Free Business Listings in Local Search Directories

It is foolish for any business not to obtain their free listings on at least the major sites offering local directories. Not having these listings is like having someone offer your business years of free advertising and saying “no thanks”.

This benefits Bloggers and Online Businesses too. You do need to provide a physical address and phone number to be listed in most directories.

Nielsen Consumer surveys clearly show the importance of having an Internet presence. Among the latest Nielsen statistics is this:

74% of people determine who they will do business with locally using online computerized search engines such as Google and Yahoo!

These directories offer many advantages to anyone wishing to get more visibility for their local or online business.


  • Local Listings are similar to an ad in the printed Phone Book Yellow Pages
  • They are only online and they contain far more information than even a full page print ad would have


  • Quickly and easily find businesses by name, type of business, services offered or specific products sold
  • Instantly access additional information such as payment methods accepted, hours open, maps and directions, special offers and coupons
  • Increase customer confidence when trying new businesses by providing reviews written by actual customers
  • Save disappointment and money by avoiding unethical or unfriendly people, bad food or service, exorbitant prices, and other negative experiences


  • Most Local Listings are free to submit, have no recurring fees, and stay online indefinitely
  • The majority (74%) of Internet users find businesses and products using Local Listing sites
  • Because Local Listing directories are high traffic, high profile sites the incoming links they provide will greatly benefit your search engine listing placement – even if your business is totally online and NOT local.
  • They are a great way to get totally free advertising and grow your business


  • Submitting your own listings is extremely time-consuming (30-100+ hours to do it well)
  • The submission process can be very confusing and every site is different
  • It is better to do it yourself than not be listed at all
  • Letting us do it for you will give you better results because there is more going on in the computer databases than can be easily explained or understood – even by long time Internet users

Want to be listed? Gather this information on your business and use it to list yourself or send it to us.

Want more information? See our Local Search Listing Service process.

There are three ways to get your business listed:

  1. Spend no money by doing it yourself manually starting with the links in our Local Search Directories post.
  2. Save yourself 30-100+ hours of manually submitting your listing on each directory site by paying Universal Business Listing (UBL) $30 for 76+ Local Search Directory listings and do the keyword research and copywriting work yourself.
  3. Hire us to ensure comprehensive descriptions, thorough keyword research and optimized copywriting. We submit your listings using UBL and then upgrade them manually.

We recommend using UBL for these reasons:

  1. It takes so many hours to add your business to just the larger directories that few ever finish doing it manually.
  2. They can get your business listed faster than it would be listed if you submitted manually to each directory.
  3. It costs less to pay them $30 for all the listings they create than you could create them yourself manually because some of the directories charge more per listing than UBL charges for their entire service.
  4. They can get your business listed almost immediately in the infoUSA directory that feeds 85% of online directories (including Google Local SearchYahoo! Yellow Pages, Microsoft Live Local Search (now Bing), AOL brands including Compuserve, Netscape and Mapquest, and 90% of in-car navigation systems. Getting listed in infoUSA usually takes 30-60 days.

While you could submit your own listings – and if that is the only choice you can afford then by all means do it – because any listing is better than no listing.

As a business owner, your time is better spent running your business instead of investing the thirty to 100+ hours required to learn and implement the process yourself.

To maximize your results, it is best to work with someone who understands how search engines work, knows how to do keyword research, and has advanced copywriting skills.

Why? I know someone is going to want to know what difference it makes who creates the listings. The short answer is what key words they select. Search engines and directories can only find the words included in your listing. Most businesses only use the most obvious words to describe what they do.

If you only mention 10% of what you offer, you will miss 90% of potential business opportunities, leads, and sales.

Let’s use just one company as an example. Since I know Good Millwork won’t mind I’ll use them. If they or most anyone else created their local search listing they might write that they are a Millwork company and that would be accurate.

There is nothing in the process at each Local Search Directory that explains that you need to include somewhere in each listing every word that someone searching for your business would use.

We want to weave words describing ALL of the services and products they offer into each listing so that they will show up not just for millwork but for as many searches as possible. For example:

  • Exterior shutters is more important than just shutters because there are more searches for interior shutters (which they do not sell) than for exterior shutters which they do
  • Architectural moldings can also be called door moldings or window trim or door and window mouldings
  • Crown molding is an important type of molding for them so we definitely want it to be in every listing
  • Wood siding might also be called exterior siding or house siding or wooden siding
  • Chair rail is a unique type of molding that will be easier to rank for so we want to include it
  • Genuine mahogany and mahogany moldings are kept in stock so they want to be sure they can be found for those searches
  • Deadhead sinker cypress is a very rare wood valuable enough that it is often shipped great distances
  • TimberSIL ecofriendly rot-proof, virtually fireproof treated wood is new and a great way to go green that they actively promote
  • LEEDs credits are important to green building architects so we want to make sure we include them in our listings
  • They offer a free molding search tool and free downloadable approved architectural 3D downloadable CAD Drawings

These are only a sampling. There are vastly more keywords to be researched for each business to capture their niche in the marketplace. It is highly unlikely that without guidance any business would think to include all these unusual words in their listings. It is equally unlikely that most Search Engine Marketing (SEM) firms would take the time to understand your business to the depth we will.

There is nothing in any Local Search Directory process that reminds you to include the names of the counties, towns, major geo metro closest to you, or significant landmarks or related locations in your listings. If you do include them your listing will show up for those searches. If you do not it will not.

We have vast experience and technical skills in keyword research and copywriting that greatly increase how much visibility your listings will receive. There is a huge demand for these skills and we are willing to assist others interested in learning this type of work.

To discuss how we can work together to grow your business see our Local Search Directory Services or our NEW Small Business Internet Marketing Starter Package.

NEW: Top 10 Local Search Directories by Importance ~ these are the ones to ensure you claim and upgrade.

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. I think this is one of the most important information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  2. iPhone App Development says:

    Brilliant advice. Local listing is really very useful for businesses. With this you can get your business in front of people. And most important thing is that local listing includes all those things that you deserve for your business. If you are not sure with local listing then better is to hire some one who has enough expertise and successfully listing your business. Thanks for providing such great business oriented information.

  3. Business directories as an activity should be disciplined, focused and planned. This interaction represents the real image of your business and ethics. Ultimately, it should not become a black spot for your business or career. People really like the companies that take care of their customers and prospects.

  4. Local Directories apt only for localized based SEO promotional activities.

  5. Local listing is an opportunity businesses should not miss. It has been rightly advised that with most local business searches taking place online through local search engines and local search directories, local search marketing and local search advertising are very important.

  6. this seem to be the most booming form of business, I’ve been using this guy and have gotten great results from the telemarketing perhaps some one else can benefit from his work


  7. Local Listing is important especially if your blog is centered on a specific area ..this helped us a lot
    wny glass block windows would love you to read ..Glass Block Window ShowersMy Profile

  8. Plumber Hertford says:

    I always search the international Directories to just spread my business. But I think that Local Directories are better option.

  9. Unlocking the Iphone says:

    Hi, Thanks for posting very informative message sharing with us and i red well, I Will try like that local business directory for promote website.

    Thanks alots

  10. Unlocking the Iphone says:

    Thanks for give very useful local business directory list and it is very help for increase traffic rank as well as rank on search engine

  11. We’ve had quite a lot of enquiries through the locally based lists we have joined, thanks for the info as well

  12. A variety of search engines are currently providing local search, including efforts backed by the largest search engines, and new start-ups.
    Search Engine Advertising would love you to read ..Facebook and the 50 billion bubbleMy Profile

  13. web hosting says:

    Thanks for intereesting tips. In my opinion, it´s important to submit website to high quality and niche related catalogues
    web hosting would love you to read ..VPS Hosting RatingsMy Profile

  14. Facebook Emoticons says:

    Thanks for the recommendations. I see the benefits and I’ll be sure to use it when local listings becomes necessary for me.

  15. Business listings in local search directories were useful tools if you are to facilitate growth in your business. This serves as a free advertising for the local businesses. It is easy to process.
    The benefits are great, plus you’ve gained competition advantage.

  16. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of clients that I work with, who do not make use of the free advertising available to them.

    Great article, great website. I will subscribe.

    Sam @ Greenhouse EPC

  17. I absolutely agree with this article. Free directory listing is an opportunity! I could do great things on your business as it leads more people to it. As much as possible I don’t want to miss any free directory specially to the major sites. By the way, is it possible for you to provide a list of free directory list, if you don’t mind? or just anybody from here. 😉

  18. Tulsa Signs says:

    The best place that I have found for finding all of a businesses listings is Whitesparks
    Local Citation Finder tool.
    The basic service is free.

  19. Local search directories are extremely important. I had a client I was dealign with just last week and discovered his business information in all the yellowpage sites was either slightly wrong (including bad phone number) or had duplicate information! This was very frustrating to him. And it can be a pain to correct all the misinformation once it gets spread. This is not my site but its a page i used to identify some of the local pages:

    I hope it helps somebody else as well. Thanks!
    Orange County SEO would love you to read ..Are search engine optimization experts treated unfairly in the USAMy Profile

  20. I just spent hours submitting a business listing to several business directories.
    A friend of mine said “why don’t you use Universal Business Listing”, it’s only
    about $40.
    I’m never going to manually submit listings again.

  21. prestamos en efectivo says:

    thanks for this informative article, google listing is a very importan part of the seo for websites that operate on small business
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  22. With more and more Business Directories on the net posting on those sites makes you more visible and… invisible at the same time! With so many businesses listed on directories, it is sometimes impossible to find anything. That’s why we run a sit on which you can find only suppliers (by suppliers name or their offered products) and not your everyday businesses.

  23. With most local business searches happening online through local search engines and local search directories, local search marketing and local search advertising are more important than ever.

    A huge part of local search optimization is the local search directory.Anyway you have a great post,i’m sure it will read to other people.
    seph would love you to read ..Site MapMy Profile

  24. Well your ideas are very nice and informative. After reading this post, I come to know about local listing in detail. Not only this, there are some more stuff which are very essential to remember.

  25. custom logo designs says:

    Excellent indeed. I have been looking for this information.

  26. custom logo designs says:

    Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and comprehensive information you provide! I’ll bookmark your weblog and have my freinds check up here frequently. Thumbs up!

  27. Local directories can greatly help to generate our targeted traffic from a certain location and improve our sales.
    Virtual Assistant Bea would love you to read ..Hire a VA Now!My Profile

  28. You have mentioned local search strategy in dept. This is how you must list and you are absolutely right, surfers do get into local listings to find the right product they may find of their choice.

  29. Hi, Thanks for sharing this informative article!
    This is really the kind of post i am looking for. It is easy to understand and really offers a lot of valuable information. I must say that you have a perfect content to pull potential traffic in your site.
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  30. Wow ! It is one of the best idea.Really, i will use it . You have provided great information for us .
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  32. This is insanely good value. $30 is less than one hour of my time is worth at a minimum and then there’s the listing fees. How do they do it so cheap?
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  33. We’ve been attempting to maximize our presence on local searches, but after a certain point you sort of reach a ceiling. Any advice on how to get past the google/hotfrog/infousa/yahoo standard?

  34. Submitted ten sites to UBL six month ago, haven’t seen one single back link from it. I believe this is a scam stay away.

    • Hello Chris,

      I see listings for the businesses I have submitted through UBL all the time. I checked to make sure they were there and I check periodically to make sure they’re still there.

      What are you using to check backlinks? Have you tried actually going to the sites to look at the listings?
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Support Small Businesses =-.

  35. Fantastic article. Free directory’s are important and I would go one step further to include in the marketing strategy ongoing article optimization with paid directories. This combined with good quality blogging and linking will increase your sites page ranking.

  36. Aside from giving us our targeted traffic, I heard that local directories also helps to improve our listing in google maps.. Is it true?

    • Hello diocelin,

      Google Maps is one of the Local Directories you want to list in that is covered by Universal Business Listings. What many businesses do not realize is that everything is interconnected. More links and links from major sites move you up on other sites and in other search engines.
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Support Small Businesses =-.

  37. Great list! It’s complete and I can use it on my own business. I am looking for links where I can put my business to advertise and here it is.

    • Hello Annie,

      There are many o0ther ways for you to build links and grow your business. Have you considered either having a blog to drive traffic to that site or collaborating with existing blogs?

      There are a ton of Mommy Bloggers who use CommentLuv. You can use the CommentLuv blog search engine to find some and then follow the other comments you see in them over to other blogs.

      Those are only two of many tips you can find on this site for growing your business. Do consider joining our collaborations which are explained in the post I’ll feature in CommentLuv in this reply.
      .-= growmap´s featured blog ..Why I Recommend BloggerLuv- CommentLuv- SBC =-.

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    • Welcome James,

      I am glad you are here because I have important information to share with you. I am going to leave your comment because I know how the economy is affecting businesses like yours and I make it a point to share with others why we need to support small businesses.

      What you need to know, though, is that almost every other blogger or forum moderator WILL delete comments like that. You are going about this in a way that will simply not be effective for you.

      If you read my post about how KeywordLuv benefits businesses and use it while leaving comments that add to the discussion in each post most bloggers will keep your comments and allow you to create links back to your business that are critical for your success.

      You should also definitely get your free listings as I explained in this post. I would be happy to assist you in any way I can. I do not charge for advice because I know that many who most need it are already struggling and can not afford to pay consulting fees.

      I also recognize that many do not know what advice to value. I assure you that what I know and share is going to end up being critical to the survival of many small businesses online and off.
      .-= Gail @ Support Small Business´s last blog ..Keyword Tags, MetaTags, Tags: How Many Are Best? =-.

  39. As almost 70% of all Americans use the internet – It’s one key element of today’s marketing strategies to be present wherever people look for services and companies online. Ten years ago it might have been sufficent to get your business listed in the right YellowPages book – today you have to do more. You have to think – Internet
    .-= Mark Downson´s last blog ..FB Smileys | Turn that Frown Upside Down with FB Smileys =-.

    • Hello Mark,

      I suspect few realize that almost everyone uses the Internet now. The only exceptions I know of are the elderly who do not realize they could be interacting with their children and grandchildren online.

      Once they realize they can receive photographs, chat with them live by typing, audio or even do see them on the screen many who would never have had a purpose for a computer find one!

      These listings are not just for computer users. They are also fed to iPhones and GPS systems. Just recently the owner of an upscale steak house restaurant told me that customers are showing him on their handheld devices that he is not listed.

      They say their friends told them how great his restaurant was and if the referral had not been so strong they would have just gone elsewhere to eat. Fortunately for him they were able to reach the people who recommended they eat there an find out from them where he was.

      That does NOT usually happen. Most businesses that are not REALLY easy to find are losing business every day – and they don’t know it!

      I was tempted to change your anchor text from your name to Facebook Emoticons but since you could have been trying to brand your name I just added a link here instead.

      I encourage all my readers to understand how leaving comments can benefit them. Take time to understand how KeywordLuv works as it can greatly benefit you.
      .-= Gail @ WOMM´s last blog ..Social Media Marketing Monday – SMM Overview =-.

  40. this “There are three ways to get your business listed” is very helpful, thanks.

  41. Nielsen’s statistics are so true. Whenever I get a chance to interact with my clients, I ask them the question on who referred them to our services and most of the times I got the reply “through local listings”. Initially I was surprised but later I thought of adding a textbox in the contact page and making it mandatory. But fearing complexity we skipped the idea. Otherwise I could have a fixed data information on the leads we received.
    .-= Melvin@Apartments For Rent Auckland´s last blog ..Otahuhu, Auckland City =-.

    • You must have intelligent clients. The general public and most busineses do not realize that when they use the directory or app in their cell phone, or look up a restaurant or other business in their GPS or search at Google Maps or Yahoo! Local or hundreds of other sites online that they are using Local Search directories.

      Just last week I talked to an upscale Steak House restaurant on the phone who said new customers actually pulled out their cell phone and showed them that they did not come up on a search but they had called the person who recommended the restaurant to find out where it was.

      I guarantee that most potential new customers will NOT take the time to do that. Worse still, businesses will lose existing customers they think are loyal to them because they can not find them in these directories.

      Here is an example of why that will happen. Your customer tries to pull up your phone number to find out how late you’ll be open or whether you take their credit card or if something they want is available. You aren’t there but other businesses ARE and those others are offering special deals and coupons.

      Bye-bye customer! And in this economy most businesses just can not afford to be making this totally avoidable mistake. It is not logical to turn down exposure and advertising for your business that is free for the asking, but many businesses still do.

      Those who are proactive will survive but those who refuse to actively seek new business will not. I hope those who are not yet convinced will read the post I’ll put in CommentLuv about why marketing quality small and online businesses wisely is essential and GOOD – not BAD – for us all.
      .-= growmap´s last blog ..Why Marketing is NOT Evil =-.

  42. well , all instruction is very useful, tips are specific. Thanks for this posts

  43. Gail, once again very helpful information. A company I know had a website built last year but no real marketing, public listings or anything to get their name out there. This niche software development company sells to manufacturing companies so I beleive they forget about the importance of business listings. I will send this to them hopefully they can find it helpfull or hire you to help them. Thank you!
    .-= Tim @ Raised Air Beds´s last blog ..Aero Bed Air Mattress =-.

    • Hello again Tim,

      Thank you for thinking of others and sharing this information with them. Every business whether BtoB or BtoC should realize that almost everyone uses the Internet to find solutions, products and services. The most beautiful site in the world does nothing for anyone if it is not easily found.

      How is the air bed business? I predict that more families will have long term guests who are between homes. Air mattresses would be more comfortable than the floor and easier to move out of the way during the day or deflate and put in a closet when necessary.

      You might be interested in the post I’ll put in CommentLuv in this reply.
      .-= Gail @ Support Small Businesses´s last blog ..Why Marketing is NOT Evil =-.

  44. Yes it is really very time consuming work for submit business to local business directory. I am doing local business submission work for my clients, but I get bore by this work. Well it is good that you provide local business submission service.
    .-= chandan@work at home jobs´s last blog ..New programs at google home affiliate network-March 9, 2010 =-.

    • Hello Chandan,

      Yes, it is boring and many of the local directory sites are buggy which causes lost time and having to repeat actions. I use this local service regularly and would never want to have to do it manually again.

      I do create accounts and claim the listing, enhancing them manually after they’re created – but that is far faster and less mind-numbing than doing it all from scratch.
      .-= Gail @ Support Small Businesses´s last blog ..Who Can You Benefit by Sharing GrowMap? =-.

  45. I have to say that I respect what you are doing here.

    So many businesses fail because they do not have the proper advertising.

    As you know, four out of five businesses in the US fail within the first five years.

    Mostly it’s because of lack of capital, and that comes from others not knowing about the good products or services on offer.

    Following your suggestions will certainly help with that capitalization problem.

    Dr. Voisin

    • Thank you Dr. Ann. I have been meaning to make time to write a post about why the advertising model we are using is backwards. It ensures that only those with money can effectively grow their businesses. As you have noted, most fail due to lack of enough capital to buy advertising.

      What we need is to change that marketing model and that change IS happening. We can collectively use Word of Mouth Marketing online and off to recommend and raise visibility for quality small and online businesses.

      We will all benefit from knowing what products and services are excellent while they will grow without having to buy advertising. The truth about advertising is that for most businesses it does not pay for itself and is not sustainable.

      That is why established sites want to sell it and wise small and online businesses rarely want to buy it (and also why I recommend Affiliate Marketing as an alternative to other forms of advertising.
      .-= Gail @ Support Small Businesses´s last blog ..Who Can You Benefit by Sharing GrowMap? =-.

  46. You have definitely nailed it — local listings are part of a diversified internet strategy, usually the free listing is your best bet. Its great to see some automated services out there (for those of us who are lazy), but its possible to DIY with acceptable results.

  47. r4 ds games says:

    Its good to know about Local Listings and you have given good description about it as its very easy to understand for me.I came too know some good benefits of it and I would like to follow your steps for it.

  48. I think it is very important to get into directories if you want free traffic.
    .-= Teen Book Reviews´s last blog ..Vampire Academy: School With Bite =-.

  49. well this may be a great idea to follow and i am very much impressed about this and i will definitely going to use it. keep it up

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