UK Directories for Local Business – the first I’ll register with
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UK Directories for Local Business – the first I’ll register with

Online Directories

The following post is a very brief introduction to web directories for Small Business and which ones we recommend registering with.An image of a map and local directories

It has been the practice of many SEO companies over the years to register clients with sometimes thousands of web directories. This practice is now not only ineffective for your SEO efforts but due to changes made in 2012 to their algorithm can actually have a negative impact on your efforts.

There have been many scare-mongering tactics used by unscrupulous companies regarding citations. Check out the following link to see some myths that you can ignore –

This post, therefore, recommends the good quality directories that you should register with.

Registering with online directories is a very important early stage of Local SEO:

An image of a cartoon shop

  • Good For Local SEO

Good quality directory listings help to reinforce with Google that you have a real local business; this predominantly helps your the Google Places listings and rankings.

  • Good For Driving Traffic

Good quality directory listings also help to drive you traffic, for people still use directories other than Google for looking for local products and services.

Still not sure? Click here to find out why you really MUST register with online directories!


Before you start looking for the directories that you want to register with, you need to prepare the information you are going to list in each directory.An image showing a marketing strategy

All the information you submit must be consistent with the information within your Google Places listing – this is vitally important, or all your directory registration efforts could be in vain.

This preparation should also include some keyword research. In other words, know some of the key local search terms you would like to be found for (for example ‘hairdresser in Croydon).

The following link can help to significantly reduce your homepage as it offers easy access to some of the most important online directories currently available –

Register your website with a few good quality local business directoriesthe Google My Business Logo

As a general principle, we have found it is a good idea to register your business with a number of quality business web directories, some free and some paid.

Listing with good sites will help people and the search engines find you, but poor quality directories will at best not help, and in some cases could be detrimental to your SEO efforts (though only if you have lots of poor quality registrations outweighing the good ones).

Quality over quantityA scale balancing quality and quantity

It’s been the practice of many SEO companies over the years to get hundreds of directory listings for clients, probably because it sounds impressive. The thing is though that much of this work is automated by software programs and results in poor quality listings on often poor quality sites. It’s becoming increasingly important with Google that links to your website are of reasonable quality from reasonable quality websites. The good news, therefore, is that you do not need to employ an SEO guru to get you 5,000 directory listings when now you can start listing on the decent sites yourself!

So where should I register my local business?

The following is a list of some of the places we register clients sites, this is not an exhaustive list but hopefully, the following will at least get you started:

Universal Business ListingThe Universal Business Listing Logo

25 Directory Listings (£45 if you use UBL or FREE if DIY)

UBL is a quick way to get listed on 25 free directories. For £45 you make one submission to UBL and they, in turn, make the subsequent submissions for you. For the time-strapped Small Business Owner this can be a very efficient way of getting a good number of decent quality directory submissions.

The downside though is that this £45 fee is per month.

Alternatively, if you have the resource to make the submissions yourself these are all listed below:

  • Top Tip #1: If you are taking the DIY approach, make sure you register on ALL the above-listed sites, plus make sure the listings are well thought out and good quality – add (1) Co Logo (2) Decent descriptions (3) Proper keywords (4) Links to your website.
  • Top Tip #2: Make your listing information the same as your Google Places Listing
  • Top Tip #3: You will note that UBL list Facebook, Google Maps and LinkedIn as services they will set up for you. I recommend doing these manually yourself and spending a good amount of time doing this. See “Social Media Beginners Guide – The first services I set up for small businesses“.

UK Small Business DirectoryAn Advert For Advertising Your Business

(FREE to £100)

This Directory is UK based and used by lots of UK individuals searching for UK businesses, so on that basis, you should use this directory. You can get a free listing (which does not have a link to your website), but I would recommend going for the Silver listing £50, or Gold £100 which gives you two further links to specific pages in your site.

Best of the Web or BOTWThe Best of the Web Logo

(Free to $149.99)

BOTW has been around since 1994 and has strict submission policies for all sites (if you have a genuine site with proper content you’ll be fine).

Especially if you are a new website it is good to sign up with BOTW as sends a signal to Google that your site can be trusted and should help with the overall SEO efforts on your site. I would recommend the paid version to get the all-important link back to your website.

DMOZ Open Directory Project

DMOZ is THE most effective directory (in terms of adding weight to your SEO rankings). So if that’s the case why have I not put this as the first directory to register with? Simply because it’s one of the most difficult directories to get listed with.The dmoz Logo

DMOZ is manned by volunteers who manually review every website submission. As a result, I would only recommend submitting a site once it has been finished, so it will give a good impression to the reviewer.

Notes of caution regarding DMOZ:

(1) Because of the manual review process, it can sometimes take many months before your site is listed.

(2) Many sites are never listed (even good quality ones) and there does not seem to be an appeal process

(3) This should not be the ‘lynchpin’ of your directory registration strategy, but the ‘icing on the cake’ if you get accepted.

Do don’t delay, get out there and register your business in all these Directories today!

There are lots of other places on the web that you can register your small business to help with your SEO, though for the time being, I will stop here. From being in Small Business myself I know if a list is too long I’ll never get round to actually doing it.

Watch this space, further recommended directory listings to come.

Submitting your business details to a large number of online directories can be an exhausting process. Please contact us for more information about how we may be able to help.

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