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.


4 Simple Ways To Optimize Your Blog Post or Web Page


Optimizing your webpage or blog

While the No. 1 search engine, Google, is always changing the rules there are still some tried and true methods for optimizing a blog post or page on your website. Whether it’s a listing or localized post, there are ways to create more authority and permanency with simple search engine optimization tactics.

1. Research on the keyword or phrase ahead of time

Before you start your post or webpage, find the phrase or keyword you want to go after. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to check on several phrases and see if there are searches out there for it. Type in several variations of your topic of choice and check the number of searches. The more popular a phrase or word then the larger the numbers of persons doing searches with that word and the more likely your blog post or page will be found.

2. Do searches on Google for the selected keywords

Once you have a few suggestions, go to Google and type in your phrase in the search box with this at the beginning search “your keyword phrase”.  Click enter or search. A phrase that has search results of about 50,000 to 150,000 results is a .   If you’re over the million mark, try getting a little more specific. If you’re too specific you may only come back with several hundred searches and these are just not enough to draw in the amount of readers or leads you want.

3. Make sure your blog post or web page is not stuffed with keywords

Once you have a phrase with good searches you will want to use that phrase in your title and preferably in a custom URL if you can. Not only do you want that phrase in your title but of course in your content as well. You’re looking for a “keyword density” of about 1-3%. If more 3% is done than the blog post or web page may not read correctly or it may be penalized for “keyword stuffing”.  A good rule of thumb when optimizing a blog post is to have the post be around 300 – 600 words. So, with our percentage of keyword density you’re looking at, use your keyword phrase 1-3 times in a 300 word blog post.  When you do use your phrase make sure it is in bold letters so it stands out, not only to your readers but to Google which scans your page quickly.

4. Make the post interesting, informative, and quick to load

If you optimize your blog post with too many graphics, videos and multi-media, Google will take the length of load time into consideration and may not rank it as high. Re-size photos to small web format about 448 pixels by 600 pixels and keep your videos to less than 90 seconds if possible.

Do share with us how you optimize your blog post or webpage.



Top 4 Free Marketing Tactics to Increase Exposure

Stand out from the crowd with effective marketing

  1. Work on your social media presence – Do you actively keep a Facebook, Twitter, and Google + account? If you do not, be sure to begin today. Invite your friends and business associates to follow your account, and make your profile, page or group something that will spread. Offer something for signing up and send it to them in a private message when they do.  Make sure to regularly post amazing, useful content to the page or group so it benefits your followers. If you have the resources to take professional-quality photos or create inspiring visuals, consider using Pinterest as well. Effectively using social media can increase your company’s exposure exponentially.

2. Network in your industry – Many products can be very complimentary to other products or services. For example, if you provide peak performance coaching like Eileen Lichtenstein of Balance & Power,  you could team up with Alissa Bickarof CompassRose Development to provide a series of powerful workshops as they did. Calling other businesses that sell your product and giving them a discount is  a quick way to make steady income. Another idea would be to offer a special discount to a related business’s customers. Establishing relationships with related businesses could be very profitable in terms of both sales and exposure, depending on how you arrange the relationship and what your product or service is.

3. Clean up your website’s on-page SEO and add more content – With the recent Google Penguin updates, most sites are out of date with their on-page SEO. Make your site squeaky clean by fixing all 404’s,broken images, and other issues, and by adding lots of new, fresh, non-spammy content. The more original useful content you have on your site, the more value you add to the web and that means Google will value your site more. This technique helps convert visitors by making your website useful and valuable, and it can help you improve your search engine rankings to get more exposure and visitors.

Increased exposure leads to more customers and more revenues

4. Create lots of high-quality postings about your company on many different sites – The more content online linked to your website, the better. Make a quality lens on about your product and include the product URL on it. Go to Wikipedia and make a history page about your company (being careful to only be informative and not pitchy at all) and include the URL to your home or About Us page. Other places you can create quality content with a link back to your site include,,, and With the recent Penguin updates in mind, remember to use a variety of anchor text links, including “click here” and the URL itself. This technique helps you spread your brand and products across lots of different websites, and can help you rank better in the search engines.

Remember, while these marketing techniques do not require any money to use them, they each require a certain investment of time. Some of these techniques are one-time-only, while others are ongoing.


Google Is Watching You & Tracking You

Can we escape Google?

Google begins today, Thursday March 1, to create far more comprehensive profiles of its users by following their activities across the company’s Web sites. From videos watched on YouTube to the terms typed in a Google search, tracking such behaviors will enable the firm to sell ads better suited to its customers’ tastes.

Users won’t be able to opt out. If they don’t like the change, Google has said, they can avoid signing into their accounts or stop using Google products altogether.

But that’s easier said than done, experts say. For the 350 million people using Gmail around the world, moving to a new e-mail program is perhaps more inconvenient than changing a mailing address or a bank account.

The “high switching cost” — as business parlance calls it — didn’t happen by accident.

When Gmail launched eight years ago, it quickly supplanted AOL and Hotmail as a leading e-mail service. It was free, storage was unlimited and it was easy to search for past messages. Gmail became even more useful as the company integrated contact lists, word processing, live maps and then later integrated the services on smartphones.

The business plan was clear: Glean information from consumers, sell ads and keep everything free.

Wondering how to clear your search history before the changes go into effect?

The first and easiest way to use Google but keep the company from collecting information on you is to use the company’s services without signing in to your account. YouTube, Search and Maps don’t require users to be logged in to use the services, though even signed-out users will still see ads based on their search terms, etc.

If you, like many people, are constantly signed in to your Gmail account throughout the day, things get a little more complicated.

Users can turn off the setting that allows Google to record their search history. To get to this menu, go to or head to the “Account Settings” menu from the top navigation bar you see when signed in to your Google account. Scroll down to the “Services” section. From here, you can pause, edit or remove all Web History. On some accounts, you can also go to the “Products” section of your account settings and click the “Edit” link next to “Your Products.”

Google will still keep some of your Web history information regardless of your settings, but the results won’t be used to customize your search results. According to Google, the company “also maintains a separate logs system for auditing purposes and to help us improve the quality of our services for users.” Google keeps the information to “audit our ads systems, understand which features are most popular to users, improve the quality of our search results, and help us combat vulnerabilities such as denial of service attacks.”

Note that if you want to delete your Google Web history from your computer, you should also clear it in your  

You can escape Google

browser and from any Google toolbars you may have.To do so, head to your browser’s search history settings. In Firefox and Internet Explorer, you can clear history from the “Tools” menu. In Chrome, click on the wrench icon, head to the “Under the Hood” tab and choose the “Clear Browsing Data” option.

To delete all or part of your Google account (your profile, say, or your Google+ account), you can use the same “Services” area of your “Account Settings” panel.

So, now you know, Google is watching and tracking you!  What are your thoughts on this matter and what will you do about it? Do share with us.