The Most Important Local Business Directories for SEO

which local directory

While many of your potential customers search Google for information on local services, inevitably a large portion of them find their way to a local business directory.  Many of these directories not only have substantial brands/marketing budgets to drive traffic, but they also do well in organic search rankings for important search terms.  So even if you can’t get your site ranked high for a specific search term, you can appear on the local directory site that ranks for that term.  Perhaps even more important is that links to your site and mentions of your business (aka “Local Citations”) can help your site rank well in both “national” organic search as well as in the Google Places results (I still can’t bring myself to say the “Google+ Local” results).

So with this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to provide a list of the best local business directories for your SEO efforts.  While other sites have put together similar lists, invariably they focus on a grab-bag of sites, many of which are irrelevant.  We wanted to go for only those that are truly important and worth spending time on.

We have divided them into two lists:

  1. The Largest Local Business Directories in the US
  2. The Top U.S. Local Citation Sources

The 55 Largest Local Business Directories in the US
These local directory sites, according to Compete.com, have the largest amount of traffic and are listed by size – largest first.  In cases where the site is more than a directory, such as Mapquest, we have tried to estimate what % of their traffic goes to the directory.  Improving your presence on these directories means your business will be exposed to a wide audience of local searchers.

  1. Google Places (aka Google+ Local)
  2. Facebook
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Yellowpages.com
  5. Yelp
  6. Local.com
  7. WhitePages.com
  8. Manta
  9. SuperPages
  10. CitySearch
  11. Patch
  12. City-Data
  13. MerchantCircle
  14. Yellowbook.com
  15. Yahoo Local
  16. Mapquest
  17. Topix
  18. DexKnows
  19. Yellow.com
  20. BBB.org
  21. ServiceMagic
  22. Angieslist
  23. AreaConnect
  24. Foursquare
  25. AmericanTowns
  26. BizJournals
  27. LocalGuides
  28. 411.com
  29. Yellowpages.aol.com
  30. Insider Pages
  31. MagicYellow
  32. Hotfrog.com
  33. Mojopages
  34. Switchboard
  35. Demandforce
  36. MojoPages
  37. Bundle
  38. Metromix
  39. Yellowbot
  40. Kudzu
  41. ShowMeLocal
  42. ChamberofCommerce
  43. LocalPages
  44. HopStop
  45. YellowMoxie
  46. Phonenumber.com
  47. Best of the Web Local
  48. Yellowise
  49. GetFave
  50. Tupalo
  51. ZipLocal
  52. EZLocal
  53. CitySquares
  54. USCIty.net
  55. LocalDatabase

Top U.S. Local Directory Citation Sources
GetListed.org and Whitespark.ca recently released some amazing data on the top local citation sources by city and by category.  We thought it would be interesting to take that data and determine which directories on average had the most citation influence in the entire country.  While it’s good to focus on your service area and category for citation building, in most cases, regardless of your location or industry, these are the sites you should almost always include while citation-building.

  1. Yellowpages.com
  2. Yelp
  3. SuperPages
  4. CitySearch
  5. Yahoo Local
  6. Facebook
  7. DexKnows
  8. Manta
  9. BBB.org
  10. YouTube
  11. City-Data
  12. Yellowbook.com
  13. Angieslist
  14. MerchantCircle
  15. ServiceMagic

While a number of expected brands made the list, Facebook and YouTube are perhaps the two biggest surprises here.  Then again, they are two of the biggest sites in the world and each has local business content, so perhaps it’s no surprise that they would emerge as important citation sources.

How does your business appear on all these sites? Click here to scan your business. It’s fast and free.

Andrew Shotland is the proprietor of Local SEO Guide, a SEO consultancy focused on enterprise search engine optimization for local media properties and multi-location businesses. He also has a new blog about Apple Maps.

  • michael
    • http://www.fijdesign.com Tom Andrews

      About to comment would be great to have a UK list as well, many thanks, very useful :)

      • http://www.localseoguide.com Andrew Shotland

        Maybe we’ll do that one next Tom

  • http://www.ngsmarketing.com Nyagoslav

    Great lists! I was just a little surprised to see Yahoo Local and Foursquare so low in the first column of sites. For the second column, Service Magic and Angieslist, while very prominent in some industries, might not be a very good match for others :)

    • http://cospace.co Paul O’Brien

      I think it makes sense Nyagoslav

      Google is only going to favor so many listings of a specific context. That is to say, Places, Facebook, Linkedin… because they are rather distinct from the plain vanilla Yellow Page result. Why would Google show 10 yellow page-like results when it can share with their audience a diverse set of local listings for the same business.

      Much of what we’re doing at Cospace stems from this Search Engine Optimization consideration of Local Search Optimization. Cospace, promotes places that offer space to people working – coffee shops, cafes, class rooms, coworking spaces, office spaces, and even law offices that open their office to entrepreneurs.

      If you own one of those, you can list your business with all the traditional local listing sites, and Google will show a few. AND/or you can list with other sites like LinkedIn, Cospace, Google Places, etc. and Google will show a greater number of your local listings simply because the variety offers their search audience just that – different types of results from which to choose.

      No, Service Magic isn’t ideal for many industries, just as Cospace doesn’t apply to, say, a brick and mortal retail outlet, but assuredly, a listing with Service Magic for your cleaning business will appear prominently in Google just as a coffee shop on Cospace shows up prominently – because it’s unique.

  • http://www.localseoguide.com Andrew Shotland

    With this list I was trying to go for size v. targeting. The WhiteSpark/GetListed Citation Sources by Category list is a great resource for looking for sites that service a particular niche.

    There’s no perfect list, but my thinking was that when you are not sure where to spend your time, going for the biggest sites is not a bad move as you may get some more exposure for your business by fixing issues at the sites with the most eyeballs.

    I had also seen a lot of lists on other sites that were not even close to accurate when determining the biggest players in the IYP space.

  • http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog Ramit Narang

    Great to see an updated and accurate list that all local businesses can use to market their site.

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  • http://www.CaseyMeraz.com Casey Meraz

    Thanks for the list! I see myself combining this with the Whitespark lists along with my own citation sources. The more data the better as it will allow us to create better local roadmaps for the future. But @Andrew, do you think citation sources such as these have or are going to take a hit as far as ranking factors?

    • http://www.localseoguide.com Andrew Shotland

      These sites will continue to fluctuate in size as Google throws its weight around. But many of these are strong, branded services, that will likely retain their importance at least in the near term. There will always be players coming on and off this list over time.

  • http://www.highupmarketing.com Cian Murphy

    Excellent list but some of these directories cost so much to be a part of. Is there a list of non-paid directories? Ones that are not just created for spam of course.

  • Howard Lerman

    This picture is awesome

  • http://milehightwaddle.com/ Matt Green

    Thanks for the list Andrew. It’s important also note that, listings in all these directories won’t guarantee high local rankings. Quality links from locally-relevant domains seem to be gaining importance as a local ranking factor. Not to mention building a strong local link profile will have a positive impact on your organic efforts as well. Links are the new citation!

  • http://www.ilobresources.com Marc Angelo

    Thanks for saving me hours of research. This is invaluable for owner operated business owners who don’t have the budget to pay for services to claim their Internet presence.

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  • http://www.bizify.co.uk/ Jacquelyn P. Matz

    Thanks for share this list, As local business generally attract new customers and for quickly disappearing when people go for yellow pages to find local businesses. As we know very well today’s people trun to internet way to for searching a trusted business recommendations.

  • http://www.iplains.com John Matthews

    Really good post! Excellent list of all the directories at one place. It reduced my time of searching…

  • http://www.fervilvon.com Fervil Tripoli

    Very helpful post. This is a pretty good resource for local directories! Thanks for wrapping it up, this will serve as a very good reference for me.

  • http://www.edwindearborn.com Edwin

    Thanks to Yext, I am on about every one of those. Thanks for your great service and access to these local directories.