Local directory citation source submission is the current SEO must-do process
Google and the other search engines love these local citation sites because users find them extremely valuable due to the fact that a large percentage of Google users query local keywords for goods, services, testimonials, and reviews. Google local search has completely made the Yellow Pages outdated.
Google also loves local citation directories and review sites because it ties in well with mobile search. Today, more users search Google on their smart phone that on their desktop computer (although most users still use their desktop to make their final purchases, but that is bound to change this year).
That being said, the most important thing is to remember when submitting to local directories is to input the same Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) for each listing you create so the search engines do not get confused by different citations of your business information. Hard to believe the search engine giants would be confused by that, but better safe than sorry and that is what Google is now preaching. Make sense too, you do not want any of your local directory sites to appear in the Google search engine results with incorrect or old information.
With these local directory submissions you will find you will not only rank in Google for your own business (hopefully even higher than before) but you will also see results on the search engine page that point to your entries on the local business citation sources. This is because Google trusts qualitative and authoritative local directory and review sites.
There is an automated service at MOZ.com that will submit to local listings for $84. It used to be $49, before that it was free I believe. It is a very good service like many of MOZ products and I would recommend Moz’s Local Submission if you don’t have much time or an intern to help. I would also recommend MOZ if your business information has changed such as your business name, address, phone, fax or website.
One technique I found valuable was to go to an expensive service called Yext which charges a lot more than MOZ but if you have little time and want the best of the best that is now out there, Yext is currently number one. Yext is good at finding, changing and updating business information on its vast worldwide network of partners.
Additionally, Yext has a function where you can check to see if you are listed on local directories and if your NAP is consistent. I believe you can find the scan here, if not check the Yext home page and enter your business info for Yext to scan. It can be extremely helpful in finding which local directories to start to submit to. I would start with Google, Yahoo & Bing, Manta, Merchant Circle, LinkedIn, Facebook, even YouTube and go from there.
I went through all the sources Yext checked for my listing and either Googled or typed the address of the local directories in the browser bar, pulled up the info and entered my local business information into all the free quality local directory citation services I could find.
Used Google Chrome’s form auto-fill function to make the job much, much easier. There is a piece of software called Roboform that you need to pay for, but I found that Google Chrome did the trick and worked well enough for me.
Once you get on a roll, the data entry goes by pretty fast. Free local directories are getting harder to find, but they are still out there. Now is the time to get your information into their systems. Watch out for spammy local directory clones as they might be a waste of your time and should be avoided.
Once see your local directory business information begin to get indexed by Google (usually 2-3 days if not sooner) it becomes more exciting and motivating to seek out and input into more directories.
I try to change-up my business description on most sites to make it unique and I make sure to fully input all the right categories and keywords the citation sources would let me.
I did not use any of the upgrades for any of these sources as I did not find anything that really knocked my socks off and compelled me to upgrade. Perhaps I will upgrade as my business grows or if I find an upgrade that is a must-have.
I also did not use any type of auto-submission software. I also paced myself so Google would see the local submissions as natural and not anything nefarious.
Finally, I Googled “free local directories” and came up with lists like the one below from HubSpot (old but still useful) and Yext. Again, I only submitted to the free ones or the ones that did not direct me to Yext immediately.
Again, if you don’t have the time, MOZ’s service is good and affordable.
Have fun with this and I hope it helps your business.
50 Business Directories For Local Marketing
5. Merchant Circle
26. Discover our Town
28. EZ Local
37. Local Site Submit
41. Yellow Assistance
42. Get Fave
42. My Huckleberry
46. Magic Yellow
49. Navteq GPS
50. Judy’s Book
Here is what Yext says are the largest local directories, again, slightly dated:
- Google Places (aka Google+ Local)
- Yahoo Local
- Insider Pages
- Best of the Web Local
Here is what Yext states are the best US local directory citation sources:
- Yahoo Local