The idea that business directories are obsolete is shortsighted. Just because you have a killer website and a brilliant social media strategy doesn’t mean you can afford to overlook one of the easiest ways to improve your online visibility.

Business directories are an integral part of your local SEO strategy, improving branding and helping you dominate local search. And considering that many of the most popular directories are generating thousands of visitors a day and they allow you to promote your business for free, it makes no sense to pass on this opportunity. However, not all business directories are created equal.

Here are 3 business directories your local business needs to survive.

Google My Business

Google is the number one search engine in the world which makes a listing on Google My Business crucial.

When you are listed in Google My Business, you automatically show up in Google Search and Google Maps, making it easier for customers to find your contact information and location.

You can easily update your information from any device, maintaining a fresh and current online presence. Google My Business also allows you to add photos to your listing and respond to reviews. The analytical tools that are synonymous with Google give you insight into how people are finding and interacting with your business online.

Google My Business is the business directory that tops ALL business directories – you can’t afford to ignore it.

Bing Places for Business

As Googles number one competitor, Microsoft’s Bing does it’s best to match the search giant step for step and Bing Places for Business is the companies answer to Google My Business.

Like its rival, Bing Places gives businesses who list their business with them an advantage over those who do not by helping to boost visibility and search engine ranking.

If you want ultimate visibility you can get more traffic and drive more sales by optimizing your Bing Places for Business page.

Managing your account is easy! You can control all of your listing content from the user-friendly dashboard, including contact information, images, hours, media and links to your social media accounts.

A basic listing in Bing Places for Business is totally free – so what are you waiting for?

Yahoo Local

Although Yahoo is no longer the search engine powerhouse it once was, listing your business on Yahoo Local (with the help of Yext) still makes sense.

As the third most popular search engine, behind Google and Bing, lots of people still rely on Yahoo to find what they’re looking for.

A listing on Yahoo Local will help you rank high when people are searching for what you offer on Yahoo. There aren’t too many difference between Yahoo Local and its two major competitors. By offering all of the same features, including the ability to change information from anywhere, respond to fans and upload graphics to your listing, it’s an easy decision to add your business to Yahoo Local.

Establishing credibility with today’s major search engines gives you the best chance to leverage the power that these business directories can offer your business. The amount of time it takes to list your business in Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yahoo Local is minimal and considering what it can do for your visibility, it is time well spent.