Since the Yellow Pages began hitting doorsteps in 1886, being listed in a local business directory has been an effective and affordable way for businesses to reach consumers in their area.

Fast forward to today local business directories now come in two formats: digital (online) and hard copy. It is important for your local business as both businesses and consumers alike continue to rely on their local small business directory to search for — and discover — products and services. It is important that your local business have a presence in both business directory editions, too. To claim your free business listing in the print edition of your local Yellow Pages, contact your local telephone company.

Listing your business in online business directories is much more complicated because there is more than one website that you need to appear on. But worry not, we’ve got the top business listing sites that your business should have a presence on.

Why you need to be listed on so many local business listings

When it comes to the world of online business listings, more is better; your business should be listed on as many business listing websites as possible. The more online local business directories your business is listed in, the better your business will rank in search engines and, therefore, be discovered by customers.

However, there are hundreds of free websites for businesses — some of which are relevant to your business and some that are irrelevant. How do you know which online directories you should list your business on?

A good online business directory strategy is to choose the top performers and optimize your listing. Below are the 20 of the top local business directories that your business should have a listing in.

Vivial’s Top 20 Business Listings You Need to Be On

  1. Google
  2. Bing
  3. Yahoo!
  4. Yelp
  5. MerchantCircle
  6. YellowPages
  7. WhitePages
  8. SuperPages
  9. YellowBook
  10. Manta
  11. CitySearch
  12. MapQuest
  14. Foursquare
  15. Angie’s List
  16. Kudzu
  17. Facebook
  18. Biznik
  19. CitySlick
  20. AmericanTowns

Want to know if you’re listed on them already?

On all of these online directories, you should conduct a search to see if your business is already listed. If it is, claim it and modify accordingly — if not, create a new listing. Run the Free Visibility Report to see which listings you appear correctly on already, and which ones you need to get yourself on to.

What about the other 100+ directories besides these 20?

The 20 top local online business directories that we listed above are certainly not the only places your business should be listed. Industry directories, chamber of commerce websites and social media networks are just a few other listing sources your business can take advantage of.

However, you want to make sure your business is listed on directories of quality and relevance. A law office will find no benefit from being listed on a home services directory (unless you specialize in workers comp, perhaps?).

Quick tips for getting your company up on directories

To increase your business’s search engine friendliness, your listings should be as consistent as possible across directories. Unlike printed phone books that follow a very strict format, every online directory has different information required for a listing. To get the most of your directory listing strategy, you want to keep each listing as consistent as possible. While a customer probably doesn’t care if your business has consistent listings across multiple online directories, search engines certainly do.

Try to include the following information in every online business directory:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Website address
  • Business category

You want the information to be accurate and identical on every listing across the web, not only to improve your local SEO, but also so as not to confuse anyone searching for your business. With 50% of mobile search users visit a store within a day of their search, inaccurate information could be the difference between a new customer or not.

Being listed in local business directories is the easiest and best place to start your online marketing — beginning with these 20 directories.

Take the work out of creating and updating your directory listings by using Vivial. Vivial can optimize your presence on the 20 local business directories above and over 100 additional local directories with directory optimization. Once you update your listings, start monitoring rating and reviews through Vivial, on the site your business is listed.