The success of local online directories to supply information quickly on demand made them more enticing for consumers to use when looking for a local bestbusinesscommunity . This increase in demand for local online business directories makes them important marketing tools for local businesses today. It doesn’t matter what type of business you own (i.e. law office, bookkeeping company, laundry shop, pizza parlor, etc.) local business listings can help you grow your business.
There’s a survey done on consumers and online business directories and it was found out that consumers prefer online business listings to quickly find businesses in their area. The survey revealed that over 50% of businesses found on directory searches result in either a call or visit by a willing customer. You need to make sure that the local business number called is your business!
Today, several online business directories offer free business listing-ensure that your business is visible on these free online directories. And although paid-for listings will often appear at the top of the directory results, there are strategies to get your business to the top of a directory using a free listing.
Ten Major Online Business Directories in UK
The leading online business directory with over 6 million monthly users, Yell.com allows free business listings but the option to customize your listing by adding in photos and description are non-existent at present. They have their site on paid listings and the price range from 300 pounds to 600 pounds depending on the business category.
Verdict: don’t miss the free business listing; spending some money on paid listing is a good investment too because of the site’s large pool of users.
Qype.com.uk can handle ALL types of businesses directory listings. Qype’s users actively rate and recommend businesses on the site. So get your business mentioned on this site and watch out for a surge in sales! Qype lets businesses add lots of extra information for free like photos and business description. A full listing will really standout and getting good customer reviews can get you to the top of the listings for free. Qype do offer a paid-for listings service for approximately £50/month which represents good value in increasing leads with fewer effort on your part.
Verdict: list your business, add extra detail; consider their paid-for listings should your budget allows.
A relative newcomer to UK, this bizarrely named directory has developed quickly thanks to its excellent Google PR. All listings are free and a business can add lots of extra information which will help you to get up their ranking and also start appearing in Google for relevant search terms.
Verdict: while the site is free, take the opportunity to list your business.
This is a free online classified advertising service, not a directory. Vivastreet has over 1.2 million users per month and enjoys a very good Google PR. No other site can promote events, special offers, promos, etc. like Vivastreet.co.uk. However, the free directory listings on the site will expire; you need to go back and re-list your advert on the site regularly. While your listing is on Vivastreet, however, it can do tremendous benefits to your Google Places listing.
Verdict: if you have special offers, promos, events, etc. to promote, the site is the best for you.
Perhaps because the site has been here for quite some time now, its design is showing signs of obsolescence. They offer a basic free-listing which is useful as a citation for your Google Places listing. When the site convinces you to go for their paid-listing though, think twice because the value may not be commensurate with the money spent.
Verdict: list your business for free but not worth paying for.
FreeIndex.co.uk is another rising player in UK’s business directory listings arena. It’s free directory listings is not to be missed for all business owners. The site doesn’t buy business listings-all businesses on their directory have been listed by the owners themselves, which helps boost reputation on Google page ranking. The site is very good in generating leads for local businesses too.
Verdict: don’t hesitate to use the free business listing but take time to consider the lead generation offer of the site.
7. Bizwiki & AccessPlace
Two separate directories but they share information, so if you list on Bizwiki you get free directory listings on Access Place too! Their combined monthly audience is approximately 700,000, and you can list your business and extra information including photos, service description, opening hours, etc. for free.
Verdict: Recommendation: strive to get positive consumer reviews to push your listing to the top
Yelp is huge in the US; Google recently tried to buy them for a reported US$500m! They’ve been in the UK for a couple of years and are rapidly building a loyal audience; they’ve grown from 100k users to 500k in 12 months! Yelp is known originally for their restaurant reviews; now they cover all business categories. The site puts emphasis on good reviews, and to get good reviews means you need master how Yelp’s online community functions.
Verdict: it has the potential to become a major force in the business directory listings arena, so list now for free and start generating some positive user reviews.
Bview.co.uk’s focus is on local promos more than local SEO London listings, which makes them a different online directory. The main focus is on London businesses providing them a venue to advertise their local promos, which is distributed to mobile apps and other relevant sites
Verdict: great lead generator if you have discount vouchers so list for free, add your promos vouchers and wait for the phone to ring.
Viewlondon.co.uk is a directory devoted to lifestyle and entertainment businesses, that is to say bars, clubs, pubs, restaurants, venues, etc. They now cover major cities in the UK and are expanding rapidly. The site allows listing businesses for free without limiting the information that can be added. They have several advertising and paid-listing opportunities; their service could be expensive but a lot of business owners say that their service works.
Verdict: if you’re into the entertainment business, then list your business for free and consider testing their paid-for options to see what the return is like.
Online business directories are powerful local business marketing platform today. Local business owners should take advantage of the free listing opportunities and focus their efforts on getting directory users to leave sparkling reviews to boost their free directory listings rank. Don’t be afraid to spend your extra marketing money on these leading directories but make sure you shop around-it’s a competitive market!
Myles Anderson is the co-founder of After working with big company names like Freeserve, eHarmony, and Orange, he turned his attention to helping all sorts of local businesses attract new customers through business directory listings and other local search engine marketing tools.