11 Toronto Small Business Listings You Need to Have
If your small business has a website, there’s no doubt that you want it to bring you customers. In general you can do this through the somewhat mystical process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but that’s an ongoing job to be considered constantly.
So what can you do to quickly create backlinks to your website from reputable pages?
Directory listings are one of the best ways to give your website a quick boost in SEO.
What are These Directories?
Some of these are giant must-have’s for every website, regardless of the type or location of your business. Others are specific to businesses in Canada, Ontario, or even Toronto. If your business is in Toronto, then these listings provide an extra boost, and a very valuable one at that.
If you’ve used Google Search then you’ve no doubt noticed that search results are heavily tailored to return listings in your local neighbourhood. If you search for a Pizza place, the first result isn’t going to be the best pizza in Italy (unless you’re in Italy, of course!) – it will be the most optimized result near you. And as a business owner, it is your responsibility to do everything you can to be as close to that number one spot as you can.
What Do I Need to Know?
When you’re listing your website on these directories, it’s critical to be consistent with the details. Let me say that again. Be consistent. You are laying a trail of breadcrumbs for the search engines to crawl, and they need to be clear that they keep track of who’s who. They may get confused if you list yourself as “Bobby’s Pizza” in one place, but “Bobby’s Pizza – Voted Tastiest in TO” in another place. Similarly, make sure you are consistent with the address and phone number of your business.
You can be a little more choosy with the descriptions of your business. You may choose to tailor your business’s description to fit the type of site you’re listing on. For example you might be more specific about your specialties or most popular dishes on a Restaurant listing site than you would on a general business listings. But that’s up to you.
So here are the directories that your Toronto small business needs to be in.
11 Listings and Directories for your Toronto Business
The Must-Haves for Every Business
- Google My Business – formerly Google Places, these are the featured listings that appear at the top of Google’s search results. These will be localized to show you results near you, but are absolutely essential for every business. You’ll need to set up a Google+ page first, and then register your business and confirm it’s identity by telephone or postcard. This gives these listings extra authority and reliability, and it pays off in spades. People really trust these.
- Bing Places – Just like Google for Business, you need to be listed on Bing Places. Google may be hailed as the superior search engine, but Bing comes pre-installed with every Windows computer, so don’t underestimate the value of that kind of volume.
- Canada 411 – You can get a free listing on 411.ca, or you can pay for their premium listings that drive extra traffic to your site. When you buy a premium listing they will also connect you directly with customers who are in need of the services you offer so if you’re trying to ramp up your business this might be a great option.
- YellowPages – YP has been one of the leading sources for business listings for decades. They had their heyday when phone books were still a thing (remember those?) but now they’re adapted to become an online SEO firm. My advice – do NOT give them your money. Judging by the past experiences of clients we’ve worked with at WebTO, YP charges a huge amount for the quality of the work they do. But they do offer a free listing service so that is definitely worth doing.
- Yelp for Business – Yelp is the most used business review site out there. You should be on here so that your customers can give you the great reviews you deserve. You may even consider asking past clients to give you a review if you think they’d be willing to take the time to help you!
- Yahoo Local Listings – This paid service from Yahoo will get you listed on 50+ directories at once. This may be worth considering if you are having trouble with your SEO or don’t want to spend the time on the usual grind.
Directories for Toronto Businesses
- CanPages – This offshoot of YellowPages provides localized listings.
- WebLocal – Offers localized listings and reviews.
- Torontonian – This directory is specific to Toronto, and verifies all of their listings by an automated phone call.
- GoldBook – This directory is localized and has a Toronto-specific section.
- TechVibes – TechVibes is a prominent Canadian tech blog. You can promote events through their site, and they also offer easy business listings.
That should be enough to get you started. Get your business listed on these websites and you’ll start pulling some PageRank improvements. But don’t forget – this isn’t a complete SEO solution! If you need help with SEO for your website don’t hesitate to contact WebTO for SEO consultation.
Did we miss a great directory? Something to add? Leave a comment below!