I have built my own web directory for a niche business market.
The directory is still in its early days.
I have currently kept the basic plan completely free and I am not restricting the information in basic listing(i.e. businesses can put their name, phone, web address, descriptions etc) for free. However, I have noticed quite a few directories like yellowpages.com.au and truelocal.com.au restrict the basic plan to only name, address and phone so for SEO benefits sites have to pay for a plan. I am quite sure most of the businesses in my niche will be happy to pay a small amount for basic listing if I charge a nominal amount but not all.
The reason I am against this is because I want to provide all the information to my viewers when they are browsing business listings rather than have them search google for the businesses web address etc.
What do you guys think? Also, is it possible to maybe restrict the basic plan later on but also avoid any backlash.