Have you ever searched for your business online and wonder why it’s not near the top? One simple answer could be that you don’t have enough presence on citation sites for Google – or other search engines – to independently verify your business. By taking the time to get on more citation sites, you’ll quickly see your results change. 

What Are Citations? 

“Citations” refers to any mention of your business on the Internet. This includes having a presence on sites such as Yelp or Yellow Pages or Foursquare. That’s right, sites you may not have visited in years are extremely important in your business showing up on a Google search. 

Citations serve the purpose of being visible on platforms that your customers use and to ensure that search engines showcase an accurate representation of your business. 

If you’re wondering how your business is performing, Moz Local has a free tool to see how accurate your business is across the internet. If you moved your business, chances are, one of these directories may be showing inaccurate information. When your information isn’t correct or showing up on multiple sites, you won’t show up on Google searches. 

“Accurate citations help people discover a local business, which can result in web, phone, and foot traffic, culminating in transactions,” Moz says on its website. “Inaccurate citations, however, can misdirect customers, leading to loss of reputation and revenue.”

What’s Important for Local Citations? 

First and foremost, you should always have your company’s name, address, and phone number listed – NAP for short. 

Bright Local also says hours, products, images, videos, and social media links can be considered for citations, so have that information readily available when you start updating your information online.

> RELATED: 6 Ways to Improve Your Business’s Digital Footprint

How Many Citation Sites Should Your Business Consider? 

There are literally hundreds of websites for citations. There are even industry specific citation sites, such as insurancejournal.com for insurance and findlaw.com for law firms. If you’re curious about the top sites for your industry, head over to google and search for your business category and “citation websites.” 

Bright Local suggests that all businesses should have citations for Google My Business, Microsoft Bing Maps, Facebook, and Yelp. Other important ones for most businesses are below: 

Citations - sites that matter to your business

This sounds like a lot of work, right? The good news is that you don’t have to search hundreds of sites and manually update your information. These sites, which were mentioned above, take out a lot of the hard work for you. 

> Moz Local: Start with a free search. Without having to pay anything, you’ll get a quick audit of where you’re listed and where there are opportunities to add. For an annual fee – starting at $129 up to $299 – you’ll get: 

  • Ongoing listing sync, which allows you to update your information from a single dashboard that’s then distributed to citation sites. 
  • Automated duplicate deletion, which will completely remove duplicate listings.
  • Profile optimization, which helps you understand additional data and photos to help you complete your listings

Moz Local also helps you with reputation management to easily respond to reviews, plus Google and Facebook integration.

> Bright Local: Bright Local has a variety of plans for businesses. After a two-week free trial, plans start at $29 a month (with two free months when paying annually.) You’ll get: 

  • Citation building, and citation clean-up on duplicate sites.
  • Information about new citation sites to easily add your information  
  • The ability to monitor your competition to see where they’re listed but you’re not. 

With these two sites having free trials, give them a try and see which one works best for you! 

If you’re looking for someone to partner with to help with citations and reputation management, The Social Ginger can help you! Set up a FREE discovery call today.

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