September 24th, 2012

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.

« Back to the blog's main page