Part 2 – Optimizing Your Citations

Travis Van SlootenSmall Business SEO

As promised, the second part of a three part series to help business owners improve their Google Places Optimization.

Citations

Work on your citations while waiting on the Google verification PIN number to come in the mail. Citations are instances where there is a mention about your business which includes your business address, phone number, company website, and information about your products or services. Typically this information is located in business directories.

  • We typically start our citation creation with Super Pages since they actually check the address with the postal service and make sure that the address is accurate.

Other great places to list your company and get high quality citations:

These are our preferred places to build citations for our clients and when we build and optimize a Google Places page for clients based in the United States:

  • Insider Pages
  • Merchant Circle
  • YouTube
  • Super Pages

Aside from our preferred websites, there are other websites that you can use to build your company’s citations.

  • Manta
  • Dexknows
  • Yellow Pages
  • Yellow Book
  • Yellow Bot
  • Magic Yellow
  • Info USA
  • City Search
  • Foursquare
  • Yelp
  • Local.com
  • ShopCity
  • Angie’s List
  • Judy’s Book
  • Hot Frog
  • Merchant Circle
  • Localeze
  • Kudzu
  • AVVO

Canadian companies have a different set of preferred places for placing citations on the internet.

  • Better Business Bureau
  • Connector Local
  • Yellow Pages
  • Canpages
  • 411.ca
  • WorldWeb
  • Allpages
  • CanLinks
  • Yelp
  • Scott’s Info
  • Gold Book
  • Profile Canada
  • Shop In Canada
  • Found Locally
  • Canada Web Directory
  • CanadaOne
  • eSourceCanada

Customers who have businesses in the United Kingdom are better off using a different set of websites for citations.

  • Infoserve
  • Yahoo Local UK (Yahoo Local will get the information placed on Infoserve)
  • Market Location
  • Qype
  • Local Data Company

Other places to get citations on the internet for businesses in the United Kingdom are included in the list below.

  • Scoot
  • Yell.com
  • Bview
  • Thompson Local
  • Brownbook.net
  • UK Cities
  • Applegate
  • Touchlocal
  • Smile Local
  • UFindUs
  • Yelp.co.uk
  • Tipped
  • Trusted Places

Citations Specifically For Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants:

  • Fancy A Pint
  • Square Meal
  • Hotel Guide

Citations For Businesses in London

  • Spoonfed
  • London Town
  • All in London
  • Visit London
  • London Online
  • View London
  • Timeout

Companies located in Australia have some options for building their online citations as well. There are a number of websites you could use listed below.

  • InfoLink.com.au
  • Hotfrog.com.au
  • Aussieweb.com.au
  • Yahoo Local Australia
  • Yellow Pages Australia
  • Atozpages.com.au
  • Yellow Pages Australia
  • Start Local
  • Rayv.com.au
  • TrueLocal.com.au

The suggestions that we have made for websites that you can get citations for your company are by no means your only options. There are additional local directories and local review websites that we will build citations for our clients as well. You should always build as many as you can before you create your Google Places page.

Video Citations

The idea of creating Video Citations is often overlooked, but is another important part of building citations for your business. You can use YouTube to place videos about your business and get a citation out of it by placing your business information including the company name and address, in the description box when you post the video on YouTube.

Aside from YouTube, you can get other Video Citations on websites like Vimeo or Daily Motion. On both of these websites, you want to be sure to include the business information in the description of the video when you upload it as well.

How to build citations that will help you outrank your local competition:

  1. Look at your keywords and your keyword phrases and decide which ones are your top three.
  2. Using Google Places, search for each of your top three keywords or phrases and your location. Look at the first seven results that come up in Google Places.
  3. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of the places that each of the top seven businesses for each of your keywords or phrases uses for citations.
  4. Go through the spreadsheet and the information that you gathered and build a citation on each of the websites that your competition has a citation on. You may find that some of the citations you have found for your competition are on paid listing websites. It is your choice as to whether you would like to pay to post on the paid sites.
  5. If the keywords that you have chosen are extremely competitive, you will need to go one step further and use your keywords in conjunction with large cities in the country your business is located in. As an example, you may want to use Chicago or Los Angeles if you are in the United States. Just as you did with the local businesses, collect the citation information for the top seven businesses in that city for each of your keywords. Then go through and build citations for your business on the websites that those businesses have citations on. What this will do is create a truly different list of citations that should separate your business from the competition in your area.

Always be cautious when you are creating your citations. Absolutely everything about certain pieces of information that you put in about your business has to match between citations and with the information placed on your Google Places page or the citations that you have been made for your company may not end up being noted on your Google Places page and will not help to increase your Google Places page’s rankings.

The pieces of information that must match exactly are:

  • Your Business Name
  • Your Business Address
  • Your Business Phone Number
  • Your Website Address

One last note on building citations on directories and review websites: you should never try to “stuff” keywords into the listings that you create on these third party sites as citations. This is against the terms of service on almost all of these directory and review websites to begin with, but Google can also reduce the effect of your citations on your Google Places ranking if they identify any keyword stuffing going on with your citations and they may reduce what they call your “local authority boost” when they return search results to your potential customers.