Welcome to Day 4 Citations
In this video I want to talk about Citations because they are one of the most important aspects of ranking your Google Places page. Citations are defined as “mentions” of your business in the online world. A citation is composed of– Business Name, Address and Phone Number on other webpages, even if there is no link to your website. Citations are VERY IMPORTANT for your local business and you probably already have some right now.
If you completed the last video you should already have 10 citations from the different directory websites you registered with. Other examples of Citations a local chamber of commerce website, or a local business association website where your business information can be found, even if there is no link to your website.
The reason I keep talking about linking is because when many people think about search ranking, they think about links. Links are very important for organic ranking, but what we are talking about right now is Google Places ranking. Citations are more important than links when it comes to Google Places, but of course you do want to get links back to your site whenever possible.
Before we get into how to get citations I want to mentions that not all citations are equal. Quality matters, a citation from your local community college or city hall is going to be infinitely more valuable than one from a generic info website. Volume matters too. If your business is listed on 50 websites, all of equal value, and your competitor is listed on 25 websites, all of equal value, you should rank higher for a particular search than your competitor. Of course there are many other factors involved, but citations are very important.
Also, not all citations are free. For example, a business belongs to the Sustainability Council and Chamber of Commerce. Both are respected local sites that give my business powerful citations. Let’s say the total cost is $500 per year. Is that expensive? It’s much cheaper than paying an SEO company $500 per month and you get other benefits from those associations.
8 Ways To Get Citations
1. Other Local Businesses: Most small business will do business with or have friends that own local businesses. For example, your insurance agent or carpet cleaner. You need to talk with them and agree to list each other’s business information on each other’s websites. You can also join business referral groups or networking groups, such as BNI, and try to exchange citations with other members. These will count as citations that Google may use to rank your Places page.
2. Industry Associations: Consider the associations your business belongs to. Examples for the painting company would be the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America or even better the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City. Make sure when you register with them that they list your business name, address and phone number on their websites.
3. Suppliers: Many times vendors and supply companies will list their customer’s information on their websites to show how popular they are among other businesses. Check with every company you buy from and see if they do this. Or if you buy from a small local business, such as printer, ask them to exchange Citation information.
4. Local Charities: Do you donate or are you affiliated with any local charities or non-profits? Or are their local non-profit associations that will allow you to join as a member? If so, you can probably contact them and ask if they will display your business name, address and phone number on their website.
5. Your Church: If you belong to a Church or religious organization you can always ask about being listed in the online directory if they have one.
6. Local Newspapers & Publications: Do you advertise in a local newspaper or magazine? If so, they may already listed your Citation information on their website, but you need to follow-up and make sure. Also, if you have an article written about your business and it is on the publications website, make sure your business Citation information is listed exactly as it appears on Google Places.
7. Go to: http://www.whitespark.ca/local-citation-finder. This free website tool allows you register and then do a search for Citations in your local area. It works better in some areas than others, but is definitely worth checking out. You will find a link below this video.
8. angieslist.com, judysbook.com, bbb.com
Make sure to notate possible Citation sources on you worksheet like this:
North Kansas City BNI
Farmers Insurance Agent
Painting and Decorating Contractors of America or even better
Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City
Catholic Charities of Kansas City
Kansas City Homes and Gardens Magazine, Kansas City Star
Also, check out the bonus video on an easy way to find many more Citations for your business. As we learn about new ways to get Citations we will be posting them in the Latest Updates section so be sure to check that out from time to time.
Action Steps For Day 4
After you do this move on to Day 5.