Google your company and what do you see? A mix of social media properties, your company website, and some third-party review websites? Par for the course.
Look closer and you’ll notice another category of results: business directory websites. These sites also qualify as “third-party” since they’re not owned by the companies they feature. But they’re more valuable than “pure” third-party sites because they allow featured companies to edit or at least influence their listings, often at no cost.
These seven are among the best. Claim or create your listing on each at your earliest convenience.
Crunchbase is a directory by and for growing businesses and their leaders. Its simple, mostly-text format packs an impressive amount of information into company and individual profiles without coming off as overwhelming or dry. Glance at the Crunchbase profile for alternative investment platform Yieldstreet, for instance, and you’ll glean that the company is:
Wherever you’re at in your entrepreneurial journey, you could surely benefit from a high-visibility platform communicating this sort of information to potential investors, employees, and customers.
2. Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau has been a familiar part of the American lexicon for decades. But today’s BBB (as the platform prefers) is definitely not your parents’ consumer watchdog.
Like Crunchbase, the modern BBB is a database of company information geared toward investors and prospective customers. It offers an added layer of awareness as well: a letter-grade rating system that uses public-source and company-provided information to assess the quality of the business’s customer interaction.
A certain type of customer takes BBB ratings very seriously, to the point that they could well be definitive in their decision to do business or take a pass. And this type of customer is more common than you’d imagine. Don’t leave them hanging.
3. Google My Business
It’s not really fair to call Google My Business a “business directory.” That’s certainly part of it, but — this being Google — there’s a lot more to it.
For local businesses, the effortless visibility on Google Maps is a massive help, especially in competitive industries. The visibility in organic Google search is a boon for all businesses.
And because Google My Business is totally free, it’s hard to make the case that you shouldn’t use it. It’s a low-effort way to improve your visibility online without paying for a “black box” solution.
Entrepreneurs of a certain age still remember the physical Yellow Pages, a phrase basically synonymous with the term “phone book.” Today, the phone books are gone (mostly), but Yellow Pages lives on in YP.com.
And it’s about what you’d expect. YP.com is a digital database for your company’s vital stats: contact details, elevator pitch, key people. In terms of organic search visibility, it’s tops among “pure” directories, or business databases without lots of extra features and services.
AngelList is part jobs board, part knowledge base for venture capital investors. If you’re hiring, you can count on the visibility your job listings will receive here to kick your recruiting efforts into another gear and increase the quality of your candidate pool. If you’re looking for funding, you’ll find a deep bench of active, fully vetted investors who want your business to succeed.
Yahoo has lost some of its shine in recent years, but the Web 1.0 holdover still has a lot to offer growing businesses through its Yahoo Small Business vertical. Its website-building and visibility-boosting tools are much more fairly priced than those offered by the big names in “corporate” domain management today, so if you’re still getting by with social media exposure and a parked domain, Yahoo Small Business could be your best shot to take flight.
Yelp is another magnificent ally for local businesses seeking that extra visibility edge. Claiming a Yelp listing is free (yes, your business probably has one already, whether you know it or not) and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. You can choose to invest considerable advertising capital in Yelp’s visibility-boosting services, too.
Get Listed Today
These seven high-visibility directory sites are appropriate for most businesses.
It’s true that some, like BBB and Yelp, are better fits for companies that serve local audiences. If you’re planning to scale a national or international startup right away, these platforms might not be as important to you.
But whatever your plans, there’s no denying that your company could use every bit of visibility it can get. So why not use as many tools as you can to make that happen?