When launching a new website, there are a few good steps which you can take to ensure you’re on track to being found. Business directories are a great, usually free method of improving your local SEO for a number of reasons two of them being;
- They bring traffic to your website when your site is new
- They go towards adding authority to your website, helping your website to rank
Let’s cover these in slightly more detail before we go into the best UK directories.
Increase traffic to your new website
When your website is new, bringing in organic traffic can be difficult (some SEOs refer to this as the “sandbox period”). This is because Search engines may not yet understand what your website is about and achieving this can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. Of course, there are steps you can take to get your website indexed such as submitting your sitemap to google search console and making sure your website is optimised to begin with but this can still take time.
So if your website isn’t appearing in the search results pages, how do you get traffic to it? Well, among other avenues like Social media or Pay-Per-Click, listing your website in a business directory is another way to achieve this.
Business directories tend to have their own “Eco-system” of visitors/traffic so getting your new website found here is a lot easier than showing up in a google search, especially in this early period.
How Directories help rank your new website on Google
When your website is new, there’s a good chance that your domain has little to no back-link profile. Search engines such as google, use back-links as an indicator of trust.
Back-links come overtime via great content, PR and ongoing SEO. A quick and easy way to start building your back-link profile is by acquiring citations via business directories.
Local Directory submission checklist
When submitting your listing to any online directory, there are a few best practices which you’ll want to stick to.
- Ensuring that the NAP (Business Name, Address & Phone Number) are consistent throughout all your listings.
- Keeping content as unique as possible per listing
- Ensuring you are submitting a link to your website to ensure you capitalize on the benefits listed above
The 7 best UK small business directory’s
Now we’ve covered the benefits of being listed in good business directories along with some best practices. Let’s get right into it, The best UK directories to list your business for local SEO are;
1. Google My Business
Google my business is arguably the go to business listing when it comes to improving your local SEO. If you’ve ever searched something along the lines of “Plumber near me” you’ve likely come across a GMB listing.
Google My Business Listings are free to create and are an easy way to get found online especially if you serve a local area. Be sure to optimise your google my business listing as best as possible, for a full talk through on getting set up, check our our post on how to create a Google My Business Listing.
2. Bing places
Another great place to get yourself listed is Bing Places. While a lot smaller than google, Bing, being the default search engine for Microsoft computers, still receives plenty of traffic.
Setting up a Bing places listing is fairly straightforward. If you already have a GMB listing, you can simply sign up and import all the details through.
Thinking back to the days before the internet, one of the go to forms of advertising was the Yellow pages, fast forward to today and you now have Yell.com.
Nowadays, they offer a more digital approach with things. While they do offer various tier listings, a free listing with them will serve your needs just fine. If you’ve ever asked yourself “what is the most popular directory?” Yell would be it… here in the UK at least.
Yell, no doubt partly due to their trusted brand name, do get a lot of traffic so despite anything you may have come across on the web, It’s well worth putting up a free listing.
Scoot powers the business directories of The Sun, The Independent, The Mirror as well as Touch Local. Once your listing is created, it is then published across Scoots network of directories. Because of this, you will gain citations across a variety of directories simply by registering with Scoot.
Cylex offer a comprehensive platform for you to add and manage your listing and tells you what information is recommended. This directory is available in over 30 countries which is extremely useful for businesses operating internationally.
Freeindex is a directory aimed at UK businesses only and has been around since 2003. Freeindex listings tend to do quite well with Google so often appear in the search results fairly quickly.
The more information you fill in, the better your listing will tend to do so be sure to populate as many fields as possible.
7. Thomson Local
The final directory we have which we recommend for UK Businesses is Thomson local. Thomson, like Yell started out as a paper based directory, looking at where they are today, they are now fully digital.
So there you have the best UK directories for businesses looking to improve their local SEO.
As mentioned, prior to listing your business to any directory, ensure you follow the best practices as listed in our checklist above.
Have a directory in mind which you feel deserves to make the cut? leave a comment below!