Long gone are the days when consumers pulled out the trusty phone book to find local businesses. Now your potential customers are turning to the internet to locate the products and services they are looking for. Will they be able to find you there?

If you are like many small business owners, you are always on the lookout for inexpensive, relatively painless ways to improve your chances of being found online. One important aspect of search engine optimization that is often overlooked is local citation sources. These are business aggregators and local business directories that list businesses in your area.

How important is it to get your business listed with online directory services? According to a 2015 study by Moz, Quality/Authority of Structured Citations was ranked as number 4 of 30 difference-making factors in competitive markets.

Getting added to these listings is pretty easy (and often free), but the key is quantity. Submitting your business information takes time, but it is worth the effort in the long run to boost your local visibility by taking advantage of as many of these directories as possible.

Finding the Best Citation Sources for Your Area

There are a number of websites where you can find the best online directories for your neck of the woods. We especially like Whitespark because you can get a list of directories by city or category. It also includes links to each citation, which saves the hassle of looking the websites up yourself. Very handy.

Here is a general list of business directories and listings that are pretty important regardless of your location:

  1. Google
  2. Bing
  3. Aabaco Small Business from Yahoo! (formerly Yahoo Small Business; involves a monthly
    fee)
  4. Yelp
  5. Facebook
  6. LinkedIn
  7. Angie’s List
  8. Better Business Bureau
  9. YP.com
  10. Merchant Circle
  11. Yellowbook/Hibu
  12. Whitepages
  13. Superpages.com/Dex Media
  14. Yext
  15. CitySearch
  16. Foursquare
  17. Local.com
  18. USDirectory.com
  19. Thumbtack
  20. Manta

Business Citation Audit Tools

Not sure what online citation sources your business is listed with? Learn where you are accurately listed, where you aren’t listed, and identify any omissions and inaccuracies that may exist for various directories and listings with one of these handy tools:

Yext online business directory audit tool

These audit tools all function similarly. You will be asked to enter your business name and location or phone number. You will then be shown a report which includes your current listings as well as missing or inaccurate listings. You can choose to correct any errors on your own or opt to have them fixed for you for a fee.

You want your business to be as visible as possible to potential customers when they are searching online. Now that you know where to start, why not get the ball rolling and submit your business to as many online directories as possible?

No time to submit your business to online directories? We can do the legwork for you. Contact OpenVine today to learn how we can get your business listed with relevant online directories as well as other online marketing services we provide.

*Image courtesy of flashon/depositphotos.net