other sites. All told, submitting to UBL will get your listing on to hundreds of sites and services, definitely worth the $75.

You’ll notice that both Localeze and UBL distribute listing data to some of the sites mentioned here – we still recommend that you claim them and enter all the information you can.

A Couple of Pointers When Creating/Updating Listings

  • Be accurate and consistent. If you have a registered business name, use that as your business name in all cases. Some of these sites will verify your information with public business registration data, and consistency will help your search ranking.
  • Fill out everything you can. More information helps you get found, and makes your listing more useful to searchers – remember, your goal is not just to have your listings show up, you want people to visit your business.

There are many benefits to getting your business listed on other web sites. Four important ones are:

  • Links – links pointing to a web site are major factor in how that site ranks in search engines. I would say the most important factor, but linking is a complex and nuanced topic. Links are not all created equal. Where a link comes from is important. For example, a link from the home pages of nytimes.com is worth a lot more than a link on a page buried deep within a blog like this one. And some web sites put a “nofollow” attribute on links. This attribute is a way of telling search engines not to follow nor associate value with a link. However, there is still some SEO value in a nofollowed link, in particular because user behavior is also a factor in Google ranking. Matt Cutts of Google explains more about the value of nofollowed links here.
  • Web site traffic – this one is kind of obvious, but your listing will include a link to your web site, which will result in more traffic. Many consumers like to visit a web site before visiting a business. If yours isn’t listed, you lose out.
  • In-store traffic – consumers are using the internet more, and print yellow pages less.  According to one study, print accounts for less than a third of local business search. Listing your business on the web is now the best way to get people to walk in to or call your business.
  • Citations – citations are references to your business that include your business name and some sort of geographic identifier, like a phone number or street address. Citations are one of the signals Google uses to determine ranking for local listings.

[note: this post was updated in January, 2011]

This post is part of

Two Octobers Local.

Comments

  1. Melih Oztalay says:

    Hello,

    I believe the information about these location is accurate and worthwhile to the local business. Certainly local business listings have become a good local marketing tool for the local business to reach the local consumer through web searches and mobile searches.

    What I don’t see in your post is “time”. The local business has to contend with time resources that is quite precious. Doing the initial work to claim and update the listing is easy.

    The ongoing management becomes more difficult when you consider insuring regular updates of marketing materials; having to contend with consumer reviews; and the future of local business listings that will go down the road of QR Code technology, coupons, citations, and much more.

    Something we recently read at KillerStartUps are companies that are offering a low cost service to update then manage these listings for companies. You can read about this at KillerStartUps here:

    http://www.killerstartups.com/Search/smartfindslocallisting-com-be-found-online

    It is a changing world and the local business will benefit. Hope this was helpful to add a business perspective to this process.

  2. nicobrx says:

    Melih: Thanks. I agree that time is a limiting factor for SMB’s, and the possiblities for promoting a local business are only getting more complicated. I will check out SmartFinds.com, sounds like it could fulfill an important niche.

  3. I agree that there is a ton of time invested to manage all of this, but it is good beginner information for a small business just getting started. Any others you could list for the newbie would be great!

  4. sab5331: thanks! A couple other important ones come to mind: Localeze provides local business info to a lot of other sites/publishers, so good to make sure you have a thorough listing with them. Merchant Circle also ranks well in SEO for some categories/locations. A good way to identify directories that are relevant to your business is to do a search for your business category and location in Google, and see what directories show up towards the top of the organic search results.
    And to get a good Google Place Page ranking, I *love* this tip from Rand Fishkin: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/one-dead-simple-tactic-for-better-rankings-in-google-local
    And here’s a post I did with other tips on how to get your Google Place Page to rank well:
    http://twooctobers.com/2010/06/to-do-list-google-place-page/

  5. Interesting I try the YP.com link. It searches for a business by phone and doesn’t find one and then I add the basic info and click continue and it just loops back to the data entry screen. No confirmation or error message

  6. Hey it really very nice article to grow business in online marketing area and i will apply it on my business website again very thanks to share this useful information.

  7. Great info, But how many listings can you put into each category section? Is there anywhere for google places information for dummies? Like a detailed page shots of what to do and where to do it?

  8. interesting info be back again to check out more of your content

  9. i ll use these sites to add my business but tell me one thing please these sites ll b accept my blog http://mlmcompanyindia.blogspot.com or not !

  10. Wow Im frustrated. Im not calling you out though, I think it is everyone else out there that isnt taking notice.

  11. Most helpful advice. Thank You

  12. I have got so much form the above article. I think this article is a complete business listing tutorial. Although I like whole the post but the couple of points about creating business listing are very much considerable.

  13. very Important information!I would like to say that this blog is very informative and i would love to visit it again.

  14. When starting a new business these are the sites you want to be on ASAP. Thanks for the list

  15. Thank you for the list.
    Above all are free of cost and user friendly to list any business.
    But Is there any more best sites in Malaysia to list business?

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  18. Great Information ;-) Thanks

  19. Hi,

    Would you like that, these are the top sites of business so i am rely aprisiyet for this sites.

  20. Good list of local business listing sites and a short, but informative article about current web marketing trends. Thanks!

  21. Jed Dewitt says:

    So great to hear from you Nancy. I wonder how the beans turned out? We don’t tend to get much spicy food here and so especially enjoyed them. Thanks for keeping up with the blog miss you all! xo, Rylla

  22. Great article thank you. I just went down the list setting up my new business “The Small Business Marketing Company” on most of them. I also like how you give readers an understanding of SEO tips at the bottom to explain how citations can help with search engine optimisation. Nice work.

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    I agree with your Post these are top 10 most appreared business listings.
    Google Liting is top most

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  31. Thank you very much this was very helpful to us.
    Thanks again

  32. This is my first time to know the local business will benefit and now I am willing to know how they work also how could I find more sites list. Thanks for your list.

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] in search engines. How do you get other sites to link to you? Some ideas: Include your web URL in free profiles on local directories. Build interesting content on your site that people want to link [...]

  2. [...] for hot entry pages and spend a little extra time on those. On this site, The Top 10 Free Places to List Your Business is the number one entry point. I’ve already gone back a few times to improve the post and [...]

  3. [...] 9. List your business in online directories This is one of the oldest tactics for link building, but it is still very effective, especially for local businesses. Here is a list of sites that provide free business listings, as well as a couple of services that syndicate listings to many other sites: Top 10 Free Places to List Your Business [...]

  4. [...] Click the following link for a good list of places to list your business: Where to list… [...]

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