search illustration with hand searching on his tabletIf you’re like most business owners today, you understand the importance of exposure on search engines like Google and Bing. Those sites, after all, are where the majority of consumers are searching for local businesses.

You also may know there are two primary ways to get listed on search engines — Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which is paid advertising, or Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is showing up in the organic search results.

Clearly, all business owners want to maximize their advertising dollars– so the better your business ranks in those organic search results, the less you’ll have to spend on SEM.

While optimizing your business’ own website is certainly an important component of getting found on Google or Bing, what many local businesses may not also realize is the value that online listing sites can have in getting your business noticed.

Large directory sites, such as Yelp,, or TripAdvisor, each have millions of pages and business listings, and tend to rank well for major key search terms (For example, “Plumbers in Chicago, IL”).

By claiming and maintaining your business information on these sites, people can click through from Google and quickly find you. This is known as ‘Barnacle SEO’, and if you take advantage of it, you could see some major return– for little overall investment.

How Do You Get Listed on These Sites?

There are really two major ways to approach this:

  • The Do it Yourself (DIY) Approach

    Most major directory websites will allow you to claim your business listing and update information for little or no cost. We have developed a great resource to help you get started on this:

    Serious young business owner using laptop in his workshop‘32 Business Listing Sites That Will Get You Referral Traffic’

    This resource provides you links to several major sites across the web — Google, Facebook,, YP, etc — where you can claim your business’ online profiles.


  • Hire the Professionals (it’s still cheaper than SEM!)

    Woman Working At Computer In Contemporary OfficeMany companies offer the service to maintain and update your presence across the web. The key advantage in utilizing a paid service to maintain and update your online listing information is that everything will be taken care of for you. If you want to change your address, add photos, update your business hours, etc – it’s all taken care of and you won’t have to spend hours going around updating every site on the Internet.

Dex Media offers this service as part of our Thryv solution, and we’d love to help you get started. Click here to learn more.