Local business directories are an often overlooked key in consumers’ purchase process.
These sites serve as portals that lead customers to the business they need. Since the directory sites have a larger marketing budget than most single small businesses, they are able to use that to generate visibility, promote brand recognition, and drive traffic.

As a result, they perform well in organic search ranks, often for keywords that are important to businesses. It’s a “shortcut” of sorts to be listed in these directories – you’ll benefit from that high search rank immediately upon being listed, without as large of an investment in your SEO strategy.
In fact, simply being listed can assist your website’s SEO, since accurate mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number can boost your rank with organic search and Google Places.

The downside, of course, is that you’ll also be listed alongside competitors. That’s why it’s crucial not just to be listed, but to optimize each listing, providing compelling copy and even offers that encourage conversions.

Now that you understand the importance of business listings, check out this list of the best ones to improve your website traffic and SEO efforts. Other sites have put together similar lists, but they usually include a random assortment of sites, not just the most relevant. This list includes only those directories that are truly important and worth the investment of your time, energy, and marketing dollars.
They are divided into two types of sites: the largest local business directories and the top local citation sources.

The Largest Local Business Directories

Below are the most important directories listed from largest to smallest, in terms of traffic. By optimizing your information on these sites, you’ll expose your business to a wider potential local audience.

1.     Google Places
2.     Facebook
3.     LinkedIn
4.     Yellowpages.com
5.     Yelp
6.     Local.com
7.     WhitePages.com
8.     Manta
9.     SuperPages
10.   CitySearch
11.    Patch
12.    City-Data
13.    MerchantCircle
14.    Yellowbook.com
15.    Yahoo Local
16.    Mapquest
17.    Topix
18.    DexKnows
19.    Yellow.com
20.    BBB.org
21.    ServiceMagic
22.    Angieslist
23.    AreaConnect
24.    Foursquare
25.    AmericanTowns
26.    BizJournals
27.    LocalGuides
28.    411.com
29.    Yellowpages.aol.com
30.    Insider Pages
31.    MagicYellow
32.    Hotfrog.com
33.    Mojopages
34.    Switchboard
35.    Demandforce
36.    MojoPages
37.    Bundle
38.    Metromix
39.    Yellowbot
40.    Kudzu
41.    ShowMeLocal
42.    ChamberofCommerce
43.    LocalPages
44.    HopStop
45.    YellowMoxie
46.    Phonenumber.com
47.    Best of the Web Local
48.    Yellowise
49.    GetFave
50.    Tupalo
51.    ZipLocal
52.    EZLocal
53.    CitySquares
54.    USCIty.net
55.    LocalDatabase

Top Sources for Local Directory Citation

As mentioned above, building citations is crucial to confirming your data for Google and other search engines. These are the key sites to focus on, regardless of your business’s location or industry.

While it’s good to focus on your service area and category for citation building, in most cases, regardless of your location or industry, these are the sites you should almost always include while citation-building.

1.    Yellowpages.co
2.    Yelp
3.    SuperPages
4.    CitySearch
5.    Yahoo Local
6.    Facebook
7.    DexKnows
8.    Manta
9.      BBB.org
10.    YouTube
11.    City-Data
12.    Yellowbook.com
13.    Angieslist
14.    MerchantCircle
15.    ServiceMagic

Many may be surprised by the inclusion of Facebook and YouTube on this list, but while neither are directories, both are internet behemoths with a substantial amount of content related to local businesses.

Wondering how your business appears on these websites (if at all)? Try this fast and free scan.