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All You Need To Know About Business Citations

Business citations serve the simple purpose of telling us if a company really is what we thought of it. These company listings are just short mentions that may not link to your website or blogs. You can find mentions of a company in the local chamber of commerce pages or company association websites. Google and Bing both like websites who have citations. If you have a high number of mentions on other prominent websites, chances are Google and Bing will automatically start ranking you higher.

A Few Things That Search Engines Will Rank Your Website Higher For Is:

  • Excellent Business Citations
  • Appropriate Header Tags
  • High Quality Back Links
  • Lengthy Content
  • Real Social Media Profiles

Search engines find it easier to locate a company, access their contact information, verify their credentials and determine the rank of their website if they have information in well-indexed portals like Superpages.com or Yelp. Company listings are also required to show that your company is a part of a community. SEO companies have tested various platforms for their effectiveness in improving site ranking in relation to company listings submission. Authoritative mentions are arguably the #1 factor in Google ranking today.

1. Let Local Search Engines Do Their Job

Bing and Google are both global and local.  If you submit your correct company information to Yelp, Hotfrog, or Foursquare; Google and Bing crawlers will crawl through those websites to find the mentions. This will increase the credibility of your business’ website.

Try to launch a pro-active citation campaign. If necessary, offer incentives to influential and credible online sources to incite them into mentioning your specific company in a positive light.

2. Blog Posting

You can start by locating the popular bloggers in your city or town. Check out their following and see if your target group matches with their audience.

The advantage is that search engines index the blogs that show up on the Google SRLs as a result of these searches. They already have high prominence on the world wide web. Citing your website and company on these websites will increase the credibility of your site. However, keep in mind that the blogs should be relevant to your products, services and business values.

3. Local Directories To The Rescue

Not every local business starts with national or global platforms. Local directories are a resourceful option if your company serves a niche community in a certain part of the city. These directories can be human-edited. The human editor versions are less vulnerable to spam, and search engines tend to trust them more too.

Best of the Web’s Regional Directory and Yahoo’s Regional Directory are two terrific options for local business owners. If you want to check out other viable options, type in “(name of your city/state) directory). It should give you a handy list of available prospects.

4. Blogs And Directories Specific To The Industry

Pretend you are selling iron bars to construction companies. Your target audience would be contractors and builders. You need a platform that will have relevant content for a similar target audience.

You should look for an industry-based blog that creates content on construction, architecture, builder’s safety measures or something similar. Citations in these relevant blogs will help your website rank much higher in the search engine results.

5. Data Aggregators Help Tremendously

Infogroup, Acxiom, Factual and Neustar Localeze compile indexes of local businesses. Till date, they have compiled up to 20 million store locations and information from around the globe. It makes them the four leading data aggregators in the US.

They come from traditional phone books, company group’s lists, and phone records. Banking transaction records also provide information that is critical to the data aggregation process.

These licensed aggregators syndicate their data to local search engines including Bing, Google, and Yahoo. This process usually takes up to three months to complete.

Until this point, it is relatively straightforward and easy. Listing new company or new websites is very simple.

What Happens When Your Business NAP Is Incorrect?

Sadly, listing a new business or website is not simple for most everyone. Many companies have been around for many years. The owners often end up neglecting their online profiles. The changes in contact information and companies address hardly ever get updated. It is the primary source of discrepancies in Google search results where the search engines give red flags to any company who has duplicate listings. The company who has duplicate information are given penalties for being inconsistent in their company’s listings.

The process of citation and distribution of the company’s details is quite simple. Data companies like InfoUSA sell company leads to Yelp and Google. The market data ecosystem is very close-knit. This market data ecosystem hardly has any room for errors as long as your company information is correct.

What happens when your inaccurate company’s details get distributed online?

  • It Confuses Your Local Rankings
  • It Is Tricky To Fix Incorrect Citations

As a matter of fact, incorrect Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) is the primary cause of company listing inconsistencies in the USA today.

Is There A Correct Format Of NAP?

When you list your business name, address, and phone incorrectly, it threatens to sabotage your local company’s rankings and confuses the search engine crawlers too. Google only credits owners when they have their company’s NAP in order.

Yes! Correct NAP has a format. To make sure that the Name, Address, and Phone number remain the same throughout the web, you should list the same one on Google Business Listing. Do not include false details in your NAP.

We Did Not Make A Mistake, So Why Is My NAP Wrong?

If you do not remember listing an incorrect NAP? Do not worry! Incorrect listings occur once in a while. You need to understand that just because you did not make a mistake, it does not mean one website or one directory was not at fault. It is a network of different data sites and directories. Some of them are human-edited. If one of them makes a mistake, the subsequent ones will propagate the error.

A Few Reasons Why Your NAP May Not Be Correct Are:

  • You Have Moved To A New Address
  • Your Contact Number Has Changed Several Times In The Last Couple Of Years
  • You Have Bought The Business Recently From Another Owner
  • You Have Used An External Company For Citations
  • You Did Not Use A Local Number

It does not mean that you should sit down and cry. We are here to help you take care of these simple mistakes.

How Do We Start The Correction Process?

Correcting a citation is not a simple process. It is very time consuming and tedious. If you are sure you want to do it yourself, let’s get started.

1. Start with company information that is specific to your city. Go to WhiteSpark and check out the top 50 citation sources.

2. You must already have a list of directories where you have your NAP. It will be easy to crosscheck with these platforms before moving on to the other parts of the web. The tidiest way to go about this is to use a spreadsheet. There is no replacement for a good old Excel spreadsheet.

3. Never add new company information on top of old company information. Listings do not work like reviews. You cannot drown out incorrect information with a flurry of correct information. You need to find all the wrongly listed NAPs and fix them, and then update old listings.

Our marketing experts have years of local marketing experience that make sure your Phoenix SEO is taken care of properly. No matter what city your business is located, we will make sure that your business dominates.

How Do We Correct Our NAP Variations?

1. Identify All NAP Locations

First, find out what the web has to say about your specific company. Note down every variant of your NAP and the sources of the differences.

2. Investigate The Problems

Check the BBB listing. It should display all additional names, phone numbers, and addresses of a company. You can further verify the correct NAP with the Secretary of State’s Filing for Business. Edit the history of your company on Google Map Maker, confirm the edits and select to “Show All Changes.”

3. Use Helpful Tools

Tools have always been a man’s true best friend. You can scout the internet to see how your NAP varies by using tools like Synup and WhiteSpark. Both of these have free versions that help new companies find location citations with little to no effort.

4. Clean Up Listings

We hope that you have been using the spreadsheet we told you about. Now, you can go back and color code the NAPs that are correct, incorrect, altered, updated and removed. The spreadsheet should work like a tally sheet. Keep a list of live URLs for active listing.

5. Record and reach out

Keep a tab on your actions. Update the directories and websites that you are approaching and do not forget to mention the results. Here are a few options that most sites and directories offer once you reach out –

6. Claim Listings

Automated system verification, update your information on automated calls or through emails.

If you are a beginner and not yet confident about doing it on your own, you can leave it to the experts.

If you want to fix your NAP and update your online business details, just contact our experts at sandcrestseo.com! Fill out our Contact Us Form or call us so we can help you list your company correctly and get all the correct citations your company needs for top Google rankings.

CONTACT SAND CREST SEO NOW