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Cash Miller
Website Designer and Search Engine Marketer
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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7 Free Business Listing Sites to Help Your Local Small Business Get Noticed

Local search can help just about any small business get seen in a community. But where do you start? Here are 7 of the better places that a listing can be created, including the 3 most important on the web.
Written May 05, 2011, read 18922 times since then.
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If you are a small business owner looking at starting a local search marketing campaign you’ve probably already realized that there are a lot of free business listing sites available. And it can be a lot of work and take a lot of time submitting your business to all of those sites. So it’s important to you that you get started with the right submissions. The ones that offer the most bang for your time. So to help get you started here are 7 of the best sites to submit your business listing too. Of course you won’t want to stop here. This is just meant as a starting point. Here are two things for you to consider though. One keep your listings consistent by using the same basic information and two be as complete as possible with every listing.

1. Google Places - Of course Google is the de facto place of all the free business listing sites. Google gets more searches than any other search engine. But with Google your listing can really gain some traction. If you haven’t already noticed Google searches include maps when that search is local. So your listing can end up on the map. It’s not guaranteed but with a little bit of work it can happen. And Google can bring you a lot of customers. No one can tell you what exactly it will take to end up on the top of a local search for your type of business. But claiming your free listing is the first step to take. That’s for sure. One note about Google Places. They’ll want to verify your business exists where you say it does. So they will want to send a post card with a verification code to your business address. They say that you’ll see this card in 3-5 business days. It’s really 2-4 weeks so be patient.

2. Yahoo Local - Of course the next biggie in the local search game is Yahoo. Yahoo is similar to Google. The goal is to show up on the map. So start by filling in all of your listing information. And just like Google Yahoo wants to verify you exist where you say you do. So again patience is the key because it can take longer than they say to get your post card.

3. Bing Local - Now we can’t leave Bing out now can we. Bing owned by Microsoft is sort of the new player in the game of local search. But they’re catching up quickly. So make sure to get your listing done and as before wait it out. Your postcard will arrive.

4. Local.com - Unlike the top three Local.com falls into a different category of free business listing sites. This type of site lets you set up a business listing but they’re not a regular search engine. This site is meant for locals to use to find businesses in their area. It encourages user interaction. They like customer reviews and always want more. But it’s also great for reinforcing what search engines already know about you.

5. MerchantCircle.com - Now this site is really business friendly. Not only can you get listed but you can network with other business owners in your area. You can offer customer promotions and actually build your reputation with customers here. A good place for any small business owner to get listed. Definitely one of the better free business listing sites.

6. ThinkLocal.com - This site is another good one for local listings. It seems to be very user friendly. Customers can submit reviews of businesses and they incorporate Google maps to make businesses easier to find. Definitely a good site to get your free business listing.

7. CitySquares.com - Another good free business listing site. The one problem with them is not in the listing but the reviews. They do make it possible for fake reviews to be submitted. And you can definitely spot them on the site. But otherwise another good starting point for your local campaign.

Of course there are other sites. These are just some good places to get started. And the reason these are listed instead of sites like SuperPages.com is that they are not yellow page websites. These are just free business listing sites that can help get a local search campaign started.

Learn more about the author, Cash Miller.

Comment on this article

  • Branson Birth Photographer 
Reeds Spring, Missouri 
Delanae Lindstrom
    Posted by Delanae Lindstrom, Reeds Spring, Missouri | May 06, 2011

    Thank you Cash! I'll be looking into all of these.

    One other you can check out that I like because it allows seemless posting to Craigslist is www.thumbtack.com

    Have a great weekend.

  • Website Designer and Search Engine Marketer 
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 
Cash Miller
    Posted by Cash Miller, Murfreesboro, Tennessee | May 06, 2011

    Delanae,

    Thanks for mentioning Thumbtack.com. I'll add it to my master list of free business directories. And if anyone else knows of a great site where local businesses can get their business listed please mention them. As they help everyone.

  • Sales Coach, Success Coach, Business Coach 
Portland, Oregon 
Tshombe Brown
    Posted by Tshombe Brown, Portland, Oregon | May 07, 2011

    This is a wonderful list, Cash. Thank you for compiling it.

    I wonder if you might be able to add hyperlinks to the listings to make it easy for folks to click over to the sites.

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to do this.

  • Blogger 
Marysville, Washington 
Kimberly Gauthier
    Posted by Kimberly Gauthier, Marysville, Washington | May 07, 2011

    I really enjoy Merchant Circle. Although other directories have assisted in links to my photography blog, Merchant Circle allows me to connect with local businesses, create and promote coupons, and it's an easy site to use.

    Thanks for this great list.

  • Website Designer and Search Engine Marketer 
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 
Cash Miller
    Posted by Cash Miller, Murfreesboro, Tennessee | May 09, 2011

    Kimberly,

    Merchant Circle is one of the better sites out there for business owners because they can connect with each other. Some businesses are b2b not b2c so Merchant Circle can be a big help.

  • QuickBooks Training & Help, Quicken Classes (PC/Mac), POS, Problems Solved, Training, Set up, Consulting, 1on1, In-Person, Tutoring, Instruction, Private Lessons, Seminars, Classes & Financial Records Check Up & Bookkeeping & Accounting Consultation 
Seattle, Washington 
Keith  Gormezano
    Posted by Keith Gormezano, Seattle, Washington | May 09, 2011

    I would not recommend MerchantCircle. I think the whole site is useless and in my opinion, a scam.

    Even though I have been "Mayor of Seattle" on the site, have contributed to their forums, have over 900 connections, I have never gotten any business from it. What particularly irks me is how easy it is for a merchant to be listed with little or no verification.

    An example of that is the current MerchantCircle Mayor's tax registration with the state says they are located in Issaquah and they have no business license for Seattle. I complained to Merchant Circle about this and they did nothing.

    Another merchant in the top 10 list or mayor's leaderboard says they are affiliated with a major corporation but the corporation's business license does not list that address and a reverse lookup shows it belongs to another company. I complained to Merchant Circle about this and they did nothing.

    Another top 10 merchant is listed as being in Seattle but their physical address is in Tukwila. I complained to Merchant Circle about this and they did nothing.

    I also understand that Google has downgraded their coming up in Google search results.

    Save your time. Focus on the other sites above. And Biznik. Real people. Real businesses.

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