Universal Business Listing is a service that lists your business in a wide variety of places across the Internet. This can be helpful, both for driving traffic to your website and increasing local search rankings (as discussed in my guide to local listings).
The UBL service costs $30 for one year.
Your business details are syndicated out to over 300 locations. This includes the biggies, like Google Places, the obscure, such as SearchBug, and even databases for GPS devices. You are also added to the Acxiom database, which is where many of these places get their data – and is not a place you can simply add your business to through an online form.
Does It Work?
I first used the UBL service a bit over a year ago. After completing the process, I was disappointed – as nothing seemed to be happening. Several months later, however, I was looking at the analytics for the website submitted, and noticed a number of visits from various directories. The listing service had worked after all – it was just a slow process for everything to show up, which they acknowledge on the site (UBL suggests up to 60 days).
The listings that appeared had the correct information, although many of the profiles were not filled out as completely as can be done manually. For instance, the service does not upload videos or coupon information, a couple pieces of information that some sites like to have. On the other hand, the listings did provide traffic. I also saw an increase in local search rankings, although this could have been due to other changes made to the website.
One note I would make: be certain that the information you submit to UBL is the same as you have listed everywhere else. This is important in general, as you need a canonical address/phone number/business name to use across the web. Consistency keeps the search engines from becoming confused. If UBL is distributing different information than that which already exists, you may end up with multiple listings – and lower rankings.
At just $30, a Univeral Business Listing is a good value – it would take many hours to submit to all these sites manually, and some are not even available for online submission. The need to renew annually is a downside, although your information may remain in many of the sites even if you don’t renew.
My suggestion is that businesses read my article on places to list your business, and submit to these important sites manually. Then, purchase a UBL to fill out the hundreds of smaller directories. This will allow you to have well optimized listings in the busiest places online, but yet be sure that your business information is well distributed across the web.
To get started with your listing, visit the UBL website.
If you’ve used the UBL service, please leave your experience in the comments.