How to create and manage your local search citations and business listings
Controlling local search citations is absolutely essential for local search results visibility. Local SEO requires either hiring a local SEO company, or devoting a lot of hours to do the work yourself. This article provides information on how to do local SEO, including a long list of citation sites with links to each site. If you want the easy way to local search success you can skip this article and click the following link to learn what a local search marketing services can do for you.
There are essentially two groups of companies that impact how your business listing show online. The first group is Data Aggregators, and the second group is Citation sites. How these sites inter-relate and work together is complicated. Seeing how local search sites are connected can give you a good idea of the complexity. Read further to learn about these groups, and get tips and ideas on how to control your information.
Do a quick check of your business listings
Before you embark on randomly managing your business pages and listings you should do a benchmark analysis. You can do this by using a FREE Citations Checker Tool and check out your situation.
Local Search Data Providers – where to start your citations management
The first step in do-it-yourself clean-up of your local search citations and listings is to reach out to U.S. local data search providers (data aggregators). Data Aggregators gather and organize information about virtually everything. Relative to the internet marketing world, specifically local search marketing, they accumulate information about a business. The information data aggregation companies gather is public in nature, and can come from any number of old source. Information such as business name, address, phone (NAP), SIC codes, and descriptions typically is inconsistent, and often conflicting. Entities such as online directory sites often buy these lists to create their site content. Examples of sites that use data aggregator provided information are Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Foursquare and Citysearch. Correct or not, their information about your business will be distributed to search engines and directory sites. The results are listing quality deficiencies, local search ranking problems and frustrated users – all big problems for your company.
Listing accuracy matters. Aggregators are where to start
Accordingly it is important for a business to make an effort to affect data aggregators having current and valid information. Many of the top aggregators such as Axciom allow a business to create a free account, and add their business information. Working with data aggregators can expedite cleaning up incorrect local search listings. When you submit information to a data aggregator their customers will be able to get correct information. Submitting your information to a data aggregation service is strongly recommended however; it does not drive automatic updates across the internet. You will still need to proceed to manage each individual citation site.
Local search citations are generally as simple as third party websites where your business is listed or mentioned, which include information such as name, address and phone number (NAP info). There are a variety of website types that could be considered to be citation sites. There are yellow page sites, industry directories, customer review sites, and public service sites such as Angie’s List.
How to build perfect citations
The key to creating a perfect local search footprint is really quite simple. Create or claim as many sites as possible, and make certain that there is total consistency in the information shown. The best way you can do this is to use a citation building template which organizes your information. For optimal citation management you should expand your template to build a list of citations you’ve completed. Be sure to use the same login information as much as possible, and add it to your records. This will be of infinite value when you later have to make updates and revisions. For more tips you should read Google My Business articles such as Guidelines for Representing Your Business on Google.
Organize your business listing information to insure consistency
To help you prepare for your local search citations building campaign you should create an information template. This is the best way to organize your information, and have it handy to copy and paste into each new listing. By using this template you can insure that each listing has consistent data. In addition to this information template you should also create a folder for images and one video. You will need your logo image, approximately 5-10 images of your business (exterior and interior), trucks, work, products, etc. A 2 minute video about your business is a bonus. Not all business listings provide for you to upload a video but some do. If possible, rename your images to describe what is shown instead of leaving the generic photo name.
Example of a Citation Building Information Template
With a reasonable time investment, and attention to detail you can learn how to improve your local search presence. There are numerous other lists of local search citation sites, and third party citation building services. A good internet marketing company is another option for improving local search listings. For more information, contact a local SEO expert at our company.
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