Top 10 Local Search Directories By Importance

Because there are hundreds of Local Search Directories we researched to determine which are the most important.  We recommend using Universal Business Listings and provide this information on How to Obtain Local Business Directory Listings; however, even if you use them it is still imperative to claim and enhance your most important listings.

Any listing that has reviews should be protected by claiming – especially Google – because it is possible for someone to hijack your good reviews and change the contact information and address to their business which effectively takes business away from you.

I have personally seen that happen to a local Dallas mobile mechanic. He was able to get his account restored but prevention is much faster and easier.

The Local Search Directories listed below are the ten you may wish to spend the most time optimizing. I have a spreadsheet of the 107 listings using UBL created for Florida custom milling company Good Millwork.

I created this list by checking PageRank and traffic to each site roughly one year ago so the order may have changed, but Google is definitely number one for traffic and the others are probably still the key sites.

If anyone disagrees, has more recent research, or would like to see the entire spreadsheet let me know by leaving a comment in this post or using the information on my contact tab.

TOP LOCAL SEARCH DIRECTORIES:

  1. Google Maps
  2. Yahoo! Local
  3. SuperPages
  4. YellowBook
  5. YellowPages
  6. Yelp
  7. Citysearch
  8. Merchant Circle
  9. Topix
  10. Insider Pages

IMPORTANT: All of these directories have a free option; however, they WILL try to upsell you into a paid offering and that can be monthly charges. Some make the free listings difficult to find or will even tell you there is no free option.  When they call – and some will – simply tell them you are happy with your free listings.

If you are unable to find a free option contact me and I will find it if it still exists. To date I have always been able to locate a way to obtain a free listing; however, that could change.

As I wrote in my previous comprehensive post about the importance of Local Search Listings:

“It is foolish for any business not to obtain their free listings on at least the major sites offering local directories. Not having these listings is like having someone offer your business years of free advertising and saying “no thanks”.

See our Local Search Directory categories for additional posts on how to submit to several of these specific directories.

Additional Local Search Resources:

  • GetListed.org Local Listings tool to see where your business is listed and what local listings you have claimed.
  • Google Places Category Tool – search to find out what the best categories are for your business for your Google Places listing.
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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.

Comments

  1. Great info. Local business directories are very effective when it comes to generating real leads for your business. Here is a New One which is absolutely free and for the HVAC Industry i.e. hvaclocal.com

  2. Thanks for the great list. Submit-link.org is also a great free local business directory to get complete local business listings. You can add your exact location, photo, hours, website, and contact info.

  3. I would also add Bing to the list and move Yelp to #3 on your list. Thanks for sharing.

  4. googlemaps which is an essential…especially when i travel
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  5. Thanks to share such a nice list including all the best business directories.
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  6. Best local business directories says:

    Very nice job man! The list includes all the best local business directories that businesses do need.
    Best local business directories would love you to read ..The Best Practice Local SEO for Your Business in 2012My Profile

  7. This is a great resource to anyone who is new to online business.

    I was just wondering if you could add http://www.lacartes.com to the list of local business directories as well? It is another free local business directory where any business can create a listing and reach thousands of customers every month.

  8. Heidi German says:

    I had a free listing on YP.com and got no calls, probably because it was buried & not on page 1. So I opted for a paid listing which moved me to the first page and broadcast me out to over 100 partner sites and mobile apps. Then I started getting lots of calls. The YP.com network has been very effective at helping me grow my business.

    • Hi Heidi,

      Thanks for sharing that. Yes, we have to be aware that most people only look at the first page for reasons I don’t really understand because they should be willing to look harder to find the very best!

      Check out the post I’ve put in CommentLuv in this reply. There is a very good way to get far more first page listings in additional directories including niche directories in your industry and location. How is explained in that post or you can contact me for details.
      growmap would love you to read ..Small Business Internet Marketing: Where to StartMy Profile

  9. Nathan Woodbury says:

    Thanks for this list, this will make my work a lot easier, I have been struggling to find directories other than google places, yellowpages, superpages, and yelp for my business.

  10. iPhone App Development says:

    Hey dude i like to thank you for giving a such list. I only heard a name o local search directories and never tried for it and also did not know about top 10 directories. One thing that i knew from your post, for Geo-targeted business local search directories definitely play an important role. I trust you i will give a try to add my business with this top 10 list. Thanks for sharing and hope you continue with such others stuffs.

  11. Oahu Plumber says:

    awesome content surrounding local search directories – whatever your trying to get search engine optimize for listings = it is definitely a good idea to higher somebody to list your blogs in these directories unless you’re going to do it yourself — any type of local business such as plumbing, carpentry, dentistry, hospitalization,local handyman etc.
    Oahu Plumber would love you to read ..Installing New Water Faucets In Bath and Kitchen SinksMy Profile

  12. Yeah that is something I hate about many directories, they really try to hide the free listing part on their site. Making me believe there is no free listing, but then I check who are in the directory and I am sure that they got in for free.
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  13. Yeah these are the best ones I have used for local search. Thanks for remembering it again since I fail to use some of it like Topix.
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  14. mike gilchrist says:

    thank you for the list

  15. Thanks for the great list .
    it was a big Help
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  16. Awesome local directories list! I like this efforts especially the top 1o local directories views. I actually believe that Google Map listing is very effective for local search placement in Google. I appreciate this is an opportunity for finding the top local search in online business. Thanks for the useful plugings, thank you!
    Bill Wisfer would love you to read ..Local Search Engine Optimization For the BusinessMy Profile

  17. wny yoga says:

    we all talk about going global but in terms of specifics i love local directories..they make it easier and searchable

  18. Thanks for the list. I have been struggling to find directories other than google places, yellowpages, superpages, and yelp for my business. Will definitely be bookmarking your site.
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  19. Thanks, we use Google Maps above all others, but do find them cluttered at times

  20. I just wonder, what could be the the difference between local business listing and local business directories? Local business listing of Google is an amazing way of locating local business establishments in a specific area.
    This information was also made available mobile to certain areas of the globe.
    I hope this local business directory will be available in mobile too. Isn’t it amazing?

  21. Interesting article. However, I still have a hard time liking the Google map. They only give a few listings. Not that they are bad, but as a user I like a lot of options. Search Engines get so cluttered with other “Stuff” that doesn’t relate I find it frustrating. However, I do like how the google map is most of the page and the other “Stuff” is minimized. At the end of the day, when I do a search for a business to call, I tend to use Yellowpages.com. The mobile app is great.

  22. COMMODITY TRADING COURSE says:

    Great list. It is important for a company to be found locally. I am surprised that some still use phonebooks. But there are many people who are still computer illiterate. Think I am related to all of them. lol

  23. Thanks for this list of directories. What you did was of help to most of us. I have peers who are into Internet marketing and I know they too want to have these lists for their reference. Though, I prefer GoogleMaps among those that you’ve listed, still the rest of are all effective.
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  24. This list is invaluable for local search marketers, especially the top 6. It has increased my local business by 20%, a great value!
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  25. You have one great of a help there Gail. Thanks for listing all that directories. I have friends who have online businesses and I think they’d like to have these list as reference. But, personally I like GoogleMaps best among your selection. It’s very effective and broad.
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    • I agree that Google Maps has the largest share of the search market but I encourage everyone to use others and to get their listings elsewhere. Even if the other sites did not send traffic (and they do – even obscure niche sites do) they provide valuable high quality incoming links.

      Personally I like to use ValueCom and US Counties first and then maps.yahoo.com over Google.
      growmap would love you to read ..THE Most Effective Way to Increase Sales or LeadsMy Profile

  26. Hi Gail,
    This list is great. I have lots of friends that have local businesses and will love this – so I tweeted and facebooked this to get the word out.
    Blessings,
    Eren
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  27. Google Maps is a life saver for me

  28. Google maps is a life saver for directories.

  29. I always have a hard time printing the directions from Google Maps like I can Mapquest. Am I just being retarded, or could you tell me a way that’s possible. I hate having to constantly write down directions!
    Bev
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  30. I am not sure if directories are as helpful as they were once.. but you have compiled a good list. Thanks.
    All the best,
    Stephan
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  31. Thanks for posting. It’s truly helpful for my future searches and of course business listing. And thanks for informing us about protecting our listings.

  32. I agree, local listings are great for local businesses but one thing that many people have to remember is that if part of your seo plan, or most of it, is listing in directories because of the backlinks, those days are well beyond over. Although some directory listings can be great for backlinks, make sure you have content site backlinks as well and a solid mix of everything. Do not rely on directories alone. Many SEOs have moved these to secondary links instead of ones that they focus on regularly.

  33. Wow, this was a great posting but I was surprised that “Yelp” did not rank higher in the rankings……..here in Northern CA, its very powerful and people don’t even use Superpages, Yellow Book or YellowPages — so in my turf “Yelp” is #3 and climbing.

  34. Thanks for sharing the directories.
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  35. Hi, I am so grateful upon reading this article. I have been searching for the right list of directories for my optimization but to no avail. I keep on coming back to this blog because I get a lot of information and thank you for that.

  36. Good list Gail. I think now after so many updations and changes in search engines algorithm, its is necessary to have local listing also. Nice post.

  37. Thank you for all the strategies you share for businesses. We are all still trying to figure out what is most important to do first.
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  38. Rika Susan At Home says:

    I must confess that I have not paid enough attention to getting local listings here in South Africa. I don’t have a list of local search directories, but I am sure that it will be worth my while to investigate. It is kind of silly not to make use of any existing opportunities! Thanks for bringing this to my attention again.
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  39. This is immensely helpful, thank you.

  40. Mark Taylor says:

    Yeah thank you for this great artilce, I was in search for local search directories. Thats how I got to this page. Really appreciate this blog you have shared with us!

  41. Gail good list, local listings are much more important than ever.
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    • Hi Biodun,

      I agree. Your comment reminds me that I don’t know which of these offers listings to UK businesses. What we need is a UK specific list (and lists for every other country).

      If anyone has such a list I will link to it and promote it for you on your site or I will publish it here for you and link to you.
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  42. Great post. What is the difference between the paid and the free version. Do you think you can get the same results from the free version?
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  43. Thanks for this list of directories. I only knew of Google, Yahoo and Yelp. I certainly need to add to these other directories ASAP. You said Google was the best as far as traffic, I am excited to add the rest of them because they definitely add to traffic.
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  44. Thanks for such an useful list.
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  45. Gail, this is very important information. I’ve retweeted this, and I’m e-mailing the link to several local business people and an organization that advises local businesses.
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    • Hi John,

      Thank you for sharing this with others. It is very important. It took me many hours to determine where UBL listings were appearing and then rank the 107+ I listings I found by order of importance.

      Everything someone needs to create their own listings or to provide that as a service to others is contained in links in the posts mentioned for UBL and Local Search Directories.

      That includes a form to collect all the data required for all the listings (although sometimes they add something) so you have everything you need from a business and don’t have to keep calling them to get more information.

      There is a flier I created that fits on both sides of a standard piece of paper that can be edited. Anyone is welcome to take what I have created and edit it for their own use. Just replace my contact information with your own.
      growmap would love you to read ..Local Search Directory ListingsMy Profile

  46. Nice! I was just putting together a list of local directories – have a plan to offer it around town for local businesses; nearly all of them have yet to claim their listings so I figure it could be a great little service :)
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    • Hi Murlu,

      That is exactly what I’ve been encouraging bloggers and others with Internet skills to do. Every business needs to do this. Why turn down free advertising – especially in this economy?

      If you look at those other links you’ll see I’ve already created the form for collecting all the data required to fill in all the sites and UBL is a far easier way to get the basic listings.

      What I do is submit them through UBL and then claim the important ones (which is why I published this list). It is important to claim your listings especially on any site that has reviews on it.

      Google is the highest priority as they have an almost-monopoly that is really dangerous. We all must continue to recommend the use of other search engines.
      growmap would love you to read ..Local Search Directory ListingsMy Profile

    • Thanks for contacting me Gail. You really seem to have a great resource available here and I’m quite impressed. I’ll personally vouch for the ABSOLUTE IMPORTANCE of claiming your Google places listing. As I discussed with you, our family is involved in two small businesses and our listing (Airboat Rides at MIDWAY) was hijacked by a competitor which caused merged reviews and links to his website from our places page. I figure it may take months to clear it up. I’ll say right now that the ’3rd party’ data providers that reviews come from all say its Google’s fault and they won’t help and of course Google ‘automated’ reporting system is less than reassuring.

      A wise man learns from others mistakes….. CLAIM YOUR LISTING.

      Thanks again and I look forward to gaining more insight from you.

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