Local Listings, Link and Citation Building

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. 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 search terms. So even if you can’t get your site ranked high for a specific search term, you 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 Places results (I still can’t bring myself to say the "Google+ Local" results).

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. While other sites have put together similar lists, 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.

Below are popular sites that will let you create a business profile for free

Google Places for Business

Google Places for Business gives you access to free tools that help your business get online, be found on Google Search and Maps and get closer to your customers. It’s the easiest way to manage your business across Google and it’s free.

Yellow Pages

Create a FREE Listing in minutes and get your business found on yp.com. Includes the features to reach interested consumers with the right message at the right time. When consumers are searching on the web or on their mobile device, they can find you.

Yahoo!

Yahoo! attracts hundreds of millions of users every month through its innovative technology and engaging content and services, making it one of the most visited Internet destinations and a world-class online media company.

Bing

Bing is one of the leading search engines in the US and attracts over 150 million consumers each month. Bing brings together the best of search and people in your social networks to help people spend less time searching and more time doing.

Facebook

Facebook is the world’s biggest social network with more than 1 billion users. Easy to setup and share news about your company, events and entertainment industry.

Yelp

Yelp was founded to help people find great local businesses like dentists, hair stylists and mechanics. Yelpers have written over 15 million local reviews, 83% of them rating a business 3 stars or higher. In addition to reviews, you can use Yelp to find events, special offers, lists, and chat with other Yelpers.

MerchantCircle

MerchantCircle is an online network of local business owners, combining social networking features with customizable web listings that allow local merchants to attract new customers. A growing network dedicated to connecting neighbors and merchants online to help build real relationships between local business owners and their customers.

Manta

With more than 30 million monthly unique visitors, Manta can help you promote and drive traffic to your business. Claiming your company on Manta helps you connect with customers when they're searching for your company online and in Manta's dedicated small business community.

Superpages.com

Superpages.com is a top online resource for finding information and insights on businesses and retailers. Every month, it helps millions of consumers find valuable local business information from driving directions and hours of operation to Web links and customer reviews.






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