Improve Your Search Ranking With Citations or Business Profiles

Citations or business profiles are becoming more and more important to Penguin, Google’s newest algorithm update. Since Penguin now gives more value to business profile /citation they have become very important in improving your website and company ranking with the search engines. Citations or business profiles are also valuable for referring potential clients or customers to your website because these profiles show up in Google searches and help your business’s Google+ and map listings rank higher. Citations/business profiles are essential for branding as well. The more mentions you have of your business across the web on quality sites the better.

What is a Citation Listing/Business Profile?
This is a business listing that includes your business name, address, and phone number. Some citation listings include even more details like a link to your website, photos of business or products, videos, business category, description, products and services, and social profiles. They are essential if you want to rank locally in search engine results because they create trust for your business name and reputation. Basically they’re like the old phone book listings, but online.

How to Find Local Business Citation Opportunities
First, make sure you’ve got the big listings covered: Google+, Yahoo, & Bing Local. Then you can start creating or claiming the big name local citation listings online: City Search, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Info USA Listings, Super Pages, Brown Book, and Map Quest. If you get stuck you can always head over to White Spark or Bright Local (mentioned below) and do a citation search for your business. Alternatively, you can Google competitors’ phone numbers that are ranking well locally to see where they’re listed. Make sure you perform searches of their phone numbers with brackets, dashes, and with just the number because they will all yield slightly different search results.

Great sites to upload business citations and profiles

Great sites to upload business citations and profiles

Best Third Party Business Listing Sites
If you don’t have time to submit your business to business profile citation sites there are a few quality and affordable listing submission sites to consider: Localeze, Yext, and City Grid.

Citation/Business Profile Submission Tips
While it’s important to have a consistent name, address, and phone number across multiple sites, make sure you use unique descriptions when you can. Also, be sure to have your business’s logo, product, and other images saved to your computer. Once they’re saved right click on each image and select properties, then details. Then you can add a title, subject, tags, and copyright information for each image. Also make sure you have a word document or spreadsheet saved with the following information ready to cut and paste:

1. Business Name
2. Address
3. Phone Number
4. Website
5. Description
6. Business Email Address
7. Link Building Email, Username, & Password
8. Social Profile Links: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Maps
9. Business Categories
10. Business Tags

 Make Sure Your Business is Not Already Listed
Check to see if your business is already listed on the site to avoid duplicate listing issues. You can do this by using some easy search operators on Google: (inurl:listingsitehere “your business name”). So if you want to see if SM Business Solutions was listed on Super Pages you would type the following in a Google search: (“inurl:superpages “SM Business Solutions”). Another way to search for your business on a specific website is conducting a search using your phone number and the site name. If you’re not familiar with search operators you can learn more about them from Google here.

If you find an existing profile with inaccurate information, just claim it and update the information. If your listing has already been claimed you can usually contact the listing company and make a request for them to release the listing so you can claim it. Other times they will simply delete the incorrect listing information and you can create a whole new one.

Start Creating Business Profiles
Now you’re ready to start submitting your business profile listings. Just remember to track the progress of each listing and be sure to safe your login details should you ever need to update your listings.  Let me know if I missed any good citation building sites in the comments or if you have any local listing questions.

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About Sandra McCarty

Founder of SM Business Solutions LLC, offering inbound marketing services that are both innovative and tailored to my clients needs. I use inbound marketing media such as blogging, emails and social media to help independent professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs successfully engage their target markets and increase their revenues. I am passionate about making sure my clients are satisfied and their companies experience tangible gains. A graduate of Martin J Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University, University of the West Indies and of the Royal Institute of Marketing, London. Some of my clients are; Retro Lounge & Grill, The Cybernet Place, Optic Masters, Balance & Power Inc, Long Island Entrepreneurs Meetup Group, Best Buyer's Brokers and Male Ego Ltd.