17 Top Free Local Directories in Canada
Local SEO has become a very important task with the rise in use of tablets and smartphones, and Canada is no exception to this. In 2016, Catalyst reported that a staggering 76% of Canadians own a smartphone and that number is growing 1% per year.
Location-based apps have gotten customers closer to their local businesses thus making popular business niches heavily competitive.
So, it is imperative that you give your local businesses the gift of instant and effective online visibility via local search results and local citation sites. Claiming your listings on local business citation sites and other location-based mobile apps will improve your local SEO.
So, to that end, we've put together the 17 top free local directories in Canada.
- Google My Business
- Bing Places
- Yelp Canada
- Foursquare Canada
- Yellow Pages Canada
- Profile Canada
- Cyclex Canada
- HotFrog Canada
- CTI Directory
- Canadian Business Directory
Geotargeting in Google Search Console
Before we start, if your website only serves Canada, you should Geo-target your Google Search Console account to Canada by clicking on the gear icon on the top right-hand corner and choosing Site Settings.
Now select the check-box on Target Users and choose the option Canada from the drop-down menu.
Google My Business
Google My Business is the first place to start. Adding your business here will put your business on the map (quite literally, in Google maps!), helping people to find you with ease, as well as having the opportunity to leave reviews. It's important to encourage your (happy) customers to leave reviews, as your listing can include stars based on how you were rated.
Google also uses GMB as one of the many sources of information relating to your business, which it may then include in the knowledge graph, appearing alongside anything from images and reviews, to contact information.
Like GMB, adding your business details to Bing Places will also put you on the map, giving you visibility to potential customers in your area who are searching on Bing.
139th most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 66.4
On average Yelp users spend a little over $100 on their first visit to a business. Yelp is the most popular review and recommendation site in the United States and one of the most popular sites in Canada.
The best part about Yelp is that you can communicate with your customers both privately and publicly, add photos and other important business information, and track user activity on your business page.
FourSquare is a geo-targeted smartphone check-in app that lets you check-in to a place and write a recommendation or tip that is available to anyone who checks-in to the same place. Moreover, the check-ins can be shared with other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Your business must be claimed or listed on FourSquare to tap onto this potential user base and build your brand effectively.
11th most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 66.6
Although not a business directory, Kijiji is a free classified ads site for Canadian local businesses which has an impressive amount of user traffic of its own. The site also has an awesome social media presence, thus proving its popularity amongst Canadians.
Posting your ad on this site is free. Paid postings are not recommended as the links coming from paid ads will not help you in your search ranking. You can post an ad just for the sake of the user traffic that is specific to this site or to promote a specific sale or product, and you can delete your ad at any time.
475th most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 73.6
This site provides industry-specific analysis and information. It has a very high amount of user traffic; the site receives over 500,000 searches per month.
Yellow Pages Canada
353rd most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 81.9
YellowPages.ca has a very high amount of user traffic, both on the web as well as on its mobile app. It also supplies its data to partner sites thus enhancing your brand's exposure in your local niche.
1,898th most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 81.5
Listing your business on this high user-traffic website (over 12 million) will allow your business information to be visible to your potential leads.
The website allows you to have a full-page interactive profile with maps and directions to the physical location of your address. You can also track the number of people who are viewing your business page. Moreover, users can also leave reviews of businesses.
13,632nd most visited site in Canada with a WooRank Score of 71.5
Profile Canada is a popular local search sites that offers free listings for local Canadian businesses. The user traffic on the site is considerably high.
2,707th most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 68.3
WebLocal is a local search site in Canada where users can leave ratings based on their experience at certain local services or share their experiences about a product purchased from a store that is listed on WebLocal.
As a local Canadian business, you are allowed to post videos, pictures, business descriptions, menus, operating hours, price lists and more.
7,91st most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 65.2
If you have a menu, a brochure or a price list, Cylcex Canada is one of a kind free business directory that allows you to upload these details. With your free listing, you can also upload a video or create a service or product catalog. The site receives a good amount of user traffic in Canada.
5,269th most visited site in Canada with a WooRank Score of 64.5
GoldBook is a local search business servicing all business niches in Canada. Established in 1998, the site receives a crucial demographic of traffic that allows for your potential customers to connect with your business. It is similar to a Canadian yellow pages.
11,921st most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 77.1
HotFrog Canada has a good amount of its own user traffic since it is an international brand operating in 38 countries across the globe. The site has around 14 million page views every month and over 668,722 unique site visitors.
You can add your business description along with images and even create coupons that will be visible to the web traffic specific to this site.
8,447th most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 61.4
MyStore411 is an online directory of store locations and store hours. The site receives a good amount of user traffic and it provides a feedback form that can be used to suggest a local Canadian store that is not currently listed in its database.
22,140th most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 60.8
The CTI local business directory is the oldest and a pioneer in industrial directories in Canada. It has a high user traffic of about 200,000 visitors per month. It allows you to post full business contact information, company descriptions and a link to your website.
9,214th most visited website in Canada
Launched way back in 1998, CanadaOne has been one of the most popular business directories for local businesses in Canada. The site has also published over 900 business articles thus attracting a good amount of user traffic.
The CanadaOne business directory has over 20,000 businesses registered and it also offers useful free online tools.
Canadian Business Directory
12,741st most visited website in Canada with a WooRank Score of 48.5
Canadian Business Directory is a simple, free Canadian business directory with a considerable amount of its own user traffic.
We don’t want to stop with just providing the top free local directories in Canada and wanted to provide even more resources for you.
The first difference you will learn about all local directories in Canada for SEO submission is that some directories are free to use and some directories charge their users. Know the difference between the directories and shop around when you decide to use a directory you have to pay, so you get the best deal for the money you invest.
More Free Directories in Canada
The fact that a business directory is free to use does not mean that the directory is noticed less often than a directory that charges businesses for listing. You want to get your name in as many of these advertising venues as possible. They are free and all it will take for you to get your business name in them is a little of your time. This will be time well invested in your business.
Listing in free directories will help you to develop your brand image. As people see your name and what you do they start to become familiar with it. In a short amount of time when people see something that concerns what you do they will automatically think of your name. That is branding at its best and free listings can help you to get your name branded.
Some of the most popular free directories in Canada include:
Business Directories for Hire
Paying for a business listing can ensure that your business is listed under the keywords and categories that you feel are most relevant to your business. The problem with paying for a listing is that you can pay more than you should. You should also research the directory you are about to list with and see how much traffic it receives on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis before you decide to invest your advertising funds there. Be certain that your business is posted in all the directories in Canada for SEO submission under the keywords, you think people are most likely to use.
This might mean you have to pay to get your listing placed in more than one place in the directory, but is listed in the right place can mean the difference between increased sales.
When you do decide to pay to have your business listed make sure that you read all of the fine print, the user notices, and the service agreements completely before you agree to pay. You cannot determine if one directory is providing you with a better deal if you do not consider how long your listing will run, where the listing will be placed in the directory, what size font will be used to highlight your listing, and will direct links to your web pages be provided from the listing?
Some of the top recommended directories for hire in Canada are:
Keywords and Listing Locations
In order to have a successful business people have to become familiar with your name, or at least be able to find your name when they are searching for a business in the category you are in. That means how you are listed will be as important as being listed. You need to consider the keywords that people might type if they were searching for a business like the one you own.
Be certain that your business is posted in all the directories in Canada for SEO submission under the keywords you think people are most likely to use. This might mean you have to pay to get your listing placed in more than one place in the directory, but being listed in the right place can mean the difference between increased sales and no effect.
Choose the Right Type of Directories
If the business you have needs to be seen by only local individuals then make sure that the directory you choose to use is for local residents only. A cake decorator in Canada does not need to get orders from people in Texas. It is important to know what viewing audience is targeted by the directory service you are using.
Check your Listings Often
One mistake that is made by business owners when it comes to directory listings is they list their business and then they do not go back to make sure their listing is visible. If you want to increase the amount of traffic that comes to your business or to your web pages then you have to make sure your advertising efforts are working for you.
Many people do not understand why business managers hire SEO specialists to list their business names in directories and do other SEO tasks. It is true that anyone can do search engine optimization tasks, but it is also true that checking all of your links, your listings in directories, and making sure that your name is properly represented under each keyword it pertains to is time-consuming. Sometimes it is more profitable to pay someone to check all local directories in Canada for SEO submission for you.