Every year more and more people turn to business directories to find trusted local businesses and services. Not being found (or even listed) online can really put your business at a disadvantage.
Luckily, there are lots of options available to get the ball rolling and usually they require nothing more than a little investment of time.
Business directories have been a big part of the internet since the very beginning and today have hundreds of millions of visitors every month.
Including your business within these free directories is not only quick and easy but also allows you to tap into their existing audiences almost immediately.
Every business directory you join is another place your business can be found online, but not all business directories are equal and it is important that you are able to distinguish between the good and the bad.
Good business directories should allow you to customize and update your business listings easily. They should manually review and monitor their platform for spam and should as a whole look professional, after all you don’t want your potential customers to be put off by factors you can’t change.
Bad business directories can often do more damage to your online reputation than good. They are normally easy to spot and have vast amounts of links and misplaced listings for weight loss, diets and other highly spammed categories.
To help you hit the ground running we have included a list of the leading UK business directories. Submitting business listings to even a handful of these will get you showing up for local business searches and help you generate new leads.
Before the rise of search engines, website directories acted as the very backbone of search. Yahoo! started out as a business directory called Jerry and David’s guide to the World Wide Web.
Vodski – Free UK Business Directory (Premium Options)
Vodski (where you are right now) is our own UK business directory. Like many of the other directories listed here we are completely free to join and offer all the features you need to professionally represent your business online.
We focus strongly on your business listing itself, ensuring its optimised for both our users and search engines alike. This ensure your business listing can be found by our on-site visitors and through local searches via search engines like Google.
All submitted business listings and user ratings are manually reviewed by our team to remove spam and to ensure that our visitors find only legitimate trusted UK businesses.
Create your Vodski Business Listing
Google My Business (Previously Google Places)
Just in case you have been living in a cave for the last decade and a half, Google is a behemoth of the web and deals with billions of queries every single day.
Google My Business allows your business to tap into this vast audience by showing your information directly in search results, as well as including your businesses location in Google Maps.
Depending on the type of business you are submitting, there can be a number of additional features available, these could include amenities and bookings for hotels or virtual tours for store fronts and offices.
Since Google handles the lion’s share of internet search traffic and provides so many features, they truly are a must for any business looking to advertise online.
Create your Google My Business Listing
Some business owners struggle to receive lots of reviews as their customers do not always have Google accounts (required to leave a review for a business).
Google are always growing and with an increasing number of websites adopting social login, I can only predict that more people will join their platform and this issue will resolve itself.
Yell – Free UK Business Directory (Advertising Options)
Yell or the ‘Yellow Pages’ have been operating online since 1995, but have been working to help businesses connect with customers since as far back as 1966 (The first print of the Yellow Pages).
Despite Yell’s historic popularity, it has faced a dramatic decline in use over the last couple of years, however it’s remaining audience is still large enough to make it the UK’s most popular business directory and therefore should not be overlooked.
Yell offers many of its basic directory features for free, but encourages business owners to take part in their numerous advertising options. These advertising options can sometimes develop into high monthly or annual costs and care should be taken when deciding if they are suitable for your business.
Create your Yell Business Listing
Freeindex – Free UK Business Directory (Premium Options)
Originally founded in 2003, Freeindex has grown in popularity and today is a top free UK business directory, claiming to have over 400,000 businesses and 1.5 million customers using the website every month.
Freeindex offers all the features you would expect from a business directory and ranks business listing results by on-site reviews. This provides great opportunities for businesses of all sizes.
The website itself is of simple design but does allow for small customisable elements on your business listing.
Create your Freeindex Listing
Many users have complained of fake reviews being submitted that are damaging to their business and brand.
Freeindex does state that systems are in place to combat this, yet users remain frustrated at how quickly these incidents are investigated and resolved.
Cylex UK – Free Business Directory (Premium Options)
Cylex, although not solely a UK business directory, has grown fast in popularity since its beginning. Today they operate over 30 different business directories across the globe.
Cylex claim that they receive over one million unique visits each day across their platform (all 30 directories) and although the vast majority of these visitors are not applicable for UK business searches, it does give you a good idea of the size of their audience.
The platform offers its users all the basic directory elements and has added features to allow you to customise your business listings appearance, helping your listing stand out.
With a team of over 200 people, Cylex manually reviews all listing and rating submissions to help fight against directory spam.
Create your Cylex Listing
Yelp – Free Business Directory (Advertising Options)
Founded in 2004, Yelp is primarily an American business directory. Yelp has however branched out into the UK and has been very popular ever since.
Yelp offers all the features you would expect along with a professional business listing design. On top of that they offer additional tools to help you find events, lists and other users.
With millions of people visiting every month and with a total of over a hundread million user reviews, it is yet another great location to list your local business.
Create your Yelp Business Listing
Thomson Local – Free UK Business Directory (Advertising Options)
Thomson Local are very well known across the UK. This is down to both strong advertising campaigns and their ongoing Yellow Pages alternative, the Thomson Local directory (you probably have had one left on your door step).
Their business listings are of a simple design and do not allow for much customisation but have been proven to convert potential prospects into actual customers.
Thomson Local also offer paid advertising options to further expose your business to their audience. Please take time to ensure that this is what your business listing needs as paid options do not always provide the desired results.
Due to its popularity and large audience it is definitely a good spot for any local business.
Create your Thomson Local Listing
Business Magnet – Free UK B2B Directory (Premium Options)
Business Magnet has been running for over 10 years and claims to be the UK’s leading business to business (B2B) directory.
They have over 140,000 UK businesses already registered and many of them have added multiple products and services. These products and services are so diverse that Business Magnet has over 115,000 categories just to get them organised.
Business Magnet allows you to edit and customise your business listing and has also added new features so that you can now measure your listings popularity ( uncommon with other business directories ).
If you are dealing with other businesses regularly then this is not a place to miss, with over 3.5 million page views a month there is new connections to be made.
Create your Business Magnet Listing
Together, the UK business directories listed here provide hundreds of millions of uk users searching every month for local products and services.
By exposing yourself to these audiences you are taking your first steps towards maximising your businesses local marketing plan and generating new leads.
If you have had bad experiences with any of the business directories listed above or think that we overlooked some great sites let us know in the comments below!