Gone are the days when a business laid down an annual sum to have its information listed in the Yellow Pages.
These days it’s crucial for small businesses to instead prominently list themselves in multiple online directories. Consider this, four out of five consumers in the U.S. now use search engines to find local businesses. Perhaps more importantly, 50 percent of those conducting local searches by smartphone visit the business in question within the same day, and 18 percent move forward with a purchase that day. To make sure your business is found, we’ve outlined the top 20 places your business needs to be listed. And we’ve even added a few lesser-known directories as a bonus.
What to include in your online business listing
Google research shows customers most frequently seek company hours, product information, business location, and directions. Many also put great stock in online reviews by other customers, with 88 percent trusting these reviews as much as personal recommendations. Other studies point to searcher demand for coupons and special offers.
So how do you decide which search engine — or engines — to list in?
Google My Business
The Goliath of search engines, of course, is Google. So it’s no surprise when prioritizing which online listings to pursue, experts often recommend starting with the free-of-charge Google My Business (GMB). After all, Google far outperforms every other search engine, logging an average 7.8 billion searches per day last year.
One of the greatest benefits of GMB is its listing of your business’s exact location on a mobile-friendly map — a huge boon to the 1.3 billion smartphone users expected to populate the U.S. by 2020.