Join David Booth for an in-depth discussion in this video Managing your citations, part of SEO Foundations.
- Having accurate information on the web is extremely important. If your information is incorrect, it can hut the chances that people will find you. And that's not good for you, or the customer that you could have served. People turn to search engines for recommendations on where to go, and for people on the go, that means that physical locations and contact information is important. The more a search engine finds and can trust your local information, the more confident it can be in returning your pages to the local searcher. And for this reason, Citations are extremely important.
A Citation is any mention of your business name, address and phone number on the web, and this combination of information is often referred to as your NAP, for short. Aside from having as many of these as possible on quality sites, Citations should also be exactly the same wherever they appear. You can check how your business looks on lots of directory websites and local listings pages by visiting MOZ.com/local. MOZ Local is a site that provides information on local search, and you can use the Check Listing tool to find out how well your business is listed online by entering your business's name and zip code.
by entering your business's name and zip code. Once you pick the one you want, MOZ local will then go out and look you up across a host of different popular local listings, and give you a listings score that tells you how well you've used these listings that search engines use to collect local search data. Clicking through the data in the tabs provides specific information about the presence and accuracy of your business information, reviews, and other things you can do to improve your listings online. For example, in the Incomplete tab, you'll see business information listed for a number of local listing services and directory websites.
of local listing services and directory websites. Here we can see that we're missing some opportunities for photos and category listings. And the Update listing button is a quick way to go right to the source and fix those issues. Scrolling down, we can also see that there's no listing at all for a few sites, like Facebook, Foursquare and Yahoo. Clicking on the Create listing button will take us over to each respective site to begin those processes. In the Inconsistent tab, we can see that there are quite a few differences between the name, address and phone number among some of these listing sites.
and phone number among some of these listing sites. For example, while most of these listings have the phone number listed as 202-456-1414, Yelp for example, is listing a different number. You can also see differences in the name of the business as well as the address text. Some of these are spelling out the word Northwest, while some just use the NW abbreviation for example. Last, you've also got a section that shows you any duplicate listings you might have that you'll need to take care of. Having this information is crucial in making sure you're both obtaining all the citations you can, and that you're keeping them as consistent as possible.
and that you're keeping them as consistent as possible. Another great part of MOZ Local are their studies on local citation sources for each business category. And you can find these in the Category Research area. These will tell you which local citation sources are the most popular for each business category. And they can be very helpful in finding specific listing sites that you'll want a citation from. And what can you do when you run out of things to discover on MOZ Local? Well there are still a lot of places you can list your business on. And it's just a matter of digging a bit deeper to uncover them.
to uncover them. A great tool for this is the Whitespark Local Citation Finder tool. Here you can research and manage all of your local citations in one place. You can search by either keyphrase or business. And for this example, let's say we're looking for citation sources for an auto repair shop in Los Angeles, California. We'll fill in the fields, click search, and then wait for the tool to generate a list of suggestions on which local directories are the best for this business. You'll not only see a list of the top ranking local businesses, you'll also see a list of, in this case, 390 different citation sources that we can go after.
390 different citation sources that we can go after. As you scroll down, if you find citations that you already own or that you're working on, you have a status column where you can mark these. The Useless tag is especially important for those listings that you don't find relevant or that you don't plan on going after. On the other hand, marking them as Got it, tells you that you already have a listing in this directory. And now you can go and take a look at your name, address, and phone number consistency. While there is a free version of this tool, different levels of subscription get you access to different features.
to different features. However you decided to use this tool, these options can help you organize your citations in a meaningful way, and help you keep track of which ones you're getting over time, without wasting hours looking at the same websites over and over. The quantity, quality and consistency of the citations that search engines find around the web for your business are an important factor in how well you rank in local search. And having tools like these to manage your existing citations, and help you find opportunities for new ones, can make a big difference in your overall local search strategy.
in your overall local search strategy.
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- What is SEO?
- Understanding how search engines index content
- Researching keywords
- Using SEO tools
- Optimizing pages for keywords
- Optimizing code and site structure
- Building links to your content
- Optimizing nontext components of a webpage
- Analyzing content quality
- Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
- Promoting your content via social media
- Measuring SEO effectiveness
- Setting up Google+ Local
- Optimizing ecommerce sites for search
- Configuring sites for mobile