Because there are hundreds of Local Search Directories we researched to determine which are the most important.
We used Universal Business Listings (gone now) and provide this information on How to Obtain Local Business Directory Listings.
However, even if you use an automated tool to obtain your local listings, 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 created this list by checking PageRank (no longer publicly viewable) 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! My Business – claim through their partnership with Yext
- Merchant Circle
- Topix – gone now
- 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:
- WhiteSpark Local Citation Finder
- Moz Local (formerly GetListed.org) – Local Listings tool to see where your business is listed and what local listings you have claimed.
- LocalWorks – Yahoo Small Business tool to get listed in 60+ directories
- (Uses technology from Yext but has a simpler dashboard and costs less.)
- Google Places Category Tool – search to find out what the best categories are for your business for your Google Places listing. Sadly, this tool has disappeared; if you know of one, please leave a comment.
- GatherUp (formerly GetFiveStars) – Mike Blumenthal co-founded this tool for increasing positive reviews on your local listings. Blumenthal is the foremost expert on Google Local.
Originally published 10/27/2010; updated 6/11/2019.