How to build a 50.000 business listings online directory

How to build a 50.000 business listings online directory

How to build a 50.000 business listings online directory

Your online directory is already up and running, which is fantastic! However, an empty directory will not bring you any clients. We’ll explain how and where to find your first business listings for your online directory in this article.

As an online directory owner, you probably have a clear idea of what you want to offer your clients. Regardless if it is a job advert wall where companies can advertise their vacancies, or a pet guide with redeemable deals and listings for the best pet shops, veterinarians, and various service providers, the main thing you will always have in common is the business listings. Without business listings, an online directory is pretty much good for nothing.

For a moment, let me put myself in your shoes. Surely, you’re wondering where and how to find quality business listings for your new directory, and this is indeed important for many reasons. The main ones being SEO (search engine optimization), because you want Google to index your online directory and show it in SERP (search engine results page), generating revenue, as this might be the key reason why you sent time building an online directory in the first place but, also, to attract more clients. Think about it, as customers ourselves, we want to go to places where other people are going, making recommendations, hiring services from other people.

In this article, you will learn about three different ways to earn your initial business listings, which will set you off on the road to reaching 50.000 listings within a few months of starting your business. Continue reading this post for more information about improving your online directory.

Table of contents

  • Building your business listings online directory database from scratch
  • Buying business listings from vendors
  • Scrape business listings with a scraping tool
  • Conclusion

Building your business listings online directory database from scratch

At first glance, this might look intimidating, but it is the safest way to post your first business listing online. By doing research and checking the accuracy or updated status of all the information there, you can ensure the quality of the information there. You will see more success if you are supported by a team, as that will increase the speed at which you populate your database.

If you are working alone and have a budget to invest in this task, don’t be afraid to hire help to grow your database. Set quality standards for your listings, remember that every bit of information counts, especially the description (put some effort into it) and contact information. Also, focus on creating and promoting features your clients might find valuable to attract more leads right away. Be creative with the titles in order to drive more clicks to your listings, be clear with every bit of information you put there. Also, be sure to make your images and photos as eye-catching as possible. Aim for professional photos (hire a photographer if possible).

Buying business listings from vendors

You might find that this is the most direct and reliable way of populating your online directory. You can streamline the process of expanding your directory in a few steps by purchasing directory listings from a reputable vendor, in addition to ensuring high-quality content.

As a downside, you could find those trustworthy vendors are not always the cheapest option. To help you further on your research for business listings, we’ve selected the top data vendors on the internet. Take a look:

The top tier business listings online directory database vendors


Acxiom, pronounced “a-xee-um”, is a database marketing company based in Conway, Arkansas. A reliable source for consumer and market data, this organization ranks among the best in the business. In addition, you will have access to a wide range of additional services such as customer segmentation, analysis of market trends (in several countries), and a Global Data Navigator service, which allows agencies to choose global data elements by country. Prices are subject to quotation.

Data Axle USA

Data Axle USA previously known as InfoUSA, Data Axle has been in business since 1972, making it one of the leading database providers in the United States. In 1986, they became the first company to digitize all Yellow Pages listings on floppy disks and CD-ROMs, so customers could consult information easily. Providing reliable databases on customer and marketing information, they are today able to help small and big businesses across the country. Prices are subject to quotation.

Dun & Bradstreet

Another database provider in the USA, DnB offers B2B contact data, leads data, business and company data, as well as corporate credit ratings. Get in touch with them via LiveChat to request a quote on their services. A distinctive feature of Dun & Bradstreet is its Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS numbers); these are used to generate business information reports for more than 100 million companies around the world. Prices are subject to quotation.


Think of Datarade as an aggregator of database solution providers. With only a few clicks, you’ll be able to compare several data vendors worldwide and save yourself months of searching. It allows you to compare different suppliers side by side, even showing you the competitors.

Other vendors you should consider are Hoovers, Citygrid and Yelp.

Start Your Online Directory

Scrape business listings with a scraping tool

The term scraping data refers to an easy and fast way to gather database information from an existing website. What they do, in summary, is crawl other directories and deliver the data collected in an Excel file, therefore, you could upload that database to your online directory. There are other formats available such as JSON and CSV.

How does a web data scraper tool work?

  • As soon as the URLs are loaded into the application, the tool begins scraping.
  • In the next step, the scraper loads the full HTML code from the destination page.
  • The web scraper will then either extract all the data from the page or select the specific data the user desires.
  • In the end, the scraping app outputs all of the data it has collected into a usable file format chosen by the user.

Consider this before going this route

Before doing this, we strongly recommend that you check your country’s copyright laws regarding what information is considered royalty-free and what is not. Business listings usually include custom descriptions and images, which can be protected by copyrights.

Let’s get to know 3 data scraping tools you can use to add more depth to your online directory:


Octoparse allows people without any programming knowledge to extract data from websites. By simply following the steps on their website, you will be able to collect the information you need from any directory, in a highly efficient way.

It has an easy user interface, and you can begin downloading databases within minutes. It allows you to schedule tasks based on a specific date and time when you want to scrape data.

OctoParse pricing

  • Free plan: you can use Octoparse right now for free! These are the features you can enjoy; unlimited pages per crawl, unlimited computers, 10,000 records per export, 2 concurrent local runs, 10 Crawlers, community, lazy support.
  • Standard – $75/month: This plan offers unlimited data export,100 crawlers, scheduled extractions, Average speed extraction, auto IP rotation, task Templates, API access, and email support. This plan is mainly designed for small teams.
  • Professional -$209/month: This plan offers 250 crawlers, Scheduled extractions,20 concurrent cloud extractions, High-speed extraction, Auto IP rotation, Task Templates, and Advanced API.
  • Enterprise plan: You will need to contact a sales agent for a quotation.


Mozenda targets enterprises looking for a simple, fast, and all-in-one solution to scrape data from the web, and is trusted by CISCO, Tesla, Oracle, IBM… The list goes on, and as with OctoParse, you do not need any coding skills to boost your online directory’s business listing.

Mozenda has an easy-to-use “click-and-advance” interface, making your job a whole lot easier. With a free 30 day trial and one of the best customer service experiences in the segment, you can test it out and see if it’s right for you. The company offers four types of plans covering small projects and enterprise levels, and you can request a quote from the company’s website.

Webhose is ideal for platforms or services that require a fully customized web scraper and data provider for use in marketing, sharing, etc. Growing companies can avail themselves of the platform at an affordable price. Uncover hidden insights with NLP, machine learning, and sentiment analysis. You can easily build and train machine models based on extensive data dating back to 2008.

Webhose’s database offers a huge collection of resources including blogs, forums, and news. You can create datasets based on particular topics, organizations, and time periods. Webhose lets you run a search query, and you’ll get JSON or XML results.

Regarding the prices, Webhose offers a 10-day free trial and 3 different plans:

  • Open Web Data Feeds: Provides enterprise-level coverage, real-time monitoring, engagement metrics, and clean  JSON/XML formats.
  • Cyber Data Feed: Includes Real-Time Monitoring, Entity and Threat Recognition, Image Analytics, and Geolocation as well as access to TOR, ZeroNet, I2P, Telegram, etc.
  • Archived Web Data: This plan offers a 10-year archive of web data, Sentiment and Entity Recognition, and Engagement Metrics. The pricing model shown here relates to prepaid credit accounts.


We already know the importance of a well-populated online directory for a myriad of reasons. If the data is already alive and moving, it is easier to convince more clients to join. However, the quality of the data is crucial. Invest time in finding eye-catching professional pictures (look for stock images) or hire a photographer to help you out, this will make your website look more professional and attractive to users. Also, do not copy and paste a standard piece of text into your descriptions. Make your descriptions as concise and informative as you can, and consider SEO strategies (search for keywords that apply to your business listings).

eDirectory’s services will help your business create, manage and monetize your own online directory. If you need more information, please contact us for more information. With an intuitive user interface, best-in-class resources, and robust customer support, you can start a free trial today.

* We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected to the tools and sites mentioned in this article.
* Before using Octoparse, please read the terms and conditions and privacy policy carefully. Do not use it to scrape data from social media and password-protected websites.