More than ever, free business listing sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google My Business are how customers find your business, even for super-small local microbusinesses, pop-ups, solopreneurs, freelancers, contractors, and more. Basically, the web has become a goldmine of free advertising and exposure for small business owners thanks to these dozens of business listing sites.
To help business owners such as yourself, we’ve compiled a list of over 25 free online communities, directories, and any free business listing sites where you should have a profile. Read the short descriptions below each site and decide which platforms you want to be listed on.
Remember: the more you choose, the greater your online footprint and the easier it is for customers to find your business and spend money with you. In fact, research shows that businesses that claim their free listings on multiple sites earn more money. Enjoy!
(More than) 25 free business listing sites for your local business
The third most popular review website on the web, Yelp is used daily by millions searching for local small businesses, especially restaurants.
2. Google My Business
Shoppers use the most popular search engine for information about and directions to local stores. For everything. It’s the main street of the web. According to Google, 50% of all the mobile consumers who use Google for local searches in a day visit the businesses they search.
More than 1 out of 7 people on the planet are on Facebook, and they’re actively checking out the 65 million plus local business pages listed on the biggest social network ever. Creating a Facebook presence for your business takes five steps. Read our step-by-step guide: How to create and claim your Facebook business page.
Another top five review website, TripAdvisor’s 415 million monthly users have smoke coming from their keyboards — over 535 million reviews have been published on the site. Your small business, especially if it’s in the hospitality space, is missing out on a windfall of digital awareness and feedback if you’re not on TripAdvisor.
Why is this on our list, you might wonder? True, Twitter might not “sell” your customers to come into your shop, but it surfaces to the top in searches and presents one of the easiest and fastest ways for customers to reach out to you. It’s also a location-based tool that lets you search for customers in your area.
A recent study shows 82% of customers research before they come into the store to buy. Today, especially if you’re marketing to younger demographics, photography-based Instagram is a visual invitation to come in and see for oneself.
Some people don’t have time to read reviews, scroll through a website, or comb through social media posts. A video is easy. Just hit play. A YouTube video (even just one) is a solid small business marketing vehicle to reach over 30 million customers who are watching almost 5 billion YouTube videos a day.
Foursquare has a passionate following of 55 million monthly local small business fans. They check-in, share where they are, and leave tips for others to follow. Without a filled-in profile on Foursquare, SMB owners are missing out on helpful user-generated information about their business.
It might seem like LinkedIn only matters for national or global brands, but a local business can show researching consumers more of who they are, from owners to employees. Use LinkedIn to present yourself as a reputable, well-connected owner with years of relevant experience, especially for finance-based businesses.
Read our step-by-step guide: How to create a business LinkedIn account
We know Google reigns supreme in search, but Yahoo is still used by 1 billion potential small business customers people every month. Why? For some, it’s preference. For others, especially Firefox web browsers, it’s the default on their machine. Similar to Google My Business, Yahoo partners with Yext (below) to display local small business listings in search results.
With slightly more users than Yahoo, Bing is Microsoft’s search engine. Bing Places for Business is where small business owners can access their local listings. Every Microsoft computer’s default web browser is Internet Explorer and searches with Bing, so it’s worth your time to set up your business information for Skype, Office, Xbox, and Surface tablet users.
Follow our step-by-step guide to create and claim your Bing business listing.
12. Angie’s List (now Angi.com)
Originally created to review local contractors, the online directory has grown to be a go-to repository for crowd-sourced online reviews. It’s free for small business owners to register on Angi.com). If you offer home services, Angie’s List is highly recommended to reach local customers.
14. Semrush listing management tool
Now, technically this is free, but only for a trial period. But we feel this service might be worth the small price you pay. Semrush is known for their keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO) tools, but they also offer business listings management. Semrush says, “Get your business data automatically distributed to the most authoritative directories on the Internet.” You can improve your rankings on Google’s search results, local pack, map results and more. Visit Semrush to start your free trial of their business listing management tool.
15. Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been vouching for marketplace trust since 1912. It’s the number one website for reporting scams and other quackery. It’s free to have your business listed in the nonprofit organization’s database. Simply search for your business and if it’s not there, follow these steps to add your business to BBB. Highly recommended for local law firms.
16. Apple Maps
While Android dominates the market with an 87% market share, iOS holds around 13% of that market share which is still over a billion users. The primary map app on iOS devices is Apple Maps, another free directory in which you can and should make sure your business is listed. You will need an Apple ID to create or edit your Apple Maps listing, but that’s free to create too if you don’t already have one. Get started at mapsconnect.apple.com.
Sometimes customers want to know how an employer treats its employees. Any type of research in this area will lead curious customers to GlassDoor, the number one review site for companies and employees. With over 700,000 companies reviewed over 33 million times, GlassDoor is another stop local business owners should know about. Recommended for larger corporations. Companies are registered only when employees submit a review.
The nationwide local business publication also offers a searchable directory of local private businesses. It serves 43 major markets in the US, each with its own website and tailored news. Bizjournals populates its company profiles from business data company Owler.
19. Chamber lists
An extremely valuable local resource that is often overlooked is your city’s Chamber of Commerce. A hub for events, news, and networking, the Chamber’s website keeps a list of local businesses and members. It might be worth your time to get in front of the right local officials at the Chamber and participate in the free small business services. They exist for owners — the initiators of local commerce — to thrive.
With over 5 billion records, Whitepages is an enormous database of global people and businesses. One unique feature of Whitepages is its APIs, which allow businesses to buy and use the company’s extensive data to build their own software. This means a WP listing shows up not only on whitepages.com but also across all of their API customers’ sites as well. Whitepages uses Yext to create listings.
A new player to the industry, venture-backed startup Alignable claims to be the number one source of referrals for local small businesses, with over 22,000 communities networked on its platform. It’s free and easy to connect on Alignable once you create your Alignable business listing, and start receiving referrals from other local small business owners.
An established online listing community, Manta sees 1,000 companies join its small business directory every day. This site is recommended not only because it’s easy to add your company profile to Manta, but also because its time-tested presence carries considerable SEO benefits.
It seems like we’ve been waiting for this one, no? Yext is a one-and-done effort to get your company listed across almost every small business site mentioned in this article. As a one-stop shop, Yext lets you fill out the information for your business and voilà, you’ll be found “everywhere.” See how your company appears in Yext right now.
CitySearch helps you find local business in your neighborhood. With a voting system, award badges, and special deals, CitySearch prioritizes fun. Locals recommend anything from restaurants to attorney offices to hair salons. Bolster your presence on the platform by adding your business to CitySearch’s database.
Finally, MerchantCircle allows consumers to search for local merchants by category. According to its website, the directory has over 2 million merchants on its site with over 100 million consumers visiting each month. Claim your business listing on MerchantCircle.
That’s 25 free business listings, but we’ve got more good stuff for you, so let’s keep going!
26. EZ Local
Claim your free listing on EZ Local. Build up your business’s online presence and check out some of the other features that this web directory site offers: social media management, custom web design, and more. Do a quick search first to see if your business already exists at ezlocal.com.
CitySquares was created to help consumers find local businesses in their neighborhoods. Businesses can create a free profile on the platform in order to reach more potential customers. Get started at citysquares.com.
Hotfrog touts itself as the freshest local business directory in the United States. Consumers are able to search for businesses by city to find the most relevant places near them. You can easily add your business for free to their online directory in order to increase your online visibility. Hotfrog also has a blog to help keep you up to date on marketing best practices.
ShowMeLocal houses over 22 million businesses in its online directory, and it also allows users to review your business. The more opportunity for customer reviews, the better your online reputation can become. Visit showmelocal.com to add your business for free.
BrownBook.net allows your business to create an enhanced online profile with videos, images, logos, an about us section, and much more. Over 40 million businesses currently have profiles in BrownBook.net’s online directory, and that is always growing. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.
Cylex offers free and premium listings in their online directory with the primary goal of connecting consumers to businesses. With over 1 million unique daily users on their site, this is a great opportunity to list your business and grow your online reach. Get started at cylex.us.com.
Along the lines of #19 above, this listing helps you find and appear in your local chamber of commerce listing, and their optional paid “premium” packages allow you to more easily get exposure to 25 million directory visitors a year, be found by potential customers in your local area, and drive traffic to your business website. Visit ChamberofCommerce.com to get started.
33. (Bonus) paid business listings to consider
In addition to the free business listings above, you might also look into paid services such as Dun & Bradstreet (touted as “the most trusted online business directory”) and Thumbtack (a great resource for contractors, gig workers, freelancers, and other pros, where you pay only when customers connect with you for your services).
You’ve claimed your profile on multiple business listing sites. Now what?
Once you’ve claimed your local business listing on as many free business listing sites as possible, what’s next? First, make sure you add as much information about your business as possible to each profile you’ve claimed. The more “alive” your listing looks, the more inviting your business becomes to curious customers. For sites that include reviews, make sure you reply to every review your business gets.
You might also like: 25 free local advertising ideas for small business
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