Announcing the Definitive List of Local Review Sites

Photo used w/ permission of Danny Nicholson of whiteboardblog.co.uk

How complete is your collection of reviews?

To know that, you’ll need to know of all the sites where customers can (and should) review your business.

I’ve found 398 local review sites so far.  Some you already know about – and may even have reviews on – but others are overlooked opportunities.

I’ve put together a handy spreadsheet for you.  It’s not in this blog post: I made a page for it because it’s a little easier for me to keep the list up-to-date that way.

Go there to sit through my preamble, to get your hands on the spreadsheet, and to read my liner notes.

See the list of review sites

By the way, right here is the place to leave comments or questions.  Don’t hold back, now.

Business Categories Lists for Major Local Search Sites

Categories are the forgotten child of local SEO.

Though they don’t get much attention, categories do get respect: “Proper Category Associations” is the #1 “Foundational Ranking Factor” listed on 2013’s Local Search Ranking Factors study.  (I was one of the people who ranked them up there, and I’m glad other local-searchers agree.)

Picking as many relevant categories as you can is probably the easiest way to make progress on your Google+ Local, Bing Places, Apple Maps, Yelp, and other rankings.

Choosing the right ones is sometimes easier said than done.  Google no longer allows “custom” categories.  That’s nice in a couple of ways: You can choose up to 10 categories, and it’s nice that it’s much harder now to get penalized by accidentally specifying a custom category that Google doesn’t consider kosher.

Still, the categories you want to pick are either on Google’s list or they aren’t.  Which may leave you feeling hamstrung if your business is specialized or “niche.”

Fortunately for us, the categories you can pick on other sites seem to help Google determine what type of business yours is – and what terms you should rank for.

They’re also a huge factor in your rankings on pretty much every other site worth being listed on.

The name of the game is to know your options for categories, on as many sites as possible.  Most of them don’t make it easy to browse all your options.  That’s why I’ve rounded up a bunch of category lists, so you can find the relevant ones easily.

Check out these lists and see if you’ve listed your business under the best categories possible:

Search engines

Google – Browse Mike Blumenthal’s Google Places Category Tool

Bing Places – See my list of Bing business categories (new)

Apple Maps – Dig through this monstrous list put together by Andrew Shotland

Data-aggregators

ExpressUpdate – Pick from OSHA’s Standard Industrial Categories

LocalEze – See my post on LocalEze categories

Factual – Refer to this list when submitting your Factual listing

IYPs

Yelp – Dig through Yelp’s somewhat-buried list, or see my post on Yelp categories

InsiderPages – See this

AngiesList – Here you go

Those are just the category lists I’ve found so far or put together myself.  I’m sure you or I could easily find full lists of categories for rinky-dink sites that nobody’s ever heard of.  But there are a few category lists I’d still like to have.

The sites on my wish-list at the moment are CitySearch, YellowPages, Local.Yahoo.com, and Acxiom (MyBusinessListingManager.com).  Please let me know if you find or make a list of all the categories allowed on those sites!

Yelp Business Categories List

It’s not too hard to find categories on Yelp to list your business under.  But it’s much easier to miss some and lose out on easy visibility – both in and out of Yelp – simply because you didn’t find the best categories to describe your business.

Yes, it does take time to identify all the categories that might be relevant to your business.  There are 698 categories.  You can pick up to 3 for your listing.

Yelp doesn’t let you see all of them at a glance.  You have to pick a primary category (there are 22) and then a secondary one (of 498), and perhaps a tertiary one (of 178).

The categories are scattered all over the place, and there isn’t even a “search” function on the site.  You get sick of rifling around and having to assume that you’ve picked the most-relevant categories.

Yet, your categories are crucial to your Yelp rankings, . Yelp’s results also consistently rank well in Google for local search terms.

You must get your categories right.

I’ve put together a complete list of all the Yelp business categories.  Why?  So that you can see all of them at a glance (and how to navigate to them), and so you can search the list or edit/process it.  The list helps you make sure you’ve got the 3 best categories.

You can download it here:

Google Drive

Excel

PDF

Update, 5:54 pm, 7/19/13: Thanks to Luther Lowe, director of public policy at Yelp, who just sent me the the links to two category lists that are buried under the “Yelp for Developers” section:

The first is a long honkin’ page with all the categories you’ll find in my list.

The second is another long honkin’ page, but this one (meant for developers) tells you the categories available in each country Yelp serves.  You only need this if your business is located outside the US.

What should you do now?

Go to biz.yelp.com and log into your business listing.

Click on “Business Information” and then click to edit your “Basic Business Information.”

See which categories you’re listed under.  If you’ve got fewer than 3 or think you’re missing the best ones, search through my category list and see if you can find better categories.  Even if you’re confident you’ve already got the most-relevant categories, spend 5 minutes flipping through the list anyway, just to make sure.

In general, Yelp is a pain to deal with – especially when it comes to reviews.  But getting your categories right is an easy win.