One of Google’s main objectives is to satisfy the desires of the searcher every time and in every way. When a searcher has “local” intent – the desire to find a commercial solution to a problem they need addressed locally – Google rewards sites that are optimized to serve local intent.
One of the basic, but most important, things you can do to optimize your online presence is to ensure that your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) information appears in exactly the same way across all major, local, and industry based directories.
The reason is simple, Google bots have no way to give credit to your site other than to match it up with other places it is mentioned. Remember, it is an algorithm not an army of people searching the web to determine the value of sites.
Google bots look at all the times your site is mentioned and how important they feel the sites mentioning you are (based on a set of values). If you don’t have consistent representation in that space, Google cannot give you correct credit and weight when your site is mentioned (it is kind of like they can’t see you).
The best way to get these linkages is to have your site registered on high traffic directories and sites like Yelp, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Localeze, and City Search. You should make sure you are registered at the sites that matter the most in your local environment, but when you do, always make sure that your site information (NAP) is exactly the same.
Be careful of using auto submission services such as Yext. They do not give you login and passwords to each individual directories. If you already have a listing, very often, it creates a duplicate listing for you which actually negatively impact your rankings. It is best to manually claim each of the directories.