Tag Archives: local citations

Why Your Local Business Won’t Survive Without Local Business Directory Listings

0fa830fLocal business owners tend to fall into 2 camps: those who are still trying to conduct business using the old school methods like phone book ads, newspaper ads, and mail outs. Those are the local business owners who are struggling to make ends meet because frankly, they’re trying to bring in new business by putting their advertising dollars in places that today’s consumers don’t look to any more.

On the other hand, those local business owners who have kept up with the times and applied the current marketing and advertising methods are not struggling, in fact they’re thriving. So what makes the difference between local shops that are barely making ends meet and those that are having a stellar year? Local business directory listings.

Why Local Business Directories Can Make or Break Your Local Business

Unless you understand how the large search engines like Google and Bing work, you won’t understand why you need a local business listing in order to thrive in today’s culture. You see, when consumers use the large search engines to find US local businesses, they are only shown the local shops and restaurants that have taken the steps needed to get the attention of the search engine spiders. And those that don’t? They are placed so far back in the search engine rankings that no one will ever find their local business.

As you might have guessed by now, the best way to signal to the search engine spiders that your business is worthy of appearing in the local results is to have a lot of citations spread across the internet. Let’s talk about what those are and how to get them next.

What are Local Business Citations?

The simplest definition of a local citation is that it is a mention of your business on a site that the major search engines view as credible. For example, once you create a local business listing on a local business directory like FindUsLocal, that is counted as a citation. And the more of these citations you have, the more attention the search engine spiders will pay to your business. That’s why local citations are so important for local businesses.

But you need to be careful of where you get these citations because if you list your business on a site that’s not deemed credible by the major search engines, you could do your ranking more harm than good. For example, not all local business directories are considered credible by Google and Bing, and that’s why it’s important to be choosy about which local business directory you list your business on.

How to Choose the Right Local Business Directory

When choosing which local business directories to list your business on, you’ll need to evaluate each one to determine whether it’s truly a local directory or simply a database with a bunch of outdated information. For instance, if you look at a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a well maintained, quality directory that provides many features and benefits for consumers. And Google and Bing agree, and that’s why it’s considered credible and will help boost your search engine rankings.

On the other hand, some local business directories simply pull in information from across the web and create a large database of local businesses. The problem is that much of that information is outdated and just plain wrong, and that will confuse the search engine spiders. For example, if your business name is ABC Computers, Inc. and the database lists your business as simply ABC Computers, the spiders won’t know whether or not the citation belongs to your business. If you have enough of these confusing citations, your business will be ignored and placed at the bottom of the search engine rankings.

To resolve this problem and get the most out of your local business directory listings, be sure to list your business on credible local business directories like FindUsLocal.com, and if you find your local shop or restaurant listed on one of those databases, simply go in and claim your listing and make the corrections. Remember, your business should be listed on as many credible local business directories as possible, but all of the details on each one should match. Once you do this, new customers will be walking in your store in droves!

4 Things Search Engines Look for in Local Business Citations

Business_0Local citations are one of the most important online advertising methods that local business directories can do in order to boost their sales. That’s because the more local citations a business has, the higher in the search engine rankings they’ll appear—and that means more people when see them when trying to find US local businesses like theirs.

But there is an art to creating local citations that will catch the attention of the major search engines, and we’ve put together a list of some of the things they look for when deciding how to rank a local business. Here are 6 things Google and other large search engines look for in local citations when deciding the ranking of your small business.

The Number of Local Citations Matters

Creating just one local citation on a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com is an amazing way to bring new customers through your door, but having just one won’t give you the search engine rankings boost you’re hoping for. In order to catch the attention of the search engine spiders, you’ll need to spread the local citations around the internet, and the best way to do that is to list your business on as many quality local business directories as you can. For instance, start by listing it on FindUsLocal and then choose about 10 more to create a local business listing on.

Be Consistent in the Details

When you create a local business listing, you’ll need to fill in a lot of details about your business such as it’s name, address, phone number and if you have a website, the URL. When the search engine spiders go looking for the local citations associated with your business, they will only mark the ones that have matching information as yours. For example, if you list your business name as Frank’s Automotive, Inc. on FindUsLocal, and Frank’s Automotive on Yelp, you won’t be credited with both citations. One of the biggest pieces of local business insight that marketers use is that if the information matches exactly, all of the citations will be credited towards your business.

Make Sure There are Plenty of Reviews

Another important aspect of using local business directories correctly is to ensure there is enough social proof to make your business listing credible in the eyes of consumers. These days, most people won’t visit a local store or restaurant without first reading a few positive reviews about it. That means you should only use local business directories that allow people to leave reviews for your business. And it’s not difficult to get them. Studies show that if you ask your customers, 7 out of 10 of them will leave a review for your local business.

Make Your Local Business Listing Interactive

One of the newest forms of online advertising for local business owners to market their business is to become interactive with their local community online. And in the recent past, that meant putting in tons of money and time to build a large social media following and then tweet or post every few hours. But FindUsLocal has changed all of that. The local business directory now offers a way for business owners to interact with their community by leaving comments on their local listing. For example, if you’re having a sale, you can leave a comment telling your local community about it, and they can respond by leaving a comment of their own. You can also use the comments section to announce when you’re hiring new employees or have an exciting new product coming.

Local business directories are the THE way to market your business in today’s internet obsessed world. If you want to bring more business into your store, start by listing your shop or eatery on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. And then follow the above tips to ensure that the listing brings you as much business as possible.

Why Local Citations are So Important for Local Business

building-local-citations-1-320x369As a local business owner, you have a lot to worry about when it comes to marketing your business. You need to ensure that your graphics are right, you’re known around town or the city as a place people want to do business with, and that your employees treat your customers right. But there’s one aspect of local business marketing and advertising that many people forget about: getting and maintaining an online presence. But many small business owners can’t afford to create and then run an expensive website, so instead they take advantage of local business listing.

What are Local Business Listings?

By now, you’ve probably heard of local business directories because they’re taking the internet by storm. These handy directories make it easy for consumers to find US local businesses, and they’re using them instead of the major search engines. And as a local business owner, you are able to claim your business on these directories and then create a local business listing. This listing will help those consumers who look online for local businesses find yours. This is called a citation, and credible citations are what makes the large search engines list your business higher in the search engine rankings.

How Do I Get Local Citations for My Business?

Now that you understand how important local citations are for your business, let’s talk about how to get them. First, you’ll need to log onto a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com. Be wary of the local directories that are nothing more than databases that contain incorrect and out of date listings because they could actually hurt your search engine rankings. Instead, look for one like the one we mentioned above because it’s credible in the eyes of the major search engines.

Once you’ve found the local business directory, type your business name into the search engine and see if it shows up in the results. If it does, you’ll need to claim it and begin filling in the correct details, such as your business name, address, phone number, and website. Keep in mind that it’s important that you fill in the details exactly the same on every local business directory you list your business in. If one letter or number is off, the search engines won’t know that the listings belong to the same business, and you won’t reap the marketing benefits from all of your citations.

But if you do it right, local business directory citations will help boost your sales.

How Do I Ensure My Local Citations Will Benefit My Business?

If local citations are so important, how can you determine whether or not the search engines will view them favorably and attribute them to your business in a way that boosts your search engine rankings. Here are the key factors you need to be aware of when creating your local citations on local business directories.

  • The number of citations is important. The more local citations you have the better because it gives credibility to your local business. But be sure to only create your local business listings on quality local business directories that will help—and not hurt—your rankings. For example, FindUsLocal.com is a fantastic local business directory that is considered reputable by all the search engines and listing your business there can only help with your rankings.
  • The quality of your information is important. When consumers try to find US local businesses online, they are typically looking for specific information. For instance, they want to know your address, hours of operation, what kind of products you carry, and other details that will help them decide whether or not to visit your store. Be sure to fill in all the details on your local business listing because the search engines will give them more credibility.
  • The consistency of your information is key. Some business owners haphazardly fill in the details for their local business listings, but that can hurt your rankings. You’ll need to use the exact same name, address, phone number, and website address for every local business listing your create—otherwise you may do your rankings more harm than good. The search engine spiders aren’t human, and only collect the data you enter, so if your business name isn’t exactly the same in each listing, it count it as a citation for your business.
  • The Social Proof is just as important. Finally, you need some social proof to prove to the search engines that yours if a business that consumers love. You can ask your customers to leave reviews talking about the things they like about your business, or on some local business directories like FindUsLocal.com, leave comments about the sales, promotions, and new product releases you have.

Local business directories are a great way to get the local citations you need to reach the best spot in the local search results. Just be sure to follow the above tips and soon those internet customers will find their way to your store.

 

Why Local Business Directory Citations Will Help Boost Your Sales

seo-local-citationsWhen creating a marketing campaign for your local business, it’s important to remember that along with the offline things you do, you’ll also need to make sure potential customers can find your local business online—and that means you’ll have to do some online advertising for your local business. That’s because most of today’s consumers take to their smartphones, tablets, or laptops when trying to find US local businesses. But that has taken a lot of local business owners by surprise because in the not so recent past, online searches were always conducted for national chain businesses or information about a topic, but for local businesses? Not so much.

But all that changed when local business directories came on the scene. These useful business directories are designed to help consumers find US local restaurants, shops, and service businesses—and consumers are using them more and more every day.

Why Local Business Directories Replaced Large Search Engines for Local Search

It’s been a problem for years: when people try to find US local businesses or restaurants on a major search engine, they often become frustrated because the results they see are filled with website URLs for national chains, and a bunch of articles about the topic. For example, if they’re looking for local US flower shops, they may see some online flower shops and a  lot of articles about flower growing or arranging. Not so helpful when trying to find US local flower shops.

But local business directories are different. They cater to the people trying to find US local businesses, and only show the results from the visitor’s area. In other words, local business directories are such a powerful marketing and advertising tool that they’re considered even better than social media for local business owners.

But What About Those Local Citations?

You may be wondering what in the world local business directories have to do with local citations, and here’s where it gets exciting. But before we tell you how local business listings can help with that, let’s define local citations.

  • Local Citations: When a major search engine decides how to rank a local business, it sends out its search engine spiders to look for all mentions of that business. But just any mention won’t do, in fact a mention on a less than credible website may actually hurt your rankings. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your business is mentioned on credible websites and local business directories, like FindUsLocal.com. All of these mentions are called “citations” in the online advertising world.

How Local Business Directories Give You Effective Local Citations

Luckily, getting those local citations isn’t hard. The best way to do it is to find quality local business directories and create your local business listings on them. For example, FindUsLocal is a quality directory that will ensure a credible and effective citation for your local business.

In order to reap the benefits of this local directory, you simply have to log onto the site, and then claim your business listing. Then fill in the necessary details about your business, and you’ll have your first local citation.

Be sure to fill in the details exactly the same on every local business directory that you list your business on. That ensures that the search engine spiders will attribute each of them to your local business. Remember, the more credible local citations you have, the higher you will rank in the search engine listings.

Local business directories like FindUsLocal.com are a great way to get the local citations that you need to rank high in the search engine results. If you haven’t yet begun this important aspect of your online advertising campaign, what are you waiting for?

Links Are Dead. Long Live The Link.

LinksWe’re not far from 2018 and if you’re reading this blog there is a pretty good chance you’ve heard about how important links are to your business website. As search engines evolve and update their algorithms, the one constant has been the importance of the all powerful link. But that doesn’t mean that all links are created equally and it doesn’t mean that links themselves haven’t evolved as well. In fact, sometimes a link isn’t a link at all. That’s where citations come in.

Local Citations are Important

As we’re previously discussed, local citations are essentially mentions of your business name on any website. Ideally, those citations are listed with accurate contact information such as your phone number and address and within a context that is relevant to your industry. If you can include a link to your website, that’s great. If not, you’ve still attained an important citation that in some cases can be equally as valuable as a link to your website.

The rising importance and popularity of local business citations is clear when we look at Google Trends. See the screenshot below which shows the increasing search volume for the phrase “local citations.” The trend is clear and there is no evidence it will slow in the near future. This makes it increasingly important to get high-quality citations and links from reputable websites. But simply acquiring a high volume of citations and links isn’t always enough.

Talk to any child around their birthday and you’ll quickly learn that age matters. The same holds true for links and citations. If we think about links and citations as votes, the sooner you obtain those votes the better. Yes, the search engines will index your links but when was the link published? If you run a landscaping company and acquire a local citation/link on a major local business directory such as FindUsLocal  that qualifies as a vote. But if your landscaping competitor published their own citation and/or link four years before you, that’s a problem.

That’s why it’s not only important to sign up for local business listings but to do so in a timely manner. There is no finish line in local SEO but there is absolutely an advantage to starting the race sooner. Any reputable SEO company or freelancer is going to review your existing links and citations to gauge the competition level for your industry. While it’s true they can often replicate your link portfolio, they cannot jump in a time machine publish it before you do. As previously mentioned, not all links are created equally and quite simply an older link is more valuable than a fresh link if all other metrics are equal.

Once you start your link and citation building campaign, don’t focus solely on directory submission sites. Those, such as FindUsLocal, are fundamental to local SEO but it’s counter-effective if the NAP (name, address, phone number) doesn’t exactly match the information on your directly owned web properties. Those include your website and social media profiles. This may sound basic but it’s not uncommon for people to make simple mistakes (such as leaving out Suite #s) or transposing the digits within a zip code. You want a consistent citation profile. This increases the confidence Google and Bing have that your business is legitimate and reputable.

If not all links are created equally, it stands to reason that not all link sources are created equally. Context matters in local SEO and that’s why you must target websites and directories that are hyper-local. Again, if a link is essentially a vote then a link from a local directory site is much more valuable than a link from your nephew’s old Myspace profile. Find directories that have an established history and require some sort of verification. If you have the ability to control the anchor text of your newly created link, chances are strong that link is essentially a spam link.

Legitimate directory sites verify listings and NAP information while displaying profiles in a context that makes sense for humans. It’s very easy to spot the local business directories that are created solely for search engines. Typically they contain hundreds of links on a single page and require reading glasses because the font size is vastly too small. If it seems obvious to you that a directory site is little more than spam, you can rest assured that Google and Bing has figured this out as well. If your link and citation profile has a large percentage of these type of links, it is unlikely your rankings and organic search traffic will increase.

In closing, reading blogs like this and submitting to local business directories such as FindUsLocal are tremendous first steps. But remember to be consistent when filling out your local listings and be diligent when selecting the sites you target. That attention to detail will ultimately be rewarded with qualified traffic because Google and Bing will likely rank your site. So don’t worry about reaching a finish line but do worry about starting the race as soon as possible.

How Local Citations on Local Business Directories can Boost Your Rankings

The art of running a local business doesn’t look anything like it did a mere 10 years ago. Back then, all you had to do was ensure that you had a decent sized ad in the local phone book, and run a few ads in the community newspaper. But those days are gone and today’s successful local business owners make sure that their store, restaurant or service business can be found online by engaging in online advertising.

But a little known secret that most local business owners don’t know is that citations play a key role in whether or not potential customers can find your business online. Let’s first talk about what citations are, and then talk about the role they play in your business and how to get them.

What are Local Citations?

In its simplest form, a citation is a mention of your business on the internet. But not all local citations are the same, and in order to positively affect your business’ search engine rankings, you’ll need the right citations. For example, when your business is listed on a quality local business directory, that’s considered a positive and effective citation. But when it’s mentioned on your Aunt Betty’s Facebook page, not so much.

Why are Local Citations so Important?

The major search engines like Google and Bing operate with algorithms. Those algorithms are software programs that anticipate and analyze the vast information on the web in order to rank the millions of websites there. And one of the key things the algorithm uses for local businesses is citations.

You see, the search engine deploys “spiders” to crawl the web and look for local citations, and the more it finds for a local business, the more importance it places on that business. And as you probably know, when a major search engine deems a website or local business important, that means it will show up higher in the search engine results.

What can you do to be thought of as important by the search engine spiders? If you guessed citations, you’re correct.

How to Get Local Citations

Now that you understand just how important local citations are to your local business success, let’s talk about how to get them. Luckily, it’s not that difficult to get a few good citations that will boost your business in the search engine rankings. Here are 3 steps that will give you instant results.

  • Search out quality local business directories. Since having a good local business listing is one of the best ways to get effective citations, you’ll need to identify a few good local business directories. Look for directories that utilize GEO location technology on their site, so consumers will automatically see the results from their local area. And look for a local directory that offers consumers more than just local listings. For example, FindUsLocal.com uses the cutting edge location technology, and offers consumers all kinds of special features to keep them coming back again and again.
  • Once you choose a few local business directories, it’s time to create your local business listings. To do so, simply claim your business on the directory and then fill in as many details as you can. Remember, the local business listings that offer consumers all the details they want, like the business address, phone number, and hours of operation, are the most effective.
  • After you’ve set up your local business listings, it’s time to promote them. Ask your current customers to leave online reviews, and interact with them in real time by using the comments section on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. There is a difference between online reviews and the comments section, so be sure to visit the local directory to learn how to use each of them.

Local business directories play an important role in today’s local business success, and if you haven’t already set up your local business listing at a quality directory like FindUsLocal.com, isn’t it time to get started? Simply log onto the site, and then claim your local listing. Then, follow the steps listing above and watch how new customers find your store and visit it to make purchases. Soon, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t create your local business listing a long time ago!