For local businesses, appearing in local search engine results is really important. In fact, in 2017, Google stats revealed that 97% of consumers made  
a least one local search, with 12% making one every single day. 
 
If you’re not listed in the results, you are missing out on potential business. 
 
Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to boost your rankings and gain competitive advantage in the local listings. In this post, we look at a quick, easy, and free way to boost the visibility of your site – registering on local business directories. 

Why register? 

Registering on business directories can deliver a number of benefits. 
Firstly, business directories often rank very highly when it comes to local searches. For instance, if someone searched ‘painters in Whitby’ – 7 of the top 10 organic results are for business directories. By registering on these sites, you’re increasing the likelihood that people searching for your products and/or services will come across you. 
 
Secondly, registering the same NAP (name, address and phone number) for your business on multiple directories acts as a trust signal for your business, generating local citations and encouraging search engines to rank your site highly. 
Registering also delivers another benefit, in terms of generating some backlinks to your site. Having a higher number of high quality backlinks improves your Google Page Rank, and ultimately, your search engine rankings. 
 
Whilst directory listing backlinks aren’t particularly high quality, they will provide a small but significant boost. If you’re listed and your competitors aren’t, it’s another factor that will help you to outperform them online. 
 

Choosing directories 

There are thousands of directories, but there’s no point in registering on all of them. In fact, registering on low quality or poorly vetted business directories can actually have a negative impact on your search engine ranking. 
 
Essentially, the goal here is to register on the reputable directories – the ones that rank highly in the search engine rankings in their own right. With the majority of these directories, a free listing is enough. For specialist industry specific directories, you could trial a premium/paid listing if you think it will really benefit your business. 
 

Key directories – the hit list 

Here’s a selection of some of the top directories to get you started: 

1. Google My Business 

This is the single most important directory there is – and if you only do one thing on this list, make sure you register your business here. 
 
It’s Google’s own local business directory and can be a massive boost for your visibility. With a Google My Business listing, your business will start to appear in Map search results, and you’ll generate a Google+ page, which you can use to fill in useful information about your business on. 
 

2. Thomson Local 

Thomson Local built their business offering printed business directories – today, it’s gone digital, and moved the listings online. A free listing takes just a few minutes to create. 
 

3. Yell 

The Yellow pages has gone online – and you can get a free listing with them on yell.com. It’s the UK’s leading business directory, and definitely worth creating a listing. 
 

4. Yelp 

Yelp gets over 100 million unique hits a month. Its primary focus is on restaurants, bars, and trades businesses. 
 

5. Scoot 

Scoot claims to be the largest online only directory business in the UK. It’s started to gain real traction in the organic searches, and now has more than 600,000 business listings. Touch Local is another directory that’s part of the Scoot network, so you may want to add a listing here too. 
 

6. Factual 

Factual is a feeder site – passing on small business information to other directories and sites around the web, including some big names like Bing and Apple. 
 

7. Foursquare 

With 50 million users worldwide, Foursquare is a great tool for local businesses. If you’ve got a shopfront, then claiming your listing will help you to listen in to what customers are saying and influence the conversation about your business. 
 

8. FreeIndex 

Another quick and easy one – Freeindex has thousands of business listings, and hundreds of thousands of reviews. 
 

How itseeze can help 

Want a beautiful, mobile responsive and fully editable website that’s designed to perform in the modern world? Need advice on local SEO, and boosting the performance of your website? Contact itseeze Ryedale today. 
 
Set up your free, no obligation meeting with Rob Davies from itseeze Ryedale today by calling 01653 690 982, or by emailing rob.davies@itseeze.co.uk. 
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