It isn’t a directory without the listings. For publishers launching a local business directory, finding the information that’s ultimately used to generate business listings is no easy task.
Businesses and other organizations aren’t lining up to provide the information needed to create online listings—most business owners simply don’t have the time. The number of business owners who will manually add listings to a local business directory is incredibly low.
Thankfully, publishers have a number of options when it comes to sourcing the information that will ultimately be used to populate their directories. The most time consuming of these options is to drive around cataloging local businesses and then manually adding listings for those businesses one-by-one. What more directory publishers are opting for these days, as they work to get their new directories off the ground, is to purchase listing data from sellers online.
Let’s look at six resources publishers can use to find listings for a local business directory.
InfoUSA is a part of Infogroup, one of the largest data and marketing service companies in the country. One aspect of what the company does is to sell business information. Typically, InfoUSA sells to salespeople looking for fresh leads, but that same data can be used by publishers launching local business directories. In addition to lists of business organized by location, InfoUSA also sells lists of doctors, churches, and healthcare organizations, which could also be useful when creating “Best Of” content. Publishers who are interested in trying out InfoUSA’s product can contact the company for specific pricing information.
- Yellow Pages Spider
The company behind Yellow Pages Spider has created a tool that searches all the most popular business directories to find relevant business information for its users. Publishers input keywords and location data to pinpoint the category of businesses they are looking for, and Yellow Pages Spider extracts all available data, including name, address, phone number, and website URL for each business. Yellow Pages Spider’s data is ready to export in multiple formats, including TXT and Excel. Yellow Pages Spider charges a one-time fee of $97.
- Dun & Bradstreet
Dun & Bradstreet is a large commercial data analytics firm. Publishers can work with the company to create targeted business lists based on more than 175 data points. The company’s DataVision product leverages more than 120 million business records from 30,000 sources. In addition to providing clients with lists of businesses in their target markets, Dun & Bradstreet is also able to identify which businesses are most likely to be interested in paying for premium listings or advertising opportunities. Dun & Bradstreet’s data can be exported in a number of ways, including directly to a publisher’s CRM.
- Yellow Scrape
Publishers with local business directories can use Yellow Scrape to extract business information and create listings for their websites. Yellow Scrape’s software gathers business names, addresses, phone numbers, websites, social links, and contact information from the web and delivers the data in a way that directory publishers can immediately input into their websites. Publishers select the location and business type, and Yellow Scrape collects that information from Yellow Pages directories. Data is available as .csv files. Yellow Scrape’s U.S. and Canada software costs $75.
- Better Business Bureau
Publishers with city-specific niche directories can get information about local businesses from the Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau runs a well-populated directory that’s searchable by business industry and zip code. Most business listings include contact information, website links, and brief overviews of what the companies do. Because the Better Business Bureau does not sell its listing information, publishers will have to manually research businesses on the organization’s directory. The upside to this strategy is that it’s completely free.
- WP Local Plus
WP Local Plus is a WordPress plugin that publishers can use to add local directories to their websites. The plugin automatically creates business directories with Google Maps integration. One of the upgraded features is auto-generated listings, which means publishers get access to local business listings that they can use to populate their own directories. In addition to basic business information, WP Local Plus’ listings also include information about business locations, reviews, maps, and external website URLs. WP Local Plus’ listings are self-updating, which means the system will edit things like business names, addresses, and phone numbers as they change over time. Publishers in the U.S. and Canada can purchase WP Local Plus for $39 per year.