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:
- Google Maps
- Yahoo! Local
- Merchant Circle
- 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.