Because an estimated 85 percent of adults in the U.S. use the internet, a vital part of today’s marketing strategy for businesses involves listing their companies online. This practice is absolutely essential for brick-and-motor enterprises that are dependent upon local traffic.
When listing your business be thorough, taking care to include your company’s name, logo and address as well as hours of operation, parking availability and photos. Also add a brief description of your business along with the types of products and services you offer. Here is a list of top directories and websites where people look for services and companies.
- This is one of the most popular directories and one of the top 200 most visited websites in the world. Yelp permits consumers to rate their experience and write reviews while allowing business owners to communicate with customers. It also offers businesses the means to track how many people look at their company profile.
- Also called “Google Places for Business,” this site permits consumers to get business recommendations based on their location and on company reviews. A good practice is to list your company in Google+ Business Pages and then merge it with the listing on Google+ Local.
3. Yahoo! Local
- Listing in this free directory allows inclusion of your business in up to five categories along with basic information like address, phone number and website. The premium version permits the additional inclusions of business descriptions, photos and coupons.
4. Bing Local
- These listings are powered by Yelp, a factor that makes including your business in the Yelp directory even more important. When consumers look for information on Bing Local pages, it will pull up your company’s attributes, photos and review snippets from your Yelp profile.
- This mobile app is a location-based social network. Foursquare lets customers leave comments, post tips and share information about your business on Facebook and Twitter. It also gives your business access to analytics on your customers and allows you to create special offers to expand your customer base.
- Since Facebook reportedly has 1 billion users, be sure to have a page here for your business. Now that it has launched Graph Search, a local search tool, it gives you another excellent reason to become part of this social media site. Graph Search harnesses the built-in universality of Facebook users and allows consumers to see what businesses, stores and restaurants their friends use or frequent. Keep your “About” page on Facebook current and complete. Find out more about Facebook pages for businesses here.
- Don’t overlook this online version of the traditional phone book that you have delivered to your home. Some people find it easier to look up a business online rather than from a book. Superpages is the country’s most advanced Yellow Pages online, permitting users to locate businesses and compare products before connecting with merchants.
- This local search engine helps consumers find local businesses, services and products. Its “Save” feature permits users to save and organize websites.
- This social network for local businesses provides online listings, local deals and free marketing tools.
- This online city guide includes reviews, recommendations and directions to businesses.
- Create a merchant account and add your business here. For more exposure, businesses can buy advertisements that will appear on Yelp, Yahoo! and Superpages.
- This is a local news and information site that lists businesses in addition to jobs, real estate and events.
- Rather than being merely a place to list and profile your business, this 225-million member social networking site also has other benefits. You can join small business groups, which permits you to ask questions, share information and make contacts. Learn all about how to get the most out of LinkedIn here.