Each entrepreneur desires to have his business known, to gain more customers, translating into more sales and high revenue. Word of mouth and traditional advertising methods may not be sufficient to gain traffic that will bring the desired results. Therefore, business owners can take advantage of free online business listing sites to maximize their online presence, boost sales, and improve customer interactions. Business listing is the process through which business owners provide details about their business. These details allow the business to be more recognizable.
Google my Business
Every day there are billions of searches on Google, with a staggering 46% having local intent. With such statistics, businesses can take advantage of free online business listing sites to scale up their business and have a greater online presence. Google my Business, without a doubt, makes it among the best business listing sites out there, helping entrepreneurs tap into the large web audience on Google. Google my business allows you to add your business name, location, delivery area, verify your business, and optimize your listing by adding videos and photos. That said, let’s find out the merits and demerits of this platform.
- Increase visibility in Google’s Local Pack – The local pack entails search results displaying the business name, location, and website on Google Maps or Google Search. The local pack appears before the organic search. A business that appears on the local pack has a greater click rate of up to 700% over those with no business listing in Google. For instance:
- Allow Customer Reviews: Feedback from past customers reflects on your star ratings, which can influence prospective customer’s buying decisions. Prospective customers will be attracted and confident trying out products with numerous positive feedback instead of negative feedback.
- Recommendation: Recommendations from previous customers will generate more leads and higher sales.
- Reviews: Reviews help you understand what your customers feel about your products or services and know which areas to improve.
- Better Decision Making: The insights feature allows you to obtain metrics and information that can refine your marketing strategy. Owners can determine the effectiveness of their campaigns based on the number of views their posts, photos, and videos get. Showing the relevant keywords that users land to your business can increase the traffic to your business.
- Provides a single page for all of your information, which limits the SEO.
- Lacks social share buttons.
- Statistics show that 56% of the people who see your GMB listing will click through to your website.
- Additionally, 49% of all Google My Business listings get more than 1000 searches every month.
- 96% of the listings are seen 25 times per month, at least.
With over 2.7 billion users, Facebook is a good space for marketing and growing your business. One way of using this platform is by listing your business so that clients and potential customers can know your location, give and view business reviews.
As a business owner, start by creating a Facebook Business account. The business account is free; however, it is up to the entrepreneur to fill it with relevant information.
It is your business portfolio and a medium through which the business owner communicates with the customers. Ensure that it is attractive enough to get your customers’ attention and distinguish you from your competitors. Here is an example of a Facebook Business page:
(Image Credit: Neil Patel)
- Contains a huge market: Being one of the largest and most popular social media networks globally, it offers lots of exposure to potential customers. Adding links to your website to increase website traffic. The “share,” “like,” and “comment” possibilities increase the brand’s popularity as users can see content that is being liked, shared, or commented on by their friends.
- Enhanced Customer Service Approach: Customers can directly review and comment about products or services rendered by the business on their page. The business owners have an opportunity to respond to the comments or reviews directly. The business users can obtain information about their products, services, and customer satisfaction rate, which helps them improve their services.
- Easy Integration with the Website: Facebook is easy to integrate with a business website, which will help the business owner share content easily from the website to it, thereby increasing Backlinks to your website.
- Skilled Manpower Required
- The person managing the page needs to have the right kind of expertise to respond to queries, reviews, and complaints and develop content.
- Takes longer to load than alternative business listing websites.
Free local business listing sites such as Yelp have a significant impact on businesses. The company publishes reviews about the businesses on its platform leading to greater accountability and transparency. The platform allows businesses to engage with customers, target their audience, and increase the brand equity of a business.
Similar to business listing websites such as Google My Business, you have to claim your business on Yelp. Claiming entails cross-checking whether another person has not listed your business on the platform then creating a business profile if no match is found. The business owner can respond to reviews, answer queries, and update business information.
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- Share Reviews on Social Networks: Business owners can share reviews of customers on Twitter and Facebook. Positive reviews can generate leads and increased sales.
- Increased Quality Traffic: Yelp gives your business better visibility of people who are ready to make a purchase. With such traffic, there is more sales and revenue. In fact, with the Yelp Now feature, users can make reservations online for restaurants.
- Monitor Business Progress: Business owners can track their Yelp performance and assess how different marketing campaigns are working.
- Easy to use: The platform does not require any special training to get started. Yelp decides the appropriate keywords for your campaign, easy in uploading photos and answering customers’ queries.
- A business user cannot remove a false review.
- Instability in rankings.
- 45% of customers are likely to check Yelp reviews before visiting a business.
- 35% of people searching on Yelp will make a visit to the site they check within 24 hours.
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Used by over 250k companies and organizations:
It is a free local business listing site that allows users to search, employ, and rate local service providers. Angie’s List is mostly used for home repairs, auto, and healthcare services. Users search for a specific professional, category/project, or browse for deals in their locality. For example:
(Image Credit: Fit Small Business)
- Protects Business Owners from Unwarranted Bad Reviews: Angie’s List provides support to business owners in the event of vindictive comments by consumers. Staff reach out to the consumer and try to resolve the issue between the consumer and entrepreneur in the event of a negative review. Dishonest comments by consumers are removed to avoid tainting business reputation.
- Convenience and Reliability: The platform has an app that makes it so easy to use and access the key features. It also gives you the ability to find credible business services near you, read and write your reviews, thus making Angie’s list among the local listing sites that are reliable.
- Reviews that Count are for their Members Only. If someone hires you and writes a positive review about your business but is not a member, then the review will not matter on your platform rankings.
- Undeserving Companies may Pay to Rank High – Companies can bribe their way to the top. Companies with numerous negative feedback are spotted first than those whose reviews are great but have not paid.
Bing Places for Business
It is among the free local business listing sites owned by Microsoft connected to the Bing search engine. Bing Places has many characteristics similar to those of Google My Business. The business listing has the name of the business, location, contact information, website domain, and hours of business. Those details are displayed on the Bing search results or Bing Maps.
Bing Places allow social media profile linkage, upload of images, and offers. Users visit, then sign up or claim their business and populate the questions with correct information. The listing then undergoes a 7-14 days publication cycle before the business can appear on Bing search engine result pages and Bing Maps.
- Incorporates the Bing Entity Search API: The API displays entities if the search specified renowned people, places, local business names, or business types. The API thus has fast results and enhanced SEO techniques.
- Has Visual Search Feature: The ability to search an image helps your business listing. The image you upload has greater visual capabilities leading to greater clicks on your website and conversions.
- Great reach to Web Audience: Being the second most popular search engine globally, Bing Places will increase the popularity of your website or brand equity, thus more conversions and more revenue.
- Face serious competition from Google My Places.
- Uses outdated search algorithms, meaning that mixing Bing Places and Google My Business could adversely affect your Google ranking.
FACT: As of 2019, Bing accounted for 12 billion monthly search requests worldwide, and in the US the monthly search volume to Bing.com was around 500 million.
Yellow Pages is one of the ancient business listing sites available. Almost 60 million consumers visit monthly, making it among the best business listing sites today. The Yellow pages have a listing of business names and contacts chronologically based on name and business category. For instance:
(Image Credit: Lifewire)
- Yellow Pages have Free Basic Listing: Users can put their business names, physical address, and hours of operation all for free.
- Trustworthy: Due to the numerous years they have been in the industry, most consumers perceive their website’s listing to be legit. Due to the confidence in Yellow Pages, they attract huge traffic.
- Availability: The Yellow Pages are widely accessible, thus reaching many consumers, especially those conversant with the digital and print media.
- It still relies on print and digital media. With print media published once a year, it may be a little misleading should you change your location within the set time frame.
- Not Easy To Do Analysis. It is not easy to tell who the people are looking at your business and what frequency in Yellow pages. It is not possible to track the value of printed media and their effectiveness.
MerchantCircle is a free online business listing site attracting over 100 million visitors to their site and over 1.7 million local business owners. Consumers meet business owners, normally referred to as merchants to the site. Listings on MerchantCircle create more awareness and higher rankings of business on dominant search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The backlinks to your website allow increased traffic and conversions.
The MerchantCircle platform allows merchants to build their profiles, advertise events and deals, disseminate newsletters and respond to questions and reviews. Once a business owner has signed up and filled in the business particulars, he can conduct a search to claim his business listing and verify the information. The image below shows what MerchantCircle’s reviews look like:
- Response to reviews: Merchants can swiftly and simply be able to react to consumer reviews. Customers influence the business listing rank; thus, it allows you to engage the customers with ease, resolve complaints, address bad reviews and thank customers for the positive feedback.
- Network with Other Merchants: The platform makes it easy for you to build new networks with other merchants in your industry or different fields. New people can offer valuable advice to understand the platform better and scale up your business operations.
- Gives more Business Information: MerchantCircle makes it possible for businesses to upload photos, post blogs, coupons, and newsletters. More information improves your business SEO helping consumers to gain more from promotional information and the latest news.
- Signing up for a paid advertisement campaign has auto-renewal billing. Hence, it is important to remember to cancel that option once you have met your purpose to prevent further billing.
Foursquare for Business
When users’ friends’ check-in at shops, restaurants, workplaces, and the likes on the platform, the reviews and recommendations they offer can influence their circle of friends to make a purchase. This site is among the local listing sites meant for large businesses.
Also, adding your business to the platform is free. However, claiming it will cost you $20. Foursquare is available for Android, IOS, and Windows devices, as well as the desktop version. Foursquare is among the local business listing sites that provide tools to study different statistics, which will help make business decisions.
- Customer Focus Marketing: Foursquare targets local customers. By suggesting places near you for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, tea, nightlife, or things to do, Foursquare utilizes information about stores within a five-mile radius. For example:
(Image Credit: The Verge)
- Displays Deals and Offers by Businesses: Consumers can explore new businesses and check the offers in their favorite joints using the Foursquare specials feature. Businesses gain as customers share their experience with the business and the offers they have enjoyed. Meanwhile, the business can attract more customers and increase sales and revenue.
- Review Insights: Consumers can give their feedback on their experience, influencing prospective consumers’ purchase decisions. The most relevant comment appears at the top, thus gaining what customers feel about your service or products.
- Easy to integrate with your Website: Linking Foursquare to your Website allows you to engage with your audience and increase your following on the Foursquare platform.
- You must pay to claim your business.
- Malicious people may trail the location of users.
- It requires stable and strong internet connectivity.
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Citysearch is among local business listing sites that allow consumers to find places to stay, eat, shop, and entertain themselves. Users can write reviews and promote deals or events. The business owners can track visitors’ duration on their page, backlinks and optimize their website for maximum utility of their listing.
(Image Credit: Review Camp)
- Enhanced transparency: The platform allows consumers to key in data regarding the business’s business pricing, contact, and physical address. Creating more transparency, accountability, and providing information about the business.
- Monitoring your Performance: Citysearch provides metrics that indicate the durations that visitors have spent on the website and its origin. Such metrics allow the business owner to gain information on how visitors are reaching you and the Citysearch platform’s effectiveness on your business.
- Promotion of Events and Deals: Citysearch is an excellent website where business owners can advertise special offers and discounts on their services or products. On the other hand, customers can share events with their friends, thereby increasing the awareness of such events.
- Listing takes a lot of time before going live, averaging at 1-2 months.
- If customers provide misleading information or make mistakes when reviewing your business, you could lose business. Thereby prompting for claiming the business.
Better Business Bureau
Better Business Bureau is a combination of non-profit organizations that act as middlemen between business and clients in finding trusted charities and businesses.
- Credibility: Over the years, the Better business bureau has built a name with a good reputation. Business owners, just like customers, seek to market their enterprise with a trustworthy brand. This way, they are sure of getting correct and useful information.
- Better Conflict Resolution: In business, the emergence of a dispute between the client and the business is expected. Most times, no solution is sought, and one party ends up losing. Better Business Bureau offers easy and cheap ways to resolve disputes between customers and business owners.
- A Networking Resource: One way to grow a business is by interacting with other business owners and exchanging valuable tips on improving an enterprise. The Better business bureau is an excellent platform for entrepreneurs to connect with potential donors, clients, and business suppliers.
- Diminishing popularity – Over time, the knowledge about this local listing site is fading away.
- The site benefits only those who subscribe to their paid ads.
Diib®: Check the Effectiveness of Your Business Listing!
No matter where you choose to list your business, you’ll want to check the effectiveness of each listing. Diib Digital can give you a comprehensive look at your listing statistics; complete with alerts and objectives that will give you tips for improvement. Here are some of the features of our User Dashboard we’re sure you’ll appreciate:
- We offer our clients insights into not only the best place to post their own websites, but where their key competitors are posting theirs.
- Custom Alerts keep you informed on your website health and subtle google algorithm changes that can affect your traffic and website listings.
- Objectives offer suggested ways to improve website health and overall traffic.
- Monthly collaboration with our growth experts can fine tune your SEO efforts.
- We sync with Facebook to give you insights into specific business listing performance, user demographics and conversions.
Call today at 800-303-3510 to speak to a member of our human growth team or click here for your free 60 second website scan.
This is an online version of the yellow pages, each business category contains a list of companies, alphabetically by industry. Entries listed are linked to the corresponding website.
There are many sites where you can list your business for free. Here are the top three. 1) Yelp for Business. 2) Google My Business. 3) Being Places for Business.
There are so many ways to advertise online with no money. Here are a few of the top ways. 1) Social Media posts and tweets. 2) Online groups. Join and stay active. 3) Partner with an influencer. 4) Do social media giveaways or contests. 5) Encourage users to generate content.
Yes, Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google. It is easy to use and includes Google Search and Maps. This is one the best local tools you can use.
These are profitable for both the user and the owner. They have a wealth of information on business websites and what they have to offer their clients. It saves the searcher valuable time by listing all businesses in one place.