The 20 Best Business Directories for SEO in the UK

When used correctly, business directories are a quick and reliable way to improve a local business’s off-page SEO. Directories also help build trust with users, who prefer to see a business appearing across the most reputable directories.

But with so many to choose from, how can you know which are the best?

Advance Online has managed the off-page SEO of hundreds of local UK businesses, and that includes handling their business directory entries. 

In this article, we explain how business directories help SEO, how to tell if a business directory is worthwhile, and recommend the 20 best business directories for local businesses in the UK.

How Do Business Directory Entries Help with SEO?

A key SEO ranking factor is a business’s presence across the internet. Every time a business appears in a directory, it increases this presence. Directory entries with consistent and accurate information also signal to search engines that this business is legitimate and actually exists. 

Additionally, business directories often include a business’s web address. This web address is a ‘backlink’, which improves a website’s domain authority. The higher the domain authority, the better.

Are All Business Directories Good for SEO?

webpage overwhelmed by adds

As tends to happen with most ‘quick-fix’ SEO tactics, business directories have been overused for SEO purposes. In the last decade, unmanaged business directories have appeared by the (dozen-dozen) dozen. Entries could be auto-generated and offered little in the way of user utility.

Search engines have gotten wise to such practices and have begun to label low-quality directories as ‘spam’. The SEO benefits and backlinks they offer are ignored, or worse, punished.

All of this provides uncertainty when submitting to online directories. Will this submission really help? Or will it make things worse? 

So, how do you assess whether a business directory will be good for your SEO? We advise the following:


If the directory is of particular relevance to your business, either through industry or geography, it will be more likely to help your SEO.

Domain Authority

Does the website have a ‘good’ domain authority (more than 50)? You can check this with a free ‘backlink checker’. One caveat: if the directory is particularly relevant to your business, a lower domain authority is acceptable. Something in the range of 20-40 would suffice.

Barriers to Entry

The more a directory authenticates and screens its entries, the more legitimate search engines will find those entries. Look for email confirmations, profile authentication and even telephone or video calls.

Quality and Maintenance of the Website

Can’t click the buttons because an ad keeps jumping in the way? Slow loading times? Seems like it still lives in fear of the millennium bug? If the website looks like it hasn’t been cared for or is plastered with ads, you should perform extra research to see if it is legitimate before adding your business (for example, by consulting a curated list like ours!)

SEO Citation Entry Tips

Entering your information into directories can be a long and tiresome process, so it’s easy to make mistakes.

Here are four tips to make the process of citation building simpler and more effective. 

    • Put all your business information into one document. That way, you can easily copy and paste it into the business directory’s input fields. Keep photos and logos in a separate folder on your computer so you can quickly upload them when needed. 
    • Be comprehensive: The more information you put into a listing, the more legitimate it will appear to a search engine and users. Upload photos and include your opening hours. Make sure your service descriptions are informative and contain your website’s target keywords.
    • Keep a record: If, for example, you change your address or telephone number, you will need to update the information in all your directory listings. It’s important to keep track of your entries, as well as any usernames or passwords.
    • Do a few at a time: Not only will the task seem less onerous, it reduces the chances of search engines misinterpreting your hard work as automated spam.
    • Consider using a directory aggregator: Software such as Uberall or Brightlocal automates entry to the most popular directories, so you don’t have to put in the hard yards. Needless to say, you’ll pay for the privilege.

The 20 Best Business Directories for Local SEO UK

The list of suitable directories differs for each business, depending on the industry and the location. However, there are certain nationwide and global directories that all businesses can and should sign up for to improve their SEO and online presence.

We’ve listed twenty of the best below. Domain authorities (also known as ‘domain ratings’) are sourced from AHRefs and are correct at the time of writing.

google logo More than just a directory, Google Business is essential to SEO and your online presence.

facebook logo Needs no introduction. An interactive listing with review capabilities and opportunities for engaging followers with regular content. Word of warning: managing a Facebook listing, when added on top of managing your Google Business reviews, can be overwhelming due to the number of interactions it can generate. Don’t set it up unless you can keep on top of it.

linkedin logo
 Another ‘directory’ that needs no introduction. Offers additional opportunities for recruitment and B2B interactions.

thomson local logo A reputable directory with a high domain authority (76) that requires profile authentication and offers direct traffic to your website.

Another reputable online directory with profile authentication, an exceptional domain authority (91) and a high volume of traffic.

Yelp is a well-established directory with review functionality. A ‘must-have’ with a high domain authority (81) offering referral traffic.

bing places logo Bing might not have the market share of Google, but Bing Places directory is still well-trodden ground. After all, some devices operate with Bing Places as default, and we all know someone who hasn’t taken the time (or doesn’t know how) to switch to Google. 

cylex A global directory with local divisions. Quick and simple to join with a high domain authority (75).

central index logo Not only will your business be added to the Central Index website, it will also appear in local and national newspaper business indexes, such as Good domain authority (77).

cybo logo
Another reliable global directory that offers local listings with a good domain authority (73).

my local services logo Easy-to-use directory with a simple interface and authentication system. Reasonable domain authority (67).

hotfrog logo An excellent and long-established directory, favoured by SEO-ers, with a good user interface and domain authority (79).

A trusted database of professionals and businesses with excellent domain authority (92).

misterwhat logo A simple UK directory with a reasonable domain authority (68).

europages logo A European directory with national domains that offers a straightforward listing with a good domain authority (69).

scoot logo Simple user interface offers a straightforward listing with a high domain authority (76). Scoot also adds your listing to a number of other reputable directories.

brownbook logo A business directory offering reviews and comments with a long-standing reputation in the SEO community. Domain authority of 79.

fyple logo A lower domain authority (61) but improving. 

free index logo Directory with a domain offering quick, easy and trusted citations. Domain authority of 83.

192 Offers listings for ‘businesses, people and places’. Simple interface and a good domain authority (76).

The Best Business Directories for SEO UK: Final Thoughts

Business directory citations are vital to a local business’s SEO.

By adding your information to the right directories, you can improve your website’s presence across the internet and secure extra backlinks, while avoiding the risk of search engine penalties. Appearing in reputable directories across the internet also builds trust with users.  

Citations are just one piece of the SEO puzzle. If you would like more SEO tips for local businesses, then make sure to check out our digital marketing help and advice pages.

Advance Online is Surrey’s premier SEO expert with years of experience delivering off-page SEO strategies for local businesses. If you have any questions, please get in touch via our contact form.

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