The power of local online business directories to provide information at the press of a button made them more enticing for customers to use when looking for a local business. This change has allowed online business directories to become important and powerful marketing tool for local businesses. An online business directory can serve all kinds of businesses from beauty shops to construction companies to restaurants to law firms, etc. to invite new costumers to try the service.
According to a marketing report, local costumers use online business directories if they’re undecided for a particular business service to try. Over 50% of directory searches lead to either a call or visit to a local business. Make sure that the phone number being dialed is yours and not your competitors’.
Today, several online business directories offer free business listing—ensure that your prospective customers can find your business on these free online directories. Note that paying for a listing can increase your chances of appearing on top of the search results on directories, there are other ways you can appear on top without paying a dime.
Top 10 UK Online Business Directories
Leading the way is Yell.com with the highest number of monthly visitors at 6 million plus a month; however, they don’t allow photos and short description, which are important to personalize on their free listing service. Their paid listing can cost you anywhere between GBP300 to GBP600 depending on the business category.
Verdict: use the free listing service, but the paid-for listing is a good investment given their large audience size.
Theseogrowth.com can handle ALL types of businesses directory listings. Qype has a loyal community of regular users who actively rate and recommend businesses. Get your business mentioned on this community and watch out for a surge in sales. You can publish photos and business description on your Qype listing, unlike on Yell. Publishing photos, writing a business description, and receiving positive client reviews can pull your listing higher on search results without spending a dime.
Verdict: complete your business listing with photos and description; if you have the advertising money, don’t hesitate to go for a paid listing.
A relative newcomer to the UK, this uniquely named directory has developed rapidly thanks to its excellent Google PR. The site offers free service with ability to do a complete listing with full information.
Verdict: list your business for free now and benefit as this directory grows in influence.
Vivastreet.co.uk is not an online directory; instead, it’s a free local classified ad site. Vivastreet has monthly users of over 1.2 million users and they rank very well in Google. The site is very good in promoting events or special offers. However, free directory listings on the site do expire, so you need to go back and re-list your advert after it expires. In the short time that your listing appears on Vivastreet, however, it can do tremendous benefits to your Google Places listing.
Verdict: use the site to advertise your business events or your special offers.
Cityvisitor.co.uk is an established directory but their design is getting old. The free business listing that they offer is good enough for citation on Google Places. When the site convinces you to go for their paid-listing, however, think twice because the value may not be commensurate with the money spent.
Verdict: the free business listing is okay, but you may be wasting money for their paid-for listing.
The site has all the potential to succeed as online business directory listings in United Kingdom. FreeIndex only offers free directory listings; they don’t buy a list of basic business information. Each business listed on FreeIndex has been added by the business owner which what makes it so powerful in its Google rankings. FreeIndex also offers a lead-generation service for local businesses.
Verdict: list your business for free but explore the lead generation options as they could prove good at generating new customers.
Bizwiki and AccessPlace are two separate free directory listings but they exchange information; if you list on one directory, you’re automatically listed on the other! The two sites combined monthly users can reach over 700,000; the best part about them is they’re free and they give you an opportunity to publish photos, write description, and add extra information about your business.
Verdict: go for free listing and generate some positive user reviews to get to the top.
Yelp is huge in the US; Google recently tried to buy them for a reported US$500m! Yelp is been in the United Kingdom for only 2 years but managed to grow from 100,000 to 500,000 users in 1 year. Yelp is known primarily for their restaurant reviews but they cover all business categories. The site puts great importance on good reviews, and to get good reviews means to interact and master how Yelp’s online community works.
Verdict: will be a major business directory listings soon so list for free and start generating some user reviews.
Bview.co.uk is focused on advertising special offers from local businesses—they’re not the regular local business listings. You can list your business for free and add a local offer. Still quite London-centric, their local vouchers are distributed to a number of other sites and mobile apps, and they get a great response.
Verdict: use the free listing service and don’t forget to add special promos to entice new customers.
Viewlondon.co.uk is a directory devoted to lifestyle and entertainment businesses: bars, clubs, pubs, restaurants, venues, etc. They cover major cities in the United Kingdom and their growth is amazing. You can list your business for free and add lots of extra information. They have a number of advertising and paid-listing opportunities; their service could be expensive but I’ve heard from business owners that their service works.
Verdict: entertainment business owners should not pass the opportunity to list their businesses here; testing the paid listing options is recommended too.
Online business directories are powerful local business marketing platform. If you’re a proprietor, don’t miss your chance to list your business on these fee online directories, and invest more time to gain good client reviews to pull your listing on top of free directory listings searches. Don’t be afraid to spend your extra advertising money on these leading directories but make sure you check all possible options available—it’s a competitive market!