Online business directories offer a public identity and presence that goes beyond what the traditional Yellow Pages phonebook used to provide. With Google My Business, for example, you can create a profile that includes a company logo, photos, reviews, hours of operation, directions and more — all for free.

Directory listings are valuable because they help search engines create local results from what might otherwise be a global search response. For retail outlets, accurate cross-promotional listings are essential. For example, “find a dealer in your area” listings not only cross-promote your business but also help with search engine optimization (SEO) and direct potential clients to your website.

Which directory is right for you?

Yellowpages, LinkedIn, Yelp and MerchantCircle are all examples of free online business directories. Each can help your business be found online when a prospective customer is searching for products and services that are similar to what your company offers.

The more links to and from your website, the higher up your business will rank in search results. You can add a calendar reminder each month to check the accuracy of the listings, because the internet is constantly changing.

Take the time to search for your business in these directories. Be sure its listings accurately reflect the latest contact information and any special offers. That way you know you are taking full advantage of showing up in search engine results. 

Don’t miss out

Think of online directories as free advertising that can promote your business, boost your SEO and drive traffic to your website. The internet offers a powerful platform for businesses to be found online, and if you don’t have listings on the major online directories, your company is missing out. Each online directory that your company is listed on increases the chances customers will find you.

This news is provided as a service to you by Marlin Business Services Corp., a nationwide leader in commercial lending solutions for the U.S. small business sector. Marlin’s equipment financing and loan programs are available directly and through third-party vendor programs, including manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers, to deliver financing and working capital that help build your success.