news 2326556

news 1017473

news 9318500

news 4882620

news 9470331

news 6123366

news 1394859

news 6988221

news 9785467

news 9159209

news 5978480

news 2921147

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. Metromix
  38. Yellowbot
  39. Kudzu
  40. ShowMeLocal
  41. ChamberofCommerce
  42. LocalPages
  43. HopStop
  44. YellowMoxie
  45. Phonenumber.com
  46. Best of the Web Local
  47. Yellowise
  48. GetFave
  49. Tupalo
  50. ZipLocal
  51. EZLocal
  52. CitySquares
  53. USCIty.net
  54. 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.