Business Listings

Why you need to establish Citations for Your Online Business Listing(s)

A local citation is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number for a local businessCitations can occur on local business directories, on websites and apps, and on social platforms. Citations help Internet users to discover localbusinesses and can also impact local search engine rankings.

Citations are additional sites around the web where you can list your business (i.e. business, industry, location-based directories and associations, etc).

  1. Major Aggregators: within the national citations, there a few super citations or aggregators. They not only are recognized by and provide information to the search engines, but also push out business information to smaller citation sites. These aggregators include:
    1. Localeze
    2. Infogroup
    3. Acxiom
    4. Factual

You can set these up for yourself or use a service like Moz Local or Yext to complete them.

  1. There are countless other free citations you can set up. Avoid sites that look to be of questionable quality or content. I’d also refrain from paying for citations (with the notable exceptions of those listed below).
  2. There are only three types of citations that are worth paying for:
    • Your local chamber of commerce, or other prominent local business directories/groups
    • Better Business Bureau
    • Regional or National industry-related associations. For example, Financial Advisors should join the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
  3. Eliminate duplicate citations and citation errors. Duplicates listings, or differing addresses and phone numbers confuse the Search Engines and damage your chances of ranking well. Moz can help you identify some listing errors.

Set up or Claim Your Google My Business Listing

If you do nothing else, you should go to Google My Business and claim and complete your business listing for EACH location:

  • Decide on your N-A-P (name, address, phone number). It is important that it is consistent across the web. The NAP that you use here should be the same as the one that appears on your website and other business listings.
    • It is recommended that you include a local number whenever possible
  • Choose your category(ies) carefully. Google recommends choosing the onethat is best for your business, however, some businesses do require more than one. If you are having a tough time finding the right category, this tool may help.
  • Fill out your profile as completely as possible. Include your product/service and location-based keywords in your profile.
  • Include photographs of you, employees, logo, building, etc. Use quality photographs. Need a photographer? Try a Google Trusted Photographer.
  • Include accurate and up-to-date business hours

Claim Your Business Listing on the Secondary Search Sites

  • Bing Places
  • Yahoo Small Business (now Aabaco Small Business): They don’t make this one easy, but there is a workaround that will still allow you to add your business for free.
  • Yelp for Business Owners
  • Apple Maps
  • Facebook is working to become a bigger player in local search. They are becoming a popular platform for consumer reviews and your Facebook business page may appear in the search results.
  • LinkedIn: if you ever deal with other businesses (who doesn’t?), you should be on LinkedIn.
  • Other social media or media sites as fitting your audience and interests (i.e. Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube).

It is a good idea for most businesses to set up with these search sites, but recognize that your industry may have others that are important as well (i.e. Real Estate – Realtor.com).

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