When you look at the way your business appears on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages and other top business directories, do they all look the same? If you’re like a lot of small businesses, chances are the answer is probably no. This is a common issue we see all the time, and it could be harming your local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts, as well as confusing potential customers. A few of your business listings may have the incorrect phone number, a different business name or an old address. All of these seemingly small factors can cause big trouble. At Revved Business, we’re happy to share why having the correct business information everywhere your company appears online is important, and the steps you can take to manage your local citations.
How to Manage Your Local Citations
It’s important to understand that a local citation is any mention of your company’s business name, address and phone number online—typically in a business directory like Yelp or Superpages for example. Local citations provide Google and other search engines with credible sources of information about your business. This allows these search engines to determine whether or not your business is still operational, how reputable you are and what the correct business information is for your company. Basically, it uses multiple data sources to verify your business information rather than relying on just a single site.
There are three main parts to your local citation: business name, business phone number and business address. Typically for your phone number, the only way to make it inconsistent is if you change your phone number and don’t update your listings everywhere. Or if another company used to own your phone number. The business name and address are usually the most common areas business make mistakes. Another common problem is duplicate business listings. This is where your business appears more than once in the same directory, often with slightly different business information. And the longer you’ve been in the business, the messier your local citations tend to get. Having the accurate local citations means that your customers can get the correct information about your company on any business directory they use. It also makes a difference in your search rankings.
Correcting the problem
Unfortunately, most businesses never realize they have inconsistent business listings, so they never get corrected. Or, they know they have some incorrect listings but aren’t sure how to go about fixing them all. While there are plenty of tools to assist you with managing your local citations, the only way to truly fix all of your business listings is to do it manually. Manually fixing local citations is a time consuming task, and it involves a lot of account creation and emailing back and forth. For some listings, it could be as simple as creating an account and updating your information. For others, you may have to verify your business information over the phone or send emails. In the end, this tedious process is the only way to fix certain listings.
Learn More about Local Citations
Overall, the best solution is to be as organized as possible with your local citations from the start. Store your logins for any accounts you make for online business directories. If you’d like assistance managing your local citations, we’re here to help.