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Free Business Listings Online

If you’re a small business owner, most of your marketing effort is about letting as many people know about your products and services, but spending as little as possible in the process. The internet has made It possible to advertise your business far and wide for very little cost, but with so many possibilities from Facebook to business directories, where do you start?

Google
Google has emerged as the world’s favourite search engine, so if there’s only one online directory where you’re listed, make sure it’s Google. There’s no charge for a basic listing in Google, which lets people see where your business is located and gives basic details like your address and phone number. If you’ve more money to invest in your online marketing, you may then choose to look into targeted adverts, shown to customers searching for specific keywords. If you’re not sure about how to go about listing your business on Google and getting it to appear as a result on the main search engine or Google maps, have a look at the Google Digital Garage online tutorials which walk you through the process.

Other Business Directories
Once you start searching, you’ll find a huge range of other online directories which offer to promote your business free of charge. It’s important to look at these opportunities carefully and consider whether the image of the directory fits with the image of your brand. Good places to start are the more established names like Yell or Thomson Local. These websites will list your name and contact details for free but will charge for a more prominent position on the website or a larger advert. Look also at websites which offer industry specific listings as customers are likely to first go to this sort of page if they’re looking for a specific product or trade. If you’re listed on the type of website which allows customers to log on and give feedback or rate your service, make sure you encourage customers – especially the happy ones – to do so as this will raise your profile even further.

Backlinks
The whole point of getting your business or website listed on business directories is to get backlinks. Having your business listed on a reputable and much-used business directory will help raise its profile in terms of search engine optimisation, meaning that it’s more likely to appear higher up Google rankings. Not all business directories are equal in this respect though, and although the way in which Google ranks its search results is a closely guarded secret, it’s fair to say that a business which is featured on nationally known listings sites feature more highly than those which are not. Search around online to see where your competitors are listed, and make sure you’re on too. Finally, don’t neglect your social media feeds either. Having a company Facebook page and Twitter feed and making sure they updated regularly with relevant content can also help raise your company prominence in directories and drive more customers to your door.