Do a search of your company on Google and Bing. Now do another one for a keyword search in the local area based on the services you provide. Is your business ranked on every listing for the first page? If not, you may be missing some key components to your ranking algorithm: citations and business listings.
Citations are mentions of your business name and address on other webpages. It doesn’t have to have a direct link. Online yellow page directories, local business pages, and local chamber of commerce pages are perfect examples of this. A business with a greater number of citations will most likely rank higher in search engines than those without.
Think of citations as the social proof a search engine needs to prove you are who you say you are. They validate your company, and prove that your business is part of a local community. If you find that information isn’t accurate, contact the administrator of the site to start the corrective process.
A business listing gives quality, direct traffic to both your website and your business location. It provides your hours of operation, contact information (to include business number), and other pertinent details that a potential customer or client may need.
The information in your business listings must be accurate and up-to-date with current hours, events, etc. If you have multiple listings, please note that most search engines won’t be sure which one to show. Some places, like Yelp, will let others create a business location page for your company if you don’t already have one. Keep that in mind. Data aggregation (the compilation of data) can occur on any listing, so you definitely want the best one to go out to all the different sites and search results. Contact the originating site (like Yelp, for instance) to get any duplicates removed.
Make sure you have all business information updated across all social media platforms. You won’t want conflicting hours of operation or business addresses between Google My Business and your Facebook Business Page.
The information you provide is key to search engine success. Know where to find your business online, and you’ll control the reins of your reputation.
Owner, Director of Social Media and
Partner Management at Top Hat