Why are local business directories important 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 listing (aka “online yellow pages” sites).  

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 local searches.  So even if business owners can’t get their site ranked high for a specific search term, your local business listings and relevant business data (phone number, address, category, service offering, professional services, products and services, etc.) 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 Business Profile (Google’s local listings) results.

What are the best local business directories?

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—a directory of directories. While other sites have put together similar lists of online listings, 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.

Check these sites to see if your business info is up to date. If not, update your business information asap. If you don’t have a listing on all of these sites, typically businesses can create listings for themselves (check if the site offers free listings) or they may need to work through a local data provider to get listed on them.

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 48 Largest Local Business Directories in the US
These local directory sites 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 information will be exposed to a wide audience of local searchers.

  1. Google My Business
  2. Facebook
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Yellowpages.com
  5. Yelp
  6. Local.com
  7. WhitePages.com
  8. Manta
  9. SuperPages
  10. CitySearch (Must be added via InfoUSA’s ExpressUpdate.com)
  11. Patch
  12. City-Data (operated by Advameg.com)
  13. MerchantCircle
  14. Yellowbook.com
  15. Yahoo Local
  16. Mapquest
  17. Topix
  18. DexKnows
  19. BBB.org
  20. ServiceMagic
  21. Angieslist
  22. AreaConnect
  23. Foursquare
  24. AmericanTowns
  25. BizJournals
  26. LocalGuides
  27. 411.com
  28. Yellowpages.aol.com
  29. Insider Pages
  30. MagicYellow
  31. Hotfrog.com
  32. LocalStack
  33. Switchboard
  34. Demandforce
  35. MojoPages
  36. Metromix
  37. Yellowbot
  38. ShowMeLocal
  39. LocalPages
  40. Best of the Web Local
  41. Yellowise
  42. GetFave
  43. Tupalo
  44. ZipLocal
  45. EZLocal
  46. CitySquares
  47. USCIty.net
  48. LocalDatabase

Top U.S. Local Directory Citation Sources

Whitespark.ca recently released some amazing data on the top local citation sources.  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
  16. Google My Business
  17. Apple Maps
  18. Foursquare
  19. Bing Places
  20. Truck Driving School

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.

New Local Directories

Let’s use this space to highlight new directories that have emerged since I published this. If you’ve got one, please send it in.


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.