Writing for Local Search Engines & Directories

Steven Brier over at Local Internet USA brought up a good point to me recently, in that the focus on submitting to Local Search Engines and Directories is not so much about the time it takes to submit to them all, but rather the work it takes identify your keywords and create some compelling and attractive copy that will draw your target audience in from these local search engines and directories.  This obviously comes from a professional who sees the results of well thought out copy.

Before submitting to search directories, your website should be optimized with your keywords.  You’ll want to make sure these make it into your listing copy where appropriate.  Here is more information on Local SEO for your website.

Note: This list does not cover local niches. If you are a restaurant for example, you will want to list with local directory sites like UrbanSpoon for instance. If there are niche directories with local listings, get in them as well! I’d put such a directory near the top of my list.

So start with Universal Business Listing (UBL).   I don’t mean this to be a review of Universal Business Listing, but they are the “big one”. They feed listings to almost everyone else online, as you can see in the Notes area of the table below. Plus they also get you in 411 and GPS directories. The cost is nominal at $30, and included in that is the cost of listing with other paid directories like the Yellow Pages, Super Pages, Dex. You also don’t have to wait 4-6 months to get into InfoUSA which is all important online and off. Do the math and you’ll realize that its well worth it, plus , it gives you one place to make updates with in the future, not 26.

After submitting to UBL, hit at least the top 5 local search directories not covered by UBL. Do the rest too, but you’ll be leaving a lot “on the table” if you don’t hit at least those top 5).

Get Listed With These Local Search Engines, Directories and Providers

Rank
Local Directory
Cost
Notes
1 Google Maps Free UBL Covered
2 Yahoo! Local Free UBL Covered
3 Microsoft Live Free UBL Covered
4 Canoe (Canada) Paid Fed by InfoCanada – UBL Covered
5 Yellow Pages Paid Feeds MapQuest & Others – UBL Covered
6 AOL Local Search Free UBL Covered
7 AskCity Free UBL Covered
8 SuperPages Paid Feeds 411.com, WhitePages.com & Others- UBL Covered
9 MapQuest Free Feed by InfoUSA.  Getting more Local – UBL Covered
10 Yelp Free Getting more popular – Feeds Yelp.ca – UBL Covered
11 Citysearch Free Can’t submit, but can review – UBL Covered
12 Local.com Free
13 Dex Paid includes DexKnows.com – UBL Covered
14 ZoomInfo Free
15 InfoSpace Free Getting less popular – UBL Covered
16 MatchPoint.com Free Now Allows You to “Claim” Your Business.
17 Insiderpages.com Free UBL Covered
18 GetFave.com Free Getting more popular.
19 YellowBot Free Feeds WebLocal.ca in Canada.
20 Merchant Circle Free Fed By YP.  Getting more Popular – UBL Covered
21 Hot Frog Free Getting more Popular
22 Kudzu Free UBL Covered
23 MacRAE’S BLUE BOOK Free Industrial Only. Feeds YellowPages.com
24 Best of the Web Free
25 Magic Yellow Pages Free Less Popular than in the past.
See Review .
26 Citysquares.com Free   
27 Judy’s Book Free UBL Covered
28 MojoPages Free UBL Covered
29 GenieKnows Free New as of March ’09
30 Tyloon Free
31 tupalo.com Free
32 Discover Our Town Free
33 Open List Free Getting less popular
34 USCity.net Free Getting less popular
35 Yellow Page City Paid Fed By YP – UBL Covered
36 MetroBot Free
37 TrueLocal Free UBL Covered
38 Go Toll Free Free List your business  1800 # online.
Data Suppliers
1 Universal Business Listing Paid Worth every penny considering  reach & time saved.
2 Info USA Paid Feeds Web, GPS & 411 as well as InfoCanada – UBL Covered & Faster.
3 iBegin.com Free UBL Covered  
4 The Local Data Company (U.K.) Free Feeds Big Search Engines in UK.
5 Localeze Free Feeds “Big 3” & Yellow Pages as well as click2connect.com and others – UBL Covered

The above list was compiled by using a formula based on the popularity of the Local Search Engine/Directory, its recent increase or decrease of popularity, the significance of the sites it “feeds” and where it get “fed” its information from.