If your company has been in business for any length of time, you likely have citations scattered around the internet. These could have been created by you or an employee, a hired SEO company, data aggregators or even customers. Regardless of how they were created, there’s a good chance that the citations contain inaccuracies. These inaccuracies will have a painfully negative impact on your local SEO efforts.
So What is a Citation?
It is any place on the web where your company’s name, address, phone number and website are listed. Common citation sources are web directories such as: Dekknows.com, Yellowbook.com and Yelp, among many others. These directories will have your aforementioned company details and likely some information about your business practices. The name, address and phone number is known as NAP in the SEO world. For more information on citations, read What are Local SEO Citations?.
Create Good Citations
When creating your NAP, make sure you’re consistent across all citation sources. You want to use your full, legal company or DBA name in its entirety. Also, use your local phone number rather than 800 or call tracking numbers. Finally, if the citation’s source lets you link to your homepage, make sure you use the same homepage address across all channels.
How to Get Started?
First you want to check your Google+ business page and make sure the NAP is correct. The Google+ page will be your template on how other citations should appear.
Now you need to find all your NAP citations. There are two ways to do this:
The Hard Way
Start by creating a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to track everything you find. Google your phone number and record all the URLs in the spreadsheet. Next, do this with your company name and any abbreviations or shortenings your company might be known as and note the URLs. Last, search your current and previous business addresses. With the searches complete, remove duplicate URLs from the spreadsheet. This time intensive, so make sure to set aside at least a few hours for the task, if not a few days.
Free Citation Report
The other option is to contact us and we’ll draft you a free citation report and e-mail it to you. The process normally takes a day to two to complete and comes with no hidden fees.
Fixing Inaccurate Citations
Once you have all your citation sources, check each one for accuracy. In the spreadsheet, you want to record your NAP listed on each URL, then go through and check for inconsistencies. Always refer back to your Google+ NAP to ensure uniformity.
Now you can start the manual outreach to fix incorrect citations. Most of the larger sites have forms you can complete to correct and update your information corrected. Also, most of them have customer support that you can call and they might be able to help you. For some of the smaller or obscure sites this may require you sending a couple e-mails to the webmaster requesting they correct the information. This may require multiple e-mails and a little bit investigative work and often takes months of effort.
Cleaning up your local citations can be a time-consuming challenge. However you will be rewarded well for the effort. A clean and accurate citation portfolio will greatly help increase your local SEO Denver rankings.
On the other hand, you could just have us handle all your citation fixes if you want. Contact us for more information.