When was the last time you looked in the Yellow Pages? Chances are, it's been awhile. In fact, use of traditional printed search venues has decreased by over 50 percent in just the last 5 years. The time is right for your business to be found online.

There are many local directories out there and you might think that you should be listed in every single one of them. But, what you should be on focusing in on, is which local directories are good for YOU. Location based search is not all the same.

Three Essential Local Directories

Three local directories that you do want to be listed in are the standards for any business, small or large. The first one is, you guessed it, Google. Actually, you will want a listing in Google Places for Business. It's easy, free, and your business will show up in Google Maps.

The second directory is Yelp. Here's where word-of-mouth really starts to take off, because the reviews that customers will leave say everything anyone needs to know about your business.

Thirdly, there's the online Yellow Pages. You want to be listed in local directories like this because consumers still use these venues, only they use them online. You don't want to miss out on being there, too.

General directories, such as you would find on a Google Plus Business Page are all places you should be. But, keep in mind, there are other local directories to focus on as well.

Industry-Specific and Niche Local Directories

Most small businesses are niche-related, which means you can drill down even further than a general category. Weddings, for instance, can be broken down into wedding caterers, wedding flowers, wedding planners, etc. Restaurants are always found by category, such as Italian, Chinese, sushi, pizzeria, steakhouse, etc.

When you search generally, your results will come from organic traffic. But, when you search by an industry-specific directory, leads are much more targeted and higher quality. When searching for these types of directories, do a Google search and put in your specific search term + “directory” and see what happens.

You can also look for your competitor's listings. Input their company name + “directory” and see where they are listed. Yes, you want to be there as well.