Building citations inherits the same frustrations and difficulties that come with link building. Finding quality citations takes some time and time is a scarce resource for all of us.
Additionally, implementing a half-baked and ineffective citation-building plan or turning a blinds-eye to important citations altogether can result in fewer leads and sales. Without proper citations, you are unlikely to be visible in the increasingly important Local search results.
Without further ado, here are the tips!
- Use GetListed.org to get a snap shot of your current citations. All you need to do is put in your business name and zip code and the site will do a search for all of your business listings across the Web. This is a good place to get started with your citation building.
- Check to see if you are already listed. You definitely do NOT want to have multiple listings with the same site. If you are already listed, then simply claim the listing and edit it as needed.
- Start big then go small. There are hundreds of sites for adding business listings. Many are not worth your time and effort while others are completely necessary. GetListed.org has a couple ways to find some of the more prominent citations: by location and by category
- Use a worksheet to keep track of your citations. Creating citations will involve account creation on many websites. Keeping a log of the websites and account information will save you time. There is a great post on Moz, which discusses citations and has a good worksheet you can use to track your citations.
- Use a cloud service like Google Drive to store this worksheet. If you are anything like me, then you use many computers/devices in several locations and keeping frequently-used files only on my local hard drive no longer makes sense. I use Google Drive to store excel files, pdfs, word documents and other files as it allows me access to these files from any location where I have Internet access.
- Clean up your existing citations first. Fix as many of them as possible before listing your business on other sites. Because many sites pull business information from other websites, you WILL have business listings which you never personally created. Make sure you claim these listings and keep them accurate.
- Comply with all-mighty Google. You definitely will want to comply with Google’s quality guidelines. If you have not read these yet, you are hereby required to do so once you finish reading this!
- Use Google MapMaker to search for your business and phone number. This is a good way to reveal any potential duplicate listings.
- Use the most accurate category for your business. Search engines will not display listings for businesses 1) without a category or 2) are mis-categorized. Use this tool create by Mike Blumenthal to help you find the most appropriate category for your business.
- Don’t just enter the full name of your business when looking to see if your business is already listed on a website. Use a couple of potential variations of your business name. The reason for this is not all websites have thorough search functionality and you may already be listed under a variation of your business name. Remember, there are sites which will automatically pull your business listing information from other websites and it may not be accurate.
Read More: Improve Your Local SEO – Citations.