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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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.

 

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Are Your Competitors Stealing Your Sales Leads?

At this very minute someone might be stealing your leads, it might sound crazy but this is happening every day on  the Internet.

Prevent your competitors from stealing your leads

Some important facts

  • Every day 506,000 people are shopping for products and services on the internet.
  • Every minute 305 people are looking for goods and services like what you provide.
  • Google tells us that 9 out of 10 persons will visit your website before calling you or reaching out to you in any way.
  • Microsoft tells us we have only 10 seconds to get the attention of visitors to your website before they hit the back button.
  • An effective website will generate 1% leads from the persons who visit the site.

How do you make sure your competitors are not stealing your leads?

1. Make sure your home page has a very compelling story that will captivate your visitors – If you have a lame website then your visitors will not stay. Your website should look professional and enhance your brand.

2.  Make sure your website is easy to read, easy to get around and easy to understand – Do not use jargon and industry terms that the average person does not understand. If you must use industry terms,  provide more details or explanation.  If a 5th grader does not understand your site then it is probably too complicated.

3. Have a landing page – Sometimes known as a “lead capture page” is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result or an online advertisement. The general goal of a landing page is to convert site visitors into sales leads.

4. Provide free offers – offers of a free white paper, product or service that will help your visitors solve their problems will give them a reason to stay on your site and use you as their solutions provider.

Next week’s post will be on how to create a compelling website.

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The Power Of Social Media To Help Google Find You

Social media has forced its way into the world of marketing, and it’s here to stay. Social networks and blogs are among the most popular online activities, and their popularity will continue to grow as more businesses utilize them to directly engage customers. Consider these recent estimates:

  1. According to Facebook Statistics, Facebook currently has over 500 million users – more than the combined populations of the United States, Germany, and Japan.
  2. There are currently 156 million public blogs that average over 1,000,000 posts a day, according to Technorati.
  3. YouTube will serve 75 billion video streams to 375 million unique visitors this year. Users now upload more than 24 hours of content every minute, according to YouTube.
  4. Twitter has over 200 million registered users, 155 million tweets per day and 460,000 sign ups per day, according to Twitter

Social media is big – and getting bigger. So use the power of social media to support your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy by integrating basic SEO best practices in those environments to engage a wider audience and improve your online presence.

Engage Your Audience

Social media is a terrific way to communicate with customers and improve brand awareness. Create a company profile on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and establish a company blog. Your company will not only appear more often in search engine results, but you’ll set the stage for stronger communication between your company and customers. It might seem overwhelming at first, but soon you’ll find that just by engaging your customers – responding to complaints and praise on Twitter and your Facebook business page, for example – you’ll begin to create more content and drive more traffic. Remember: social media isn’t free and it takes a lot of strategic thinking to monitor and engage your customers. The worst thing you can do is set these up then forget them!

Even if you don’t have an actual brick-and-mortar location, submitting your business to Google’s Local Business Listings can help your company rank higher. These listings take precedence over others, and they have the added benefit of increasing customer confidence because they see you’re a real company.

In many cases, just creating profiles will help your company dominate the results for brand terms. Search engines trust social media platforms and often usher them to the front of the line. This will help both potential and devoted customers find your content either in social networking profiles or your corporate website. It will also leverage universal search results to push either competitors or “negative content” about you down off the first page of results.

“Take the online shoe company Zappos: a search for the brand results in Facebook and Twitter accounts and their corporate blog. Three listings link to the company website and five of the top 10 are part of Zappos’ social media marketing efforts. ”

These are just a couple of easy things you can do to enhance your SEO rankings through social media. If you properly optimize these profiles and let users generate even more content in their own terms and language, you can reach an even wider audience and further dominate search results.

Learn From Interactions and Improve Your Online Presence

While dominating the results for branded keywords is important, social media also positively influences your website’s link authority (aka PageRank). By controlling these profiles on social networks, you can share links to internal pages of your website. If you’re an advanced social media user, incorporate trending topics and popular hash tags into your tweets because doing so allows you to appear in Google’s real-time search results.

Submitting your blog posts to social bookmarking sites like Digg can drive traffic to your website and create strong back-links. If you apply cross-linking principles, readers can visit your website via links posted on your profiles. Monitoring social bookmarking sites also provides a glimpse of how people discuss your company. Understanding your audience and their language aids your keyword research and marketing efforts.

Establish a strong social following and respond quickly and effectively to important industry events or negative press. By reacting   quickly through all your outlets including social profiles, using your SEO best practices and the keywords you know your customers use, you can secure multiple listings in the search engine results pages and push negative content down to the second or third pages. This is perhaps the most powerful integration of social media and SEO, but you can’t do it overnight. So start creating these profiles and developing your strategy, supporting a loyal following and you will see these benefits.

 

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