Local business directories are popular with consumers because they provide an easy way to find businesses in their local area. If you have a water leak, it makes no sense to call a plumber who is based on the other side of town, or even the other side of the country – and a good local business directory should provide you with a list of plumbers who are nearby. Some business directories will allow you to search within the directory by suburb as well as by business type.Local business directory listings provide compelling benefits to business owners as well, particularly if the listing is free of charge. Simply put, the more exposure your business gets, the better. If your business is listed on 20 local business directories, that’s 20 more places that people can come across you.A good local business directory will give you a live link to your website. This helps in two ways – firstly, people may click on the link, increasing the number of visitors to your website. Secondly, the search engines see every incoming link to your website as a ‘vote’ for your site. Having many incoming links helps boost your website’s search engine ranking.The search engines often rank business directory entries highly in their results pages. Directory owners go to great lengths to ensure that their listings are search engine optimized. Even if you have a website, you may find that your listing in a directory appears before your website listing, because of the search optimization strategies used by the business directory. If you add your listing to a number of popular business directories, it is possible that more than one of the first page search engine results will link to your business.If you find that your website is getting more visitors from a particular directory, or that you are getting more calls because of a specific listing, the directory in question is evidently doing its job. It may be worth your while to find out if the directory has a way to make your listing more prominent, such as paid advertising.