There are thousands of places where a citation (which is a mention of your business name and address, phone number and/or website) can be built for your local business in order to help your current and potential customers find you easier online. But, before we get the top 15 sources for local citations by country, here’s the ‘big four’:
Getting listed on these well-established and frequently crawled portals can improve the chances of your business info appearing on the SERPs of the major search engines. Consistency is key. No matter how many directories you submit your website to, be consistent! Use the same format across all platforms.
For example, 212-712-4849 and (212) 712-4849 are different. Pick one, and stick to it. The same goes for your business name and address.
Here’s the rest:
A study conducted by Harvard Business School professor, Michael Luca, reveals that businesses enjoy a bump of 5-9% in revenue for every star on a review on Yelp.
- There are over 57 million+ business reviews on Yelp
- Yelp receives 44 million unique visitors a month
Citysearch’s big competitor is Yelp. The traffic these guys receive is not as much as that of Yelp’s, but hey, you can have a listing on both, so why not?
When asked why we should even use them when there are literally hundreds of similar sites out there, their response is:
“Founded in 1995, we focus on local businesses and community and, most importantly, bringing the two together.”
Citysearch might not be as popular as Yelp, but they sure are older (twice as old actually!).
This website provides three different types of listings:
- Free listing
- Starter pack
- Enhanced profile
While #2 and #3 do give you some fancy features, the free listing is good enough to get your business found and a quick, quality citation. The free listing allows you to put in your keywords and link to your social media pages and website.
Quick facts about YellowPages.com, according to them:
“North America’s largest local search, media and advertising company”
“Over 3 calls are made every second from the yp app”
“The YP℠ Local Ad Network, along with YP’s other advertising solutions, has the ability to reach 90% of the U.S. Internet population”
Pretty bold claims, right? Getting listed on yp.com is free.
The point of this post is to give you a list of places where you can get citations, as well as why you should do so using the platforms I am recommending. The ‘about’ page of Foursquare for business does a really good job of explaining the “why” in a very pleasant tone.
Image courtesy foursquare.com
Cool fact: 1.6 million people are making more than 372,000 inquiries to businesses on Hotfrog every month.
Other than a citation on a popular website, Hotfrog also provides you with reporting tools that:
- Show you profile activity
- Your best-performing keywords
- Keyword suggestions to get even more visitors
If you feel like your business provides a remarkable product or service, then you may want to get listed on CityVoter.com. Their model revolves mainly around contests, brackets, and sweepstakes.
The way to “get in” is to contact them and inquire about their products and services and how they can help your business in particular.
TripAdvisor.com is a website that’s mainly geared towards restaurants, hotels, resorts, attractions, and flights. They have 900,000 likes+ on Facebook, so yeah, the search engines trust this source.
Image courtesy superpages.com
Superpages.com is yet another good citation source where you can submit site.
They have a sleek mobile app that allows its users to search for businesses by category, region, service type, ratings, special offers, and more.
In my research, I stumbled upon this description of the website on Wikipedia. It’s almost perfectly written and describes really well what MerchantCircle.com is and what they do.
MerchantCircle is an online business directory, social business network, and marketing platform. It combines features from traditional Internet yellow pages sites such as Yellowpages.com, Citysearch and Yelp, with community-oriented social media sites like Facebook and Myspace.
This website allows you to put up your business name, address and map, contact information, opening hours, links to your social profiles, as well as details of your products and services.
Here’s a real-time example of Bright Skin Care Salon & Spa in New York. Notice how they also have 3 images that link to a more in-depth description of their main services. It’s a nice listing to have for your business.
Image courtesy bright skin care salon and spa/manta.com
While YellowUSA.com doesn’t seem to have all the bells and whistles others provide, it has been around for quite some time and does allow you to write basic information about your business, and that can only help with increasing your reach.
This one doesn’t look very active review-wise, but it’s still a place that has its businesses well categorized and classified. Getting a spot on there is free, so why not? Plus, they look like they provide businesses with promotional tools in their members area, so make sure to check them out.
The idea behind this social/business directory was inspired from the mother-in-law of one of the founders! Her name was Judy, and she kept a little green book of her favorite places that she shares with her friends. It does charge to claim your listing, but it seems to be pretty active.
These guys seem to have mastered the KISS – keep is short and simple - philosophy. Plain white background, black text and blue links. No fancy features. Just the bare essentials. Oh, and a nice and simple search form.
1. Qype.co.uk / Yelp.co.uk
In October 2012, Yelp acquired Qype so Qype has now, in essence, integrated into Yelp to bring more reviews and businesses to people. Businesses reviews and photos that were posted on Qype were moved to Yelp, a leading online business review site connecting people to local businesses from the city’s tastiest sushi bar to the most renowned STI clinic.
Yelp was founded in 2004 and has an average of 132 million unique visitors a month. The site has over 57 million local reviews.
Hotfrog was founded in 2005 and is operated out of Sydney, Australia by Cirrus Media. According to statistics provided by the site,
- Over 75 businesses are added to Hotfrog everyday
- Hotfrog operates in 38 countries worldwide
- Per month, Hotfrog has an average of 2 million page views and 1 million unique users
- 69 million businesses reach new customers globally using Hotfrog
For small businesses, Hotfrog is a worthy tool to create demand and target customers.
UK Cities is a network of city guides and local directories for the four main areas of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The UK has 66 ‘official’ cities and you can find your way around any number of these places with guides and local directories on UK Cities for local information about business listings, demographic data, and local history.
The Locallife.co.uk website is another place people turn to for local information including business listings, maps, and directions and local events. The aim of the site is to provide a complete local guide to life in the United Kingdom. The website is actually more of a network of local directories and each directory (whether we are talking about Bournemouth or Isle of Wight or Cardiff) has menus for the local restaurants, businesses, events and attractions.
Bizwiki stands for the business wiki. They are essentially a free business-listing site for British businesses on the web. The unique thing about this particular site is that it uses both user-edited records and structured data to return more in-depth and useful information about the businesses and organizations listed on the site.
Business Network is a simple business directory that connects thousands of verified UK businesses. It is a relatively new directory so it offers a somewhat different approach to helping businesses target customers online and allows for the use of mobile devices as well as conventional desktop browsers through a responsive design. Signing up to Business Network is free.
FreeBD is, as the name suggests, a free UK business directory that can help provide a link between your business and your customers. It’s an easy and free way to showcase your products and services.
Business listed on FreeBD usually have detailed information about their products and services and classified under categories like “Food & Drink”, “Health & Beauty”, “Entertainment & Media”, and “Shopping”.
If you’re a business in the UK, this is a business directory worth considering. Every business listed on the website has been recommended by local people and the directory boasts very helpful and reliable reviews for the community. The “Upcoming Events” and “What People Are Saying” sections are particularly interesting. It’s a fun community to be part of.
Fyple is a free online business directory offering over 1 million companies the possibility to tell their story and showcase their products and services through classified business information including, but not limited to, business websites, phone numbers and detailed local maps. It’s a really good platform to promote your business with no charge and you can return to your company profile to make changes any time you wish.
Britaine is your local search engine for websites, blogs, and companies based in the UK. You can search for local information and listings by area or by classified ads. People can search for everything: pets for sale, vacation rentals, courses and classes, and musical instruments. While this platform may not be as easy to use as, say Yelp, it wouldn’t hurt to have a business listing on there. You definitely can’t go wrong.
Tipped is an interesting online community meant for people to guess what? Share tips! Yeah, it’s a place where people share tips about restaurants, pubs, movies, local services, transport, and just about everything you can think of.
So whether you want to learn more about a local Michelin-starred restaurant or a spa round the corner, quickly search the site by keyword and/or location and get tipped. You can also give tips to people by writing reviews. And this makes Tipped a very interesting community for businesses.
Businessmagnet.co.uk has been around for two decades and is perhaps one of the most comprehensive Business to Business Directories in the UK. With over 140,000 subscribers and an average of 3.5 million page views per month, it is a business directory worthy of consideration. Businessmagnet uses a simple and user-friendly login interface and has a 90% customer retention year on year.
Where’s best is a large online guide to pubs, restaurants, hotels and other meeting places and sites of interest in the UK. The site allows users to find businesses and meeting venues close by and other people can see how users rate different places. You can also post comments and reviews. Where’s best is currently in the early stages of development and it has a good potential to grow big in the coming months with some interesting features expected down the line.
The UK Business Directory was established in 1999 and has been around for over a decade now. Unlike most of the business listing sites we’ve covered so far, this one is a paid directory although there is a “free listings” package. Essentially there are four ways you can advertise your company on the UK Business Directory and depending on the level of exposure you require, it can cost you £24.99+VAT per annum or £59.99+VAT per annum. The UK Business Directory ranks highly on Google for a number of keyword phrases.
On Yell.com, people can access the names, addresses and telephone numbers of over 2 million UK businesses. You can search the listings by the classification of businesses or you can look for details of a specific company by searching for a company name. This service covers the whole of the UK (except the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands).
Read Part 2 of this series: Top 15 Places for Local Citations in Canada & Australia, coming soon!
Featured image made by author