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
1Google MapsFreeUBL Covered
2Yahoo! LocalFreeUBL Covered
3Microsoft LiveFreeUBL Covered
4Canoe (Canada)PaidFed by InfoCanada – UBL Covered
5Yellow PagesPaidFeeds MapQuest & Others – UBL Covered
6AOL Local SearchFreeUBL Covered
7AskCityFreeUBL Covered
8SuperPagesPaidFeeds 411.com, WhitePages.com & Others- UBL Covered
9MapQuestFreeFeed by InfoUSA.  Getting more Local – UBL Covered
10Yelp FreeGetting more popular – Feeds Yelp.ca – UBL Covered
11Citysearch FreeCan’t submit, but can review – UBL Covered
12Local.comFree
13Dex Paidincludes DexKnows.com – UBL Covered
14ZoomInfoFree
15InfoSpaceFreeGetting less popular – UBL Covered
16MatchPoint.comFreeNow Allows You to “Claim” Your Business.
17Insiderpages.comFreeUBL Covered
18GetFave.comFreeGetting more popular.
19YellowBotFreeFeeds WebLocal.ca in Canada.
20Merchant CircleFreeFed By YP.  Getting more Popular – UBL Covered
21Hot FrogFreeGetting more Popular
22Kudzu FreeUBL Covered
23MacRAE’S BLUE BOOKFreeIndustrial Only. Feeds YellowPages.com
24Best of the WebFree
25Magic Yellow PagesFreeLess Popular than in the past.
See Review .
26Citysquares.comFree  
27Judy’s BookFreeUBL Covered
28MojoPagesFreeUBL Covered
29GenieKnowsFreeNew as of March ’09
30TyloonFree
31tupalo.comFree
32Discover Our TownFree
33Open ListFreeGetting less popular
34USCity.netFreeGetting less popular
35Yellow Page CityPaidFed By YP – UBL Covered
36MetroBotFree
37TrueLocalFreeUBL Covered
38Go Toll FreeFreeList your business  1800 # online.
Data Suppliers
1Universal Business ListingPaidWorth every penny considering  reach & time saved.
2Info USAPaidFeeds Web, GPS & 411 as well as InfoCanada – UBL Covered & Faster.
3iBegin.comFreeUBL Covered  
4The Local Data Company (U.K.)FreeFeeds Big Search Engines in UK.
5LocalezeFreeFeeds “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.