Having your business listed in local business directories is critically important in determining how well your site will rank in the local search engine results. These listings (also called citations) which feature your business name, address, and phone number are considered by a leading number oflocal SEO experts to be among the top factors considered by the search engines in ranking your website for relevant keywords.
Why Business Citations Matter
Local directory citations are similar in effect to inbound backlinks. While citations don’t pass on ranking authority from linking websites, they do lend a degree of credibility to your site that confirms your status as a local business to the search engines which can give your website a local seo boost in rank. As a local business, your website is eligible to be featured in the local search results – which are typically much easier to rank for than the organic search results.
The Importance of Accurate Citation Information
The Internet is all about sharing information and resources – and that includes your company and products. Inaccurate information that gets shared with search engines or directories could cause confusion as to your business identity. If this confusion raises “red flags” about your business, you could lose citations as well as valuable customer testimonials, and not receive the search rankings that you deserve.
A simple yet highly effective way to ensure that each of your citations is accurate and up to date is to create a file on your computer with all of your basic business information. Whenever you need to create a new directory listing, simply cut-and-paste the contents of this file to your new profile to avoid being penalized for inconsistent or inaccurate citations.
Local Business Directory Submission
Submitting your business information to all 50 of these directories by hand is the best way. However, it can be time consuming and tedious work. To help with this you can either use an autofill add-on for Firefox or you can hire a reputable company like Yext, Yahoo Local Works or Moz Local.
The Top 50 Local Business Directories Your Company Needs To Be Listed In:
(Local Business directories are listed in ABC order)
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Brazilians say that Brazil “is the country of the future, and always will be.” Sometimes I think the same could be said of local advertising. For at least the past eight years, Web giants from Groupon to Google+ Local have tried to discover the secret formula that will give them control of this rapidly growing but still untamed market. The Jan. 15, entry of the latest combatant, Facebook’s Graph Search promises some sleepless nights at Yelp headquarters but so far no one seems to be positioned to become what Craigslist is to classified ads, or what Google is to online advertising.
So, in the absence of a clear-cut winner, what’s a local business to do to get the message out about its products and services? Is it more effective to buy ads on Bing or run a coupon promotion on AmazonLocal Deals, or go with one of the new ad services like Yodle? It’s enough to flummox even the local businesses with unlimited ad budgets, if one of those actually existed.
One frequently overlooked solution is to make sure your business shows up prominently in local business directories. Many of the more established local business directories not only source the results for Mapquest and Google Maps queries, they have their own marketing budgets and capabilities. Since listing in a business directory also adds links to your site which positively affects the computation of your Google PageRank and raises your business’ chances of inclusion in the best results, it makes sense to include directories in your marketing strategy.
But which are the best local business directories for SEO?
It’s important to understand that there are two basic types of business directories. Nationally active local directory sites like Yelp and CitySearch are obviously large and established players. Unlike some other local directories, they are efficient at eliminating spam. Human-edited sites are also more reliable, and hence more trusted by search engines as the source of legitimate businesses.
Below is a list of the largest and Highest Traffic Local Business Directories:
A second way to increase your businesses visibility is to increase its presence with multiple citation sources, which are used to validate not only that your business is legitimate but also its basic information like address and phone number. Citation sources obviously include old stand-bys like the Yellow Pages, but also directories that list businesses by industry, such as law firms or hotels. Showing up in citation sites in sufficient quantity assures a search engine that your business should be included in a results set.
Here's a list of the most frequently visited Local Directory Citation Sites:
So, when you consider which are the best local business directories for SEO, understand that both types are important and when used correctly will help a search engine prominently display your business.
Also here's our updated "Definitive List of Local Business Directories".
The founder of CinchLocal, is a seasoned entrepreneur that has over 18 years of experience in search engine optimization and online marketing.