10 Best Citation Practices In 2020
What Is A Citation?
A citation is simply the mention of your business name, telephone number, and address, which is made available online. One of the most common citations that you receive is by creating business social media accounts, review sites account, and online business directories.
But why does your business need a citation online?
Well, it’s always a great idea to add exposure to future clients and deals.
As a local business, you need to create local citations building to find more growth opportunities. Nothing is better opportunity trove than online web directories and social media forums. Most citations appear without the owner’s intervention. Here in this article, you will learn about the ten best citation practices for local businesses.
10. Know where to put your citations
You can submit your citations online in three different categories. The first one is via major local citations platforms such as Acxiom, Infogroup, and Google My Business. Your next option is via industry-specific platforms such as Yelp (for restaurants) and even in Google reviews. Last but not least, you can submit your citation on other media publications such as maps, news sites, and blogs. Take note that there are listings that need owner-verification, which means you can’t pass the job to another person.
9. Claim your business citations
The business owner makes not all citations you can find on the internet. Some are contributed by someone who loves the brand or the local business. As an owner, consider claiming those listings whenever possible. This way, you can edit your citations, add or remove information, and make sure that your information is all accurate.
8. Avoid duplicate listings
If possible, avoid getting duplicate listing citations in one site. You might encounter incidents where you try to submit your information for a listing only to find out that your business is already listed in a web directory. This would be disastrous if you happen to have changed your address and phone number. Multiple listings might create confusion for potential customers and even business partners.
7. Keep track of your citations
When building local citations, you might find yourself getting overwhelmed with a lot of user credentials for each site. To make sure that you maximize all the chances that you got, you might want to make a worksheet that keeps track of places where you submitted a citation. You can also store your citations and login credentials in the worksheet, but you have to make sure to put a password to the file to keep it secure. This will come in handy if you need to change critical information such as phone numbers, websites, and your business address.
6. Check before you submit
It won’t hurt to check your information before you submit your citations. Most directories usually support autofill tools such as Chrome Autofill or LastPass. However, there are times when these tools put the wrong information in the wrong category. Don’t forget to also check out the extra details, such as keywords, photos, and descriptions. Human readers might fill-up the blanks for missing information, but Google’s bots wouldn’t. This might cause some miscategorization in the bot’s part because of missing parameters. Make sure that you don’t mess up the Name, address, phone, and website as these are the most important information.
5. Don’t forget to put the citation on your website
A lot of business owners focus on third party citations that they forget to put one on their website. Even on your website, check out the information that you provide. Your website is the most authoritative representation of your company and brand. It would be pretty embarrassing if a prospective client or business partner dialed the number from your site only to be told that they’re calling the wrong number. If you need to change your information, change your website citation first before anywhere else.
4. Check on other search engines
Google is the clear winner when it comes to search engine results. Almost all the people on the internet use the Google search engine to search for the things or information they need regularly. However, Google is not the only search engine out there. It is recommended to also check on other core engines such as Bing and Apple Maps because these places are still possible client sources.
3. Hunt for incorrect citations
It’s essential always to have the correct information presented online. While contributors must’ve submitted citations for your business out of patronage, these submissions might become your headache when presented with wrong information. A great way to hunt for incorrect citations is to Google your business number. Is it connected to your business, or there’s someone related to it? Perhaps, is there a popular listing that uses a misspelled business name? Google your business email as well, and make sure your contacts on each listing are correct.
2. Only use a business email
Personal and business matters should be separate. This also applies to your citations and listings. Most email service providers, such as Google, provides more security features and additional services for business accounts. One of the best reasons to get a business email is that you can use your domain name if you have one. Not to mention that business emails are more professional looking than a regular email address.
1. Work on citations personally
Submitting citations on multiple sites is a tedious job. However, as a business owner, you should do this task. Sure, you can hire somebody else to submit the listings for you, but the possible mistakes and their effects are enough reasons to think things through. But if you’re busy and don’t have time for the citations, make sure that you entrust the task to someone with a citation-building experience.