Note: Before we start, if you have no idea what backlinks are or why you need them, jump down to our FAQ section at the bottom of this blog — it’ll help give you some background information before you start link building.
Yes, you read right — these are the best free online directories for building backlinks in 2023.
Now, when we say best, what we mean is these are high-authority, trustworthy online directories you can put a link to your website and know Google and search engines will be happy. There’s no need to use a link-building agency with free high-quality backlinks available all over the internet.
And yes, building backlinks is still a heavily debated search engine optimisation strategy in 2023, as it was heavily debated in 2022, 2021 and so on. But, when tapping into online directories for backlinks, you also get the benefits of being in another place for your business to be found online. Most SEO services will include some high-quality backlinking strategy.
Most of these online directories have paid upgrade versions to help you stand out, but we’re just talking about the free versions here. They’re also in no particular order.
So, let’s have a look at some great ways to increase your website referral traffic, shall we?
Top 9 FREE Online Directories in 2023 for Building Backlinks
Localsearch.com.au is an online directory helping more than 300,000 regional Australian businesses be seen, be trusted and be connected. The platform was built by regional Australians for regional Australians, with success now seeing the website step into metropolitan markets in 2023, expanding on their already 300,000+ business listings.
Businesses in regional Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and parts of Victoria can create a business profile for free. There are upgrade options to unlock more features to increase your visibility and stand out from the crowd.
Business profiles include features to receive enquiries, quotes and reviews, as well as to publish photos, PDFs, posts and more. The website is backed by a team of developers, designers, writers, SEO specialists and data analysts to make it a powerful, affordable solution for small-to-medium businesses, as well as big businesses.
Localsearch.com.au is available on computer and phone browsers, as well as the Localsearch App. Claim your profile today.
The Foursquare City Guide creates what they call, “meaningful bridges between digital spaces and physical places.” Their online directory is fed through more than 500 million devices, detecting more than 100 million global points of interest, including businesses around the world. They claim their method is the first to be accredited by the Media Rating Council.
Businesses can add their own listing for themselves onto the platform, or they can claim their listing if one exists. They also have the option to place ads on the platform, with businesses both large and small reporting positive return on investment.
Foursquare.com is a unique platform for businesses, city explorers and developers alike. It’s available on mobile and desktop browsers, as well as the Foursquare City Guide app. Check out the Foursquare website for more information.
Yelp is an online directory available in more than 32 countries, including Australia. Starter pages with basic features on Yelp.com.au and the Yelp app are free, with upgrades and Yelp ads available for even more exposure to locals.
The online directory claims there are more than 20 free features to optimise your profile, including basic business information, phone and reviews. You can even add offers to your page.
Like all the other online directories on this list, you can add a link to your website to help increase the number of visitors and with your search engine optimisation. Visit Yelp for business to learn more.
Tripadvisor.com.au allows you to claim or list your business for free on its online directory for accommodation, things to do, restaurants, flights, rental cars and the travel industry. This niche platform is currently in 40 countries and features around 8 million establishments.
While a standard profile on Tripadvisor is free to claim or list, you can upgrade and advertise to help increase your chances of winning more bookings. Taking control of your Tripadvisor listing allows you to update your details, respond to reviews and see your performance on the platform.
Tripadvisor is available on mobile, desktop or via the Tripadvisor app, allowing users to plan and book trips, and explore new places online. Explore your options on this free online directory for travel businesses over on the Tripadvisor website.
Oneflare.com.au is an online business directory that connects customers who need a job completed with a business that can help. There are two ways Oneflare works once you have a profile.
The first way you can use Oneflare is to explore job listings posted by the public looking for a service you provide in your area. These will be specific jobs, such as needing a plumber for a bathroom renovation, a photographer for a shoot, etc. You can then place a quote bid (as will other businesses) for consideration.
The second way to use Oneflare as a business is to receive quotes. Someone will put in the details of a job they need completed and it will be sent to matches. If your business is one, you can pay to secure the lead with credits.
Find out more over on the Oneflare.com.au website.
Yellowpages.com.au is an Australia-wide online directory and app, receiving more than 5 million searches each month. A starter profile is free, however, you can pay for upgraded features also.
Yellow Pages, White Pages and Sensis were acquired by US-based software company Thryv Holdings in hopes of switching up their strategy. They are labelled as a reputable place for small-to-medium Australian and international businesses to have an online presence, with many benefits of doing so.
Visit the Yellow Pages business page to learn more.
hipages.com.au is a trades-specific online directory, with claims of connecting more than 1,100,000 trades businesses with more than 9,900,000 households.
Now, while hipages.com.au requires a membership to receive leads, it does include a free online directory listing. At the time of publishing this article, memberships started from $109 a month, including $104 lead credit, which they estimate to equate to $21 a lead.
You do receive a 6-month introductory when signing up for hipages.com.au. Explore the hipages tradie sitefor more information.
Word of Mouth (also known as WOMO) is an online directory review site in Australia. Registering your business on Word of Mouth is free, and you can also join the Happy Customers Program to use your engagement with your profile and community to optimise your profile.
Unfortunately, if you do not wish to be listed on Word of Mouth, it’s not possible to remove your profile as it’s considered a community forum. This is why it’s important if you have a presence on the platform, you should claim your listing to respond to reviews and manage your reputation on the platform.
Register your business for free over on the wordofmouth.com.au website.
Hotfrog.com.au is a free online business directory, allowing Australian consumers to find and book businesses in a range of service areas. It is currently owned by Locafy, and exists in 44 countries, helping more than 69 businesses globally.
Businesses with multiple locations can have up to 10 free business listings on Hotfrog.com.au. For those with more than 10, you will need to utilise Hotfrog’s API (an application programming interface, or API, that allows for the building and integration of software) for a small fee to allow your business the best opportunity for link building with an online directory.
You can get familiar with Hotfrog for locals and businesses over on hotfrog.com.au.
Frequently Asked Questions
Link building refers to increasing the number of websites linking to your own. These links back to your website are known as backlinks.
Ideally, you only want high-quality websites linking from relevant pages back to your website. This shows search engines your website is respected for providing good-quality content and is more likely to show that particular page on search results for relevant topics.