Local SEO has recently taken a major turn for the better, as more and more small, local businesses are seeing more solid benefits, from receiving local citation’s from their Local SEO agency. What are local SEO citations? Citation’s are similar to links. The thing that most organizations and professional SEO’s don’t understand is how citation’s work. Citations are NOT links. So, don’t expect links when your local SEO company generates citations for you.
Citations are in many cases, a lot more powerful than that of links. What are citation’s? A citation isn’t anything more than your business or Website listing, within a local directory. What I mean by listing is, your Website name (title) and description. Many companies could very possibly go by the same name, so it’s always best that your local SEO company use your Website url. No link will be created, as most of these directories don’t allow links, but what will be left behind is your citation.
Google places, now known as Google+ local is a great place to have your business listed. In fact, this is what most companies refer to when talking about their local SEO. This is a possibility, and is a great way to promote your local business. Though, I recommend that if you don’t have a Website to promote yourself, and business that you get one made, and promote your own site via Local SEO, for as many key phrases as you’d like.
Citation’s give a huge Search Engine Report Pages (SERP) boost, and push your site to the top of the first page. What is the point is this? The number one listing, on page number one – gets about 60% of all clicks, for any key phrase being searched for. Approx 15% of all clicks will go to listing number two. Approx 10% will go to position or listing number three and the remainder of clicks will be spread out not in the fourth listing position, but…to all the other listings, throughout page one – page two and page three. This is the sole reason why SEO is so extremely important, for all businesses.
The next time you think about how bad you need more links, think about how you’ve neglected citation’s all this time, and go out and get some for that site you love so much!
The List of The Best Citation Sources:
Without including a “possible citiation source” in the search, the total number of results was 9,300. The first few sites below show up in a very high percentage of those 9,300 results (for example, Google Places shows up in 44% of the results). Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments below. All the below listed directories and Site’s are listed in order of importance, from greatest to least greatest. Start from the top, and work your way down.
1) Google Places
Probably the most important and most talked about place to list your local business. Getting citations from many of the sites below (as well as ratings) can help boost your business’ listing in Google.
The most popular social networking, directory and review site. Aside from counting as a citation for your business in the eyes of the search engines, this site can deliver quite a bit of traffic on it’s own. Business-owners need to learn to deal with the occasional nasty review.
The popular way to check in via your smart phone can also provide a valuable citation for your local business.
4) Univeral Business Listing
A multiple local listing service – UBL.org (along with Localeze below) is one of the major players in the effort to fill in your information once to get listed with multiple yellow pages sites, directories and social networking/review sites. Saves time and effort but may be slower than going direct with the individual sites (see Localeze and InfoUSA below as well)
5) Yahoo Local
Yahoo’s local directory tied to Yahoo Maps.
Business listings, event listings, coupons and reviews.
One of the most authoritative local directories.
8) Bing Local
Bing’s local business listing service tied integrated with maps of cities and towns.
Some SEO’s recommend creating classifieds for your business on popular classified sites such as Craigslist. There’s some disagreement over whether this is effective from an SEO point of view.
Convenient way to identify where you’re listed (and where you’re not) in major directories. Provides referrals to Universal Business Listings and Localeze as well as consultants (if you need extra help).
11) dmoz (Open Diretory Project)
A free and authoritative index (in the eyes of Google) that is managed by volunteers. If you can get your business listed, this helps with an authoritative backlink (but not necessarily a local citation). It can be difficult to get a new listing due ot the limited resources and large volumes of submissions.
One of the many Internet Yellow Pages directories (IYP). Includes business listings, people search, reviews and local deals.
A multiple local listing service.
A multiple local listings service.
15) Your local Chamber of Commerce
Joining your local chamber of commerce or can often get you a business listing (and a citation for local SEO purposes).
Local directory and rating site
17) Merchant Circle
Local directory and rating site
18) Best of the Web
A popular directory with free and paid listing options – specifically for local, they have a Best of the Web Local directory
Internet yellow pages (also YP.com)
Business.com provides business information but also has a business directory.
Business review site (like Yelp)
22) Better Business Bureau
Your local Better Business Bureaus usually charge for membership and provide a link to your business.
Business and people directory
A major source of data for various yellowpages and directories – they don’t take business submissions like some of the other data providers or multiple local listings services.
25) Your local newspaper’s Website
Getting an article, business listing or classified ad optimized with your local information and a link can provide a citation for your business.
Internet yellow pages
A business directory with free and fairly inexpensive paid listing options
A listing of technology companies that is user-generated
29) Angie’s List
Service provider directory
30) Judy’s Book
Local review site
Business people and company directory
US and Canadian business directory
Local directory with ratings
Wiki-based directory of places including schools, businesses, and more – laid out on maps
Local business directory with ratings
Business and people listings.
A straightforward internet yellow pages directory
People and business listings
Local business listings and ratings
Local business listings and ratings
Vote for favorite businesses
Local business listings
Local listings and ratings
Social networking and review site (like Yelp)
International social networking and review site
Social networking and review site
Pictures associated with maps. Geotag images, upload to Panoramio and add them to your Google Places listings.
Business directory, including featured listings (with additional content such as videos, pictures)
Business journal that includes business directories for certain US cities
Online store listings and coupons
Products, services or business listings
Business directory – seems to have sparse listings
Network of international business directories
Places and events for cities and towns, including ratings
Personal branding site
Database of people and companies
Wiki-based business directory
Yellow pages/local directory
61) Fast Pitch Network
Online business networking site
62) City Slick
Free business directory
63) Busiverse (also businessdb)
A general directory
65) Service Magic
Directory of service companies (includes a “seal of approval”)
66) Local forums
Forums focused on local areas
67) Mcrae’s Blue Book
Directory of service providers
Directory focused on the U.S.
County street maps
71) Google Custom Maps
“Create personalized, annotated, customized maps using Google Maps”. Listing businesses in custom maps may help them in ranking for local search.
72) Yellowee (formerly Genie Knows)
Local review site
Ask.com’s local directory
Billed as International Yellow Pages (including multi-lingual listings)
75) Discover Our Town
“the ultimate US travel, tourism and relocation guide”
That about rounds them up. All the above directories are listed by importance. I recommend that you start from the top, and work your way down. It’s best to not miss any of these. Keep in mind, all the above listings are not free. I hope you didn’t expect them to be. If you found something that I missed, please let me know in the comments section below.
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