Where to List Your Brand-New Business

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djbaxter

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9 Online Sites to List Your Brand-New Business
AllBusiness.com
August 11, 2017

You’ve put your heart and soul into launching your small business. Now you need to help customers find you. In addition to investing in sales and marketing efforts, you can get your business in front of your prospects via a variety of online sources, many of which offer free basic listings. Here are nine essential places to start:
  1. Google My Business
  2. Bing
  3. Facebook
  4. LinkedIn
  5. TripAdvisor
  6. Yelp
  7. Manta Small Business Directory
  8. Dun & Bradstreet (D&B)
  9. MapQuest

And there’s more …

There are additional sites that could be useful for your business to appear on, depending on the type of business you own—for example, Angie’s List, Thumbtack, Nextdoor, ConsumerAffairs.com, the Better Business Bureau, and others. Just make sure you focus on those most relevant to your business. It’s easy to waste time and money on efforts that don’t produce results.

Read more...
 
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Yelp! I can't believe I didn't think of yelp!!! Thank you so much for posting this!!! I have been hitting a wall with marketing and needed a nice refresher. Thanks!!!
 

azgold

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I think it would be easy to waste a lot of time if you don't target your efforts well. Some people just plaster their business on every site available but it would be far more efficient to pay attention to where a business' target audience hang outs and concentrate on those platforms.

I have seen people throw their marketing efforts solely on FB but what they're promoting just doesn't fit well there, especially with the groups they belong to. Just an example. A big platform doesn't automatically mean big results. It would serve a business well to do their due diligence and audience profiling. Is it better to promote on local listings, i.e. Yelp and such? Or is global more appropriate? I think that's a good research starting point.

That was my long-winded way of saying the same thing the article author did :) :

"Just make sure you focus on those most relevant to your business. It’s easy to waste time and money on efforts that don’t produce results."

Exactly!

All that said, I love the list. I think it's easy for a small business to overlook sites like MapQuest, D&B, etc. Those don't immediately come to mind when sitting down to plan a marketing strategy.
 
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What about listing your business on online directories? Or even promoting it on forums? Is that technique good? Or would you be wasting your time...
 

djbaxter

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What about listing your business on online directories? Or even promoting it on forums? Is that technique good? Or would you be wasting your time...
It depends on the type of business you run.

Most directories are of little value now. So many popped up in their hey day that Google clamped down on them, especially the paid directories, and devalued any links from them. Local small businesses may benefit from certain directory listings but you need to be careful which ones.

See Merchant Circle No Longer Offering Free Listings and https://whitespark.ca/top-local-citation-sources-by-country/

Getting listed on Google My Business is something you should do though, especially if you are a local small business with an actual brick-and-mortar presence.

Or even promoting it on forums? Is that technique good?
Be very careful with that. Most forums will ban you for blatantly promoting your business. And getting banned on one forum will frequently get you listed in various anti-spammer databases so it can cost you dearly.

You can certainly use your forum posts to enhance your reputation by adding a forum signature with a link to your website. But that will only help if you contribute informative and helpful posts to that forum community. Otherwise, it's more likely to affect your reputation negatively.

Also note that, in most quality forums, links in forum signatures and in forum posts are "no follow", which means that Google and Bing will not count them in ranking your site.

See also this part of our Forum Rules:
  • Special Note: By default, any links you post on this site are "no-follow" links; that is a characteristic of the Xenforo forum software. Thus, in addition to getting you banned, link-spamming won't help you:


    XenForo does this to URLs in all signatures plus any posts by non-moderator / non-admin members:


    Code:
    <a href="XenForo.com" rel="nofollow">XenForo - Compelling Community Forum Software</a>
    The rel="nofollow" part tells a search engine to not follow the URL therefore not increasing the search rank of that URL.
    This not only helps remove the value of link spam on this site, it also helps you, the members, if you have a website of your own and a link to that site in your signature:


    Dangers of link dropping at the Google Webmaster Forum in July 2014:

    John Mueller from Google said:

    Just to be absolutely clear, if you are dropping links to your site in other people's forums in the hope of gaming search engines, then that's considered web-spam and can be taking into account by both our algorithms and our manual web-spam teams. It doesn't matter how much "PR" the other site has, it doesn't matter if it's a .gov forum -- what you're doing would be considered web-spam by us.

    If you care about how search engines like Google view your site, I'd recommend cleaning those link-drops up, removing the link to your site, and not doing that in the future.

    So just like guest blogging, posting on forums can be totally legit and used to get exposure to potential clients. But Google pigeon holes everyone posting do-follow links on forums as a spammer, so you just have to be careful these days.[/B]
    Thus, having no-follow for links on this site actually helps to prevent you from accidentally damaging your own site.

    In addition, you should know that your forum signature is visible to other logged-in forum members but NOT visible to non-logged in visitors, i.e., guests and searchbots.

    The takeaway from all this should be this:
    • Post links that benefit other forum members; and/or
    • Post links that help to increase awareness of your website among other forum members in your signature if you wish; but
    • Do not post links hoping for a boost in search engine ranking - that simply isn't going to work.
 

djbaxter

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Yes it's still worth it if you
  • pick the right websites, i.e., sites related to your business or industry that are of high quality
  • don't engage in blatant reciprocal linking
  • don't pay for links: sooner or later you will get a manual penalty for that
  • don't link to or request links from dubious websites or sites that have nothing to do with your industry
Links from active Facebook pages and other social media sites will help.

Customer reviews, especially those on Google, Yelp, etc., will help a lot, but don't post fake reviews or buy reviews: again, that will get you penalized.

Long term, your best bet is to write solid informative and useful content that other people will link to without needing to be asked, and will promote on social media and on their own websites.
 
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Yes it's still worth it if you
  • pick the right websites, i.e., sites related to your business or industry that are of high quality
  • don't engage in blatant reciprocal linking
  • don't pay for links: sooner or later you will get a manual penalty for that
  • don't link to or request links from dubious websites or sites that have nothing to do with your industry
Links from active Facebook pages and other social media sites will help.

Customer reviews, especially those on Google, Yelp, etc., will help a lot, but don't post fake reviews or buy reviews: again, that will get you penalized.

Long term, your best bet is to write solid informative and useful content that other people will link to without needing to be asked, and will promote on social media and on their own websites.
Thanks you sir for that useful information. I'll implement something and let you know. Actually I'll start a thread to register the progress. ;)
 

djbaxter

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Those are local SEO strategies only right?
No, not at all.

Some might be more critical or necessary for Local SEO but generally they are important for general SEO. Remember that Local Search and General Search are not different indexes. In fact, if you search for almost anything except information (medical, technical, historical, cultural, etc.), what you will get now are weighted toward local results.
 
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