As seen in the Local Search Ranking Factors of 2013, seven of the 83 high-priority ranking factors have to do with citations. And five of the top 20 local search ranking factors have to do with structured citations (IYPs, data aggregators) and citations from locally- and industry-relevant domains.
Three Trusted Sources of Top Citation Sites
To help you get your business (or your SEO clients) on the top citation sites, I have a list here of the top 70 citations sites for local SEO. I drew my information from three expert sources: (1) Darren Shaw’s presentation called How to Not Suck at Local SEO, (2) Myles Anderson’s post on the BrightLocal Blog called Top 50 local citation sites – US, UK, Canada & Australia, and (3) Andrew Shotland’s post on his Local SEO Guide The Definitive Top 10 Local Citation Sources for SEO! Each list has a lot of the same citation sites as the next man, but there are some differences between each list. And, since I don’t believe in there being a perfect list out there, I decided to combine the research results of these three wise [local search] men to create a a top-70 list of sites to get structured citations on. Here they are:
The Top 70
- InfoGroup ExpressUpdate
- Neustar Localeze
- Dun & Bradstreet
- Bing Places
- Yahoo! Local
- Nokia HERE
Important Advice on Other Kinds of Citations
The list above is a list of top sites to get structured citations on. And that is so important to rank high in the local listings. To illustrate this, the third, fourth, and sixth high-priority local search ranking factors are: #3 – Consistency of structured citations, #4 – Quality/authority of Structured Citations, and #6 – Quantity of structured citations. Once you get listed on most of all of the above citation sites, search for locally- and industry-relevant domains to get citations on. You could even do this before you finish the list, like after you get listed on the top 14 (those data aggregators [#1-4] are key!)
How to Find Locally-Relevant and Industry-Relevant Domains
How do I find these locally-relevant and industry-relevant domains?, you might ask–by simply Google-ing it. For instance, if you Google the search phrase “boston business listings,” you can gather a handful of business listings sites in that local area. The same goes for industry-relevant domains. Just last week I Googled “insurance directories” and found about 12 good insurance niche directories to submit my insurance clients to. I decided checked with the great Local Search Google+ Community to see what they thought of my list, and it turned I did indeed find some good ones. Keep up the good work with getting your business listed on the top citation sites and other important domains. Keep in mind also that getting unstructured citations on pages like newspaper articles, blog posts, and event sites will also play a role in local rankings. Follow these steps when working on citations, and your business with soar in the local listings.