5 things to do before adding your business to an online business directory website

Most online business directories are open to accept listing from owners of various businesses from owners living in areas targeted by their websites (note that some are exclusive to particular counties, towns, cities or industries): brick and mortar, online only, new or ones that have been in existence for long, small or big.

The motivation to list your business with a business directory

Listing in a directory can increase the visibility of your business online and offline  and expose you to clients and customers who would otherwise not get the chance to know about you, your products or services.

When people search through a category in a business directory, they are ready to pay attention to the businesses that might grab their attention.

 Note that Niabusiness has linked to some of the resources on this page (some listed below) using affiliate links. When you click on something and purchase it, Niabusiness will receive a commission from every successful sale / referral, at no extra cost to you. 

Usually they decide to learn more about a company by visiting their blog, website or making a phone call, details which many directories allow you to add to your listing.

Even if you don’t have a blog or website (click here to learn how Niabusiness.com can help you start one), adding your listing to the best business directories gives people more opportunities to find you.

These people can later become clients, customers or fans recommending your products and services to their friends, family and strangers alike.

To some, a business directory is…

To some people, a directory is where they write one paragraph about their business and post it to get a free link back to their website, hoping that this one link will increase their authority and rankings in search engines – and in some cases this strategy works for them…but for awhile.

This trend is common in free business directories in many countries and niches, where some business owners don’t even take the time to update their listing or write descriptions that draw more customers to get in touch and work with them.

That’s not what you should be doing as a business owner – even if you hire someone to do the submissions on your behalf.

I encourage business owners to do the following instead:

  1. To take their time when writing the description for their business and to update their listing whenever their business takes a new direction: new or improved products and services, new name, new website, new phone number, new business model, new prices, new email address or new free ebook or guide to attract people to their email list.
  2. To list their business thinking about the people who will read the listing. It is good that your listing leaves a good impression on whoever reads it. It doesn’t hurt – I know that you appreciate the importance of going the extra mile – to be clear about who you are, what you sell, to whom and why… the benefits one gets for paying attention to your business – and providing further information that helps  people feel more at ease and likely to call you, email you, check your site, buy from you, remember you, recommend you to others or simply send a thank you note just acknowledging the great work you do.
  3. To be truthful in their listings. Trust is important. Very important. Your listing can have it. It can convey trust. Knowing the importance of trust, I’m sure you will do your best to not miss the opportunity to create a listing that earns you even more of it – before someone reading your listing even gets in touch with you.

In most business directories, listings can be added in categories like

Accounting, Advertising & Marketing, Automotive & Transportation, Commercial Real Estate, Education, Employment, Health Care, Insurance, Legal, Manufacturing – Industrial, Nonprofit Organizations, Professional Services, Recreation and Leisure, Residential Real Estate, Restaurants and Catering, Retail – Shopping, Telecommunications, Arts and Entertainment, Fashion – Clothing, Business Services, Computers and Internet, Training and Consultancy, Financial Services, Hotels, News and Media, Online Business, Shipping – Storage – Logistics, Society and Culture, Travel and Tourism, Taxi – Car hire, Security

So, what are the other things you should pay attention to if you want to create and publish a great business listing on a directory.

1. Submit legitimate businesses only (to the business directories of your choice)

The business you are listing should exist in the territory targeted by the directory you choose and be involved in legitimate activities. This is so important, not only to the owner of the online directory (where you are submitting your listing to), but to you and the people who will come across your listing as well.

The business you want to list should be able to do what it says it does, charging reasonable amounts for its services and products.

2. Choose the appropriate category to list your business in

Find the category that best describes your business and when submitting your listing ensure that it goes in the right one.

So when crafting your description, special attention should also be paid to the relationship between your products, services and the category you choose.

3. Include a detailed description of your business in the ‘about’ section of the directory

Even if you don’t have the time to be very detailed in your listing, trying will be fine.

Your description should not be too short or too long. Just enough words to say what you know should be said.

A six hundred to one thousand word description is fine, but not a must.

Aim for that though.

Also take the time to edit and proofread all these words you type to ensure that no error escapes your attention.

You can get help with the editing part – read more here.

4. Include correct contact details for your business when submitting your listing

Information that is meant to help others reach you should be double checked for omissions or additions.

Pay special attention to the following:

  • Phone numbers. Are the numbers in the right order? Does your phone ring when you dial the number you just added in your listing?
  • Physical address. Check to see that the details are correct – the words and numbers.
  • Email address. Ensure you have a custom email with your blog’s or website’s domain name in it. Check if you have used the correct letters, numbers if any, a period instead of a comma and that the @ symbol appears in the right place.
  • Web address. If you have a blog or website – which you should have, ensure that you type the address correctly so people who click it or type it in their web browser’s address bar are not taken to another site or webpage  that has totally nothing to do with your business.
  • Your name. Keep it short. Spell it right. And let it be your real name.

5. Add no links anywhere apart from the web/URL field provided by the owner of the business directory

If your description is well written, edited and proofread and you include a call to action, adding your link, once, in the appropriate field will be enough.

No need to keep pasting different links to the same blog or website in your listing especially after a warning against such – usually in the terms and conditions section of the website (which most never even bother reading…you know how it goes!).

Choose one page on your site where you want to link to and link to that page.

You can link to your home page, about page or a landing page where you give something for free (coupons, pdf guide or ebook, free trial for one of your products) in exchange for emails from people interested in the freebie, what you sell or what you share generally with your blog readers and email subscribers.

How do you add a listing to most websites that are now the online versions of the thick paper (book) business directories of a few years ago?

When you are ready with your detailed description, submitting your listing is easy. Most of the websites have a submit (add your business) button or link on every page.

So, click that and follow the prompts.

Make sure the information you key in is correct.

When your listing meets the standards above, it will be approved by the website admin and made viewable to any person who visits the directory.

Your thoughts on this? Share your own tips in the comments below.

PS: Download the free PDF guide: 10 Things to Look At if You Are Thinking of Starting a Business.

Niabusiness Recommendations – Tools, Resources

Book Recommendations – Buy & start reading these ebooks on your device now

  1. The Miracle Equation: You Are Only Two Decisions Away From Everything You Want by Hal Elrod
  2. The Art of War: Complete Texts and Commentaries by Sun Tzu, Thomas Cleary
  3. Secrets of Self-Mastery by Mitch Horowitz
  4. Master Your Emotions: A Practical Guide to Overcome Negativity and Better Manage Your Feelings (Mastery Series Book 1) by Thibaut Meurisse, Kerry J Donovan
  5. Coleman’s Laws: Twelve essential medical secrets which could save your life by Dr Vernon Coleman
  6. The Elements of Moral Philosophy by James Rachels
  7. Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away: Real Help for Desperate Hearts in Difficult Marriages by Gary Chapman
  8. Renovating Your Marriage Room by Room by Dr. Johnny C. Parker, Jr
  9. The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune by Conor O’Clery
  10. Here’s The Deal: Everything You Wish a Lawyer Would Tell You About Buying a Small Business by Joel Ankney
  11. Buy Then Build: How Acquisition Entrepreneurs Outsmart the Startup Game by Walker Deibel
  12. The Art & Science of Respect: A Memoir by James Prince by James Prince, Jasmine Waters
  13. #BreakIntoVC: How to Break Into Venture Capital And Think Like an Investor Whether You’re a Student, Entrepreneur or Working Professional (Venture Capital Guidebook Book 1) by Bradley Miles, Carol Tietsworth
  14. Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The Real Secret to Success by David A. Livermore
  15. 101 So Bad, They’re Good Dad Jokes by Elias Hill, Katherine Hogan
  16. The Sleep Solution: why your sleep is broken and how to fix it by W. Chris Winter
  17. Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups—Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000 by Jason Calacanis
  18. Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, Vashti Harrison
  19. Ruthless: A Memoir by Jerry Heller, Gil Reavill
  20. The Upside of Stress: Why stress is good for you (and how to get good at it) by Kelly McGonigal
  21. How to Be a Great Boss by Gino Wickman, René Boer
  22. Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson
  23. Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, 10th-Anniversary Edition by Bo Burlingham
  24. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Exposed and Explained by the World’s Two by Al Ries, Jack Trout
  25. My Favourite Dictators: The Strange Lives of Tyrants by Chris Mikul, Glenn Smith
  26. Influence – Science and Practice – The Comic by Robert B. Cialdini, Nathan Lueth
  27. What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People by Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins
  28. The Dynamics of Conflict: A Guide to Engagement and Intervention by Bernard S. Mayer
  29. The Time Trap: The Classic Book on Time Management by Pat Nickerson, Alec Mackenzie
  30. Choose Yourself! by James Altucher, Dick Costolo
  31. Get a F*cking Grip: How to Get Your Life Back on Track by Matthew Kimberley
  32. You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar, 2nd Edition: Sandler Training’s 7-Step System for Successful Selling by David H. Sandler
  33. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  34. How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It by Mark Cuban
  35. The Greenhouse Approach: Cultivating Intrapreneurship in Companies and Organizations by Chitra Anand
  36. DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online by Russell Brunson, Dan Kennedy

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Web hosting companies – get hosting for your blog or website

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Hire freelancers to help with tasks you’d rather outsource

Check Niabusiness Classifieds. Place an ad for free. See categories you can outsource tasks in.

For more recommendations, check Niabusiness Tools & Resources page.

2 thoughts on “5 things to do before adding your business to an online business directory website

  1. Knowledgeable post! Listing in a directory can increase the visibility of your business online and offline and expose your business to clients who would not get the chance to know about you, your products or services. You can also prefer Constructioncrowd.com to list your construction business.

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