The Best Online Local Business Directories for SEO

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.

Previously published on Yext.com

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.


7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tony Perez // Jun 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm


    I would like to introduce my directory to you, I noticed the valuable information you provide about the top directories. We have dedicated individuals who put a lot of effort daily to make yellowhoo a complete success. Please give us a visit and see what we are doing. Our service is free and we really will love to be part of your recommend it. Thanks!!

  • 2 Lukasz Dunikowski // Aug 14, 2013 at 2:32 am

    There are many more directories you might find very useful. First of all, all kinds o niche directories, that list only products and services from your branch.

    Then you can look for local directories – just make a search for ‘directory ‘ or for example ‘clothing directory’ – if it ranks high, then it will be usable.

    As for general directories, I would recommend of course Yahoo directory, BOTW.org, Directory.com, Yell, Yelp and Business.com

  • 3 Irina Feldbein DDS // Sep 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Great recommendations. Thanks

  • 4 Tim // Aug 24, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Hi Andrew, Good list. Also Try The Business Index human moderated business directory. It offers either a free business listing or a range of premium and lifetime paid advertising options. The interface is really easy and functionality rich. Each member receives a full-sized company webpage listing (not just a link in a list). The basis of ranking is business reviews to reinforce business transparency, trust and build customer confidence.

  • 5 Zaria // Mar 8, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Thank you for differentiating between a directory and a local citation service. Many of the other articles that I have read do not differentiate between the two, and it has created point of confusion for readers. In future articles, I think that it would be good to also list niche directories. Sites like Yahoo and Google are general directories. Although Google is free, Yahoo is part of the Yext Network, which charges users $300+ per year to list. In using myself as an example, my team created the free business directory http://blackspeaks.com because most minority businesses can not afford to pay $50/month to list when they are just starting off. Niche sites like ours allow businesses to market their services while gaining support from their local community.

  • 6 Andrew // Jul 24, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I was wondering if White Pages and everything else under the Yext umbrella is really necessary in order to do good local business SEO? Must you pay a monthly or annual rate with Yext just because they control a very large chunk of listing directories?
    Thank you.

  • 7 Dean // Jul 27, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Hey Andrew, Would you take a moment to look at my local directory site I’m building and see if you see the value for SEO guys like yourself? I allow video embeds and images on the site which is helpful and the PR is 1 in about 6 months. I would really like to help out the small business community if possible and build a network of directories to post videos for clients to help them rank better all the way around. Take a look at http://360businessreviews.com if you don’t mind and would love to get your feedback on my idea. Thanks so much!

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