Business Citation Directories in the USA - Chris the SEO Guy
It is important that your business is listed in the following top 50 USA business citation directories and that your NAP (name, address, phone) data in each are an EXACT match.
What are citations and why are they important?
Citations (aka local business listings) are a key part of local search optimization. A citation is a mention of your business on a third-party website – typically a local business directory, event site, industry/niche directory or review site. These mentions contain your Business Name, Address and Phone Number (also known together as NAP) but the listing can (and should) contain many more details about your business, like a description of your products or services, business hours, types of payments accepted, images, etc.
Having lots of citations that all display the exact same, accurate info about your business can help improve your ranking in local search results. Accuracy and ‘quality’ of your citation listings is considered the most important citation factor — sheer quantity has value but is trumped by quality (see our Expert Local Citation Survey results). Keep in mind that not all citation sites are equal in the eyes of Google, Bing and Yahoo! Make sure that you only work with and get listed on quality citation sites.
Cleaning up inaccurate data, merging duplicate listings, and creating new listings is a critical part of local search optimization.
However, manually going through each site to find, update or add a listing yourself is very repetitive and time-consuming.
Direct-to-Site Submissions vs Aggregator Submissions
Citation building can be handled in a number of ways. Broadly, these fall into two camps:
Citation service providers go direct to the directories/citations sites they use and update or submit business data to them. This process is either done manually by real people or it’s done via automated means – typically via APIs or data-uploads direct into directory databases.
Data Aggregator Distribution
Local Data Aggregators curate data about local businesses and sell or distribute that data to third-party directories, mobile apps, GPS providers, etc.
USA vs. other countries
This review is USA-centric, focusing on citation listing services that are available in the USA, but only some are available outside the USA.
The US local data market is more evolved and structured than in other countries. There are four central data aggregators (Acxiom, InfoUSA, Neustar/Localeze, and Factual) that distribute their data out to the wider universe of directories and citation sites.
This aggregator model doesn’t really exist in other countries, although there are some smaller aggregators and even some directories that re-distribute data to other directories. ‘Factual’ is an international data provider so it has data on businesses in many/most countries.
In total, there are over 100 business directory listings for citations, but here is the top 50.