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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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 @smbizsol.com if you need help with your Local Search Marketing.

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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 www.google.com/history 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.

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The “Social Media Social”

Robert Saunders, Skylark NetWorks

Robert Saunders, Skylark NetWorks

This past August 16, I ‘participated’ in a social media seminar: Supersize Your Business with Social Media Tools. I emphasize ‘participated’ because that is the essence of social media: Being a part of it. By social media I refer to, as if you didn’t already know, Facebook, MySpace, Google+, Twitter, Wikipedia (yes, Wikipedia, click the Discussion tab on any wiki topic, and you’ll see).  The list of sites goes on and on.

My goal, since I was invited to be a co-presenter by Sandra McCarty, was to see to it that every aspect of the ‘seminar’ was social. I wanted to establish a rapport with Sandra, with our raconteur, David Gussin of 516Ads.com, and most importantly, I wanted the audience to be involved, to participate.

And that made all the difference.

The seminar, which was supposed to be about 20-30 minutes in length, ran a full 90 minutes.

A pessimist might say, “Oh, no! Too long!” But that was not the case. The audience was very involved from the 2nd or 3rd slide onward. Questions were asked by anyone, and they were answered by anyone. Information passed to and from each and every point in Retro Lounge& Grill’s dining and reception room.

The tipping point was Twitter. Everyone had something to ask, or an answer to pass on. That moment would have made a fantastic tweet-up. Personally and professionally I find Twitter to be very compelling, just when I think I have a handle on Twitter, it morphs, it shifts, it grows, it evolves. No other social media outlet matched it. Every site had a wonderful share of questions, and new insights were gained by all. Myself included.

It was an amazing experience, and everyone was aware of it. And everyone present is looking forward to a follow-up presentation.

 Thank Yous. I would like to thank Sandra McCarty for the opportunity to c0-present. Thanks to David Gussin of 516ads.com & 631Ads.com, he is the “The Natural” of Social Media. (That’s a Robert Redford baseball movie reference, get it at RedBox or on Netflix please). To Retro Lounge & Grill for hosting. A round of applause to Yvonne Bisk of Long Island Entrepreneurs, David Gussin, Sherri Gillespie of MRG Marketing, Hannah Park-Lusterman, Eileen Lichtenstein  of  Balance and Power, Gail Adams of 7th in Heaven Singles Events and Dr. Bruce Kesten of Kesten Family Chiropractic for helping  to promote. And a tremendous thank you to the audience for truly bringing life to the show. Bravo!

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