Have you ever noticed your business information listed in directories, data bases, web pages and wondered how they got your information. There is no link to your website nor did you register or pay for these listings, and often some of the information is incorrect.
WHAT ARE LOCAL CITATIONS?
These mentions of your business NPA (name, phone number and address) are called citations. Being listed in local citations are important components in the ranking algorithms for Google and Bing. Search engines rely on portals that are well-known and established to provide business information and categorization. Local citations such as memberships in Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau or listings in city or county business indexes, validate that a business is part of the community and not fake business.
Local citations and links can dramatically improve your local search engine rankings.
HOW ARE CITATIONS CREATED?
Search engines and publishers rely on major data aggregators to collect and validate information about businesses, collecting names, addresses, phone numbers, websites, hours of operations, and other business information. Web crawlers search the internet to gather and compare information, then they verify using various validation methods to improve accuracy. Often this information is considered more accurate and trumps the data that Google and other search engines and publishers have. So, if your business is not picked up by these data aggregators, then your business may not rank well in Google, Bing or Yahoo.
The most commonly known data aggregators providing data for all major search engines are Acxiom, Infogroup, Neustar Localeze and Factual. Other companies such as Superpages.com, Yellowpages.com and CitySearch also serve the purpose of providing fresh data to the process.
WHY ARE DUPLICATE LISTINGS HARMFUL TO YOUR SEO?
Every business should have only one listing for a physical location. More than one listing, or duplicate listings in online directories, can negatively impact your search engine rankings. These duplicate listings are not always your fault. For example, moving to a new location could create duplicate listing. Or operating under different names or d/b/a's (Doing business as) at the same address can also create duplicate listings. These duplicate listings can create skepticism by search engines as to your legitimacy.
Incorrect or incomplete data can also create duplicate listings. Be consistent in your business name, address, and other data.
- I operate my business under the d/b/a Media Power Advertising. If my business is listed under different names in different data bases, such as Media Power or Media Power Inc, the internet will not recognize these listings as the same business.
- Address information is usually the most common of inconsistencies. For example, these are the same addresses but would be shown as 4 different listings.
- 18047 W Catawba Ave
- 18047 W Catawba Avenue
- 18047 West Catawba Ave
- 18047 West Catawba Avenue
- Moving to a new location creates all havoc in establishing your correct address.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
The most important citation is claiming your Google My Business page. Simply Google your business name and you should see your results at the top of the search engine results page.
Check all the information about your business to ensure accuracy. This sets how your business information should always be set up. If there is no display for your business, you will need to proceed with establishing this listing. Using a Google account set up for your business (better to not use your personal one), sign in and then go to www.google.com/business and proceed with "Start Now". Provide the information and verify it is accurate since this will be how your business will be displayed in Google searches.
ESTABLISHING CORRECT INFORMATION FOR LOCAL CITATIONS
There are hundreds of local directories and websites that will display your citations and there's no way to manually keep up with them all. Media Power Advertising provides a subscription based program to help you achieve dominant accuracy of your data. We partner with primary data aggregators to continuously monitor and update your listing data and provide a monthly status report to you.
Want to know your current accuracy standing. Contact Media Power Advertising to discuss your current situation and learn how you can improve your SEO.