How to Start Your Own Local Business Directory Website in 5 Easy Steps

Are you interested in starting your own online business directory? A local business directory website is great way to support local businesses, help local shoppers find relevant information and make money online. Follow these 5 simple steps to learn how you can start your own local business directory website today.

1. First, Find Your “Niche"

The first step is to determine what kind of directory website you should launch. Your “niche” is the area of focus for your directory site. While you can create a general business directory that covers all industries and categories in a given area, you can also focus on a specific niche or industry such as a restaurant business directory, medical business directory, wedding vendor directory, or home services directory. Choosing a specific niche or industry allows you to cater your directory site, its content and even marketing towards a specific industry or profession.

For example you can set up a directory website for Long Island Wedding Vendors, Long Island Roofers, Long Island Restaurants, etc. Ideal Directories offers you the flexibility to launch a directory website for any area or niche you like.

Not sure what type of directory website to start? Here’s a tip: Look for opportunities in your local market. Maybe your city needs a good local restaurant directory? Or maybe you can start a local home services directory? Or better yet – launch multiple “niche” directory sites and multiply your earning potential.

2. Focus on a Specific Geographical Area

Even though you may have the potential to grow your directory to a national or even a global audience (and that may be your long term goal) it’s generally best to focus on a specific geographical area or region to start. Focusing on a specific town, city, county or even state will help you start building local traffic to your directory website by appealing to both local consumers and local businesses. This approach tends to be the most cost-effective method and you will be able to focus all of your marketing efforts on a specific area rather than spreading yourself too thin trying to cover a large territory.

3. Get Started Right Away

Don't delay the launch of your directory website. The Ideal Directories platform makes it easy to launch your own directory website in less than 1 hour. No need to hire a web developer or learn any complicated software. Ideal Directories is the fastest and easiest way to get your directory website live, AND it comes packed with all the must-have features from the very beginning, so there's nothing to add on later. The sooner you launch your directory website, the faster you can start generating traffic, selling listings and making money. Don't wait!

4. Set Your  Plans & Pricing

There are several ways to generate revenue from your directory website. The most popular way to generate income is to charge businesses to be listed on your site. You might offer a free listing option as an entry level package or as introductory offer, but the goal is to up-sell members to one of your paid or premium plans. You can also generate additional revenue by selling your own banner ads on the site or implementing Google AdSense. Google AdSense allows you to earn a small commission for displaying Google ads on your directory website. As you start to grow your directory website, it's wise to explore additional revenue opportunities such as writing premium content or promoting your members on social media.

Remember, like any business, a directory website takes time to grow and your patience and persistence will pay off. There’s no “get rich quick” formula. The key to success is staying committed and growing your business at a steady pace. In the beginning it’s best to focus on populating your directory, offering some free listings and generating traffic. As traffic increases, more businesses will be willing to pay for a premium listing and the pay off can be huge. Running a directory website is also a great opportunity to cross-sell complimentary services such as web design, search engine marketing, print advertising, social media marketing and more.

5. Promote Your Directory Website

Promoting your directory website is an important and never-ending step in running a successful directory website business. As the directory owner, you should always be proactive with marketing your directory website and look for new ways to drive relevant traffic to your site and attract new advertisers. Promoting your site should include both online and offline tactics including SEO, search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, face-to-face selling, networking, promotional material, print advertising, blogging and much more. The more visitors you have coming to your site, the more valuable it is for businesses to advertise on your site. Not only do businesses want to know you have a plan to get traffic to the site, they also want to know that other businesses (ie.their competitors) have also agreed to be listed. Getting your first paid listings is the hardest, so try calling some well known businesses in your city or area and offer to list them for free on your site. Then contact other similar businesses and tell them that their competition has already signed up to be listed, and they should to.

Looking for more ways to market your business directory website? be sure to check our eBook "100 Ways to Market Your Online Business Directory" for some creative and effective ideas.

Start a directory website business

Start a Directory Website for Your Town or City with Ideal Directories!

Make money promoting local businesses, coupons & events in your area.
Get Started Now