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.


How Can Local Search Marketing Help Your Business in Long Island New York?

This is the first in a series of posts that focuses on how Local Search Marketing can help your business in Long Island New York. This post looks at  what is Local Search Marketing and what business can benefit from using it.

It is conservatively estimated that 30 to 40 percent of all online search is made with local intent. The fact that at any given second of any day, people are searching online for information to help them in their every day life makes Local Search Marketing extremely important in helping you reach your prospective customers and clients.

Top Local Search Marketing Tools

Top Local Search Marketing Tools

What is Local Search Marketing?
Local search is the use of specialized Internet search engines like Google Maps, Yahoo Local and Bing Places for Business that allow users to submit geographically constrained searches against a database of local business listings. Local search is any search aimed at finding something within a specific geographic area. Example: “Caribbean restaurant in Baldwin new York.” Local search is seeking information online with the intention of making a transaction offline. Example: “atm Rockville Center.” Anything that you would traditionally look for in the printed yellow pages becomes a local search when it is conducted online. Example: “immigration attorney on Sunrise Highway.”

Who can benefit from Local Search Marketing?
If you want your customers and clients to find your place of business you can benefit from Local Search Marketing.
1. HyperLocal Business – If you are a hyperlocal business that only draw customers from within a specific service area. Some examples are restaurants, barbers, manicurists, dry cleaners, delicatessens, and sandwich shops. It’s a given that if someone is searching for these types of products or services, they intend to purchase them from a location nearby.

2. Location Specific Business –  If your business is location-specific, but the people searching for them are most likely elsewhere. While potential customers might not currently be in your immediate area, they hope to be some time in the future. Examples are cruise lines, ski resorts, car rental agencies, campgrounds, and convention centers.

3. Non-Location Specific Business – Some business draw clients from both nearby and far away. Examples of these are immigration attorneys, financial advisers real estate brokers, regional hospitals, household movers, and mortgage companies

As you can see, just about anyone who conducts any business offline can be impacted by local search. Have you started to use Local Search Marketing? How is it working for you? We look forward to your comments. Do feel free to contact me at sandra if you need help with your Local Search Marketing.