Cognitive Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg

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Local Business Listings And The Importance Of Citations

Local Business Listing CitationsSearch Engines certainly are not able to make things too easy for the local business. I don’t blame them entirely, because spammers can get advantage of search engines very quickly and easily. Spammers and other fraudulent websites tend to be the terrorist of the Internet. Needless to say, the actions of a few tend to make it difficult for everyone else.

You would think that all you need to do is claim, update and manage your local listing with the search engine and other local listing websites. That certainly would be the easy thing to do, however, whether your local business listing will be ranked on search results or within other local business listing search results is dependent upon a few other factors.

The good news is that it is not as complicated as search engine optimization (SEO) and understanding the technical and non-technical intricacies of getting your website ranked organically within the top ten search results. There are five items on the to do list.

1. Claim your local business listing at the various local listing websites.

2. Update your local business listing with information about your business, product and services. Include photos, videos, coupons, discounts, offers, promotions.

3. Maintain and manage your local business listing regularly with changes within your business, products and services (If anyone thinks that this is not an issue today, they may be right, but you can bet this will be added soon enough).

4. Get customers to post reviews about your business, products and services on your local business listing. You can suggest they post their review at one or multiple local listing websites, however, the local consumer will ultimately be the one to decide which and how many of the local listing websites they are will to submit their reviews.

5. Get citations about your business around the web, outside of your local business listing.

The first four items I’m sure are easy enough to understand, however, the last one introduces a new terminology to “optimizing” your local business listing.

If you are familiar with the concept of link popularity and inbound links, then you will understand citations. The only difference is that there isn’t an actual link coming back to your local listing. Citations (may also be called “web references”) are publicly available “mentions” of your business name and address on other websites. This information helps search engines validate your business.

For example, Google will seek out a citation about your business on InfoUSA, Localeze, and Yelp to mention a few. You local chamber of commerce directory that they make available on their website with your business information would also count.

Citations help validate your business is part of a local community. It’s difficult to fake membership in a chamber of commerce, or a business index, or be written about in a local online newspaper or popular blog. Citations help your local business listing become ranked among other local listings in a search result.

Part of this process is to be sure your business name and address information is consistent from one website to another. After all we are talking about computers and computers need data to be exactly alike in order to identify the information to be the same. The consistency would need to include your business description, name, address, phone number, website, and email address. Get into the habit of keeping this information handy so that you can copy and paste easily enough from one website to another or from one directory to another.

If you feel that maintaining your local business listing is time consuming or outside of your expertise to manage at all the various local listing websites, there is help out there. As with most local and small businesses, your time resources are limited and your expertise does not lie in the management of Internet marketing of your business. For this reason low cost local listing management services are provided by SmartFinds Internet Marketing through their SmartFinds Local Listing service is your choice. You will find this to be of great benefit and the low cost will help you potentially eliminate your yellow page ad costs. Let the experts of 15 years Internet marketing experience help you.


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More Stories By Melih Oztalay

I have over 20 years of experience in developing successful, efficient and strategic web marketing and advertising solutions for businesses. Working through an entrepreneurial framework, I have focused on business development, sales, execution, and management. Combining solid knowledge of marketing and advertising with information technology, I have been successful in being able to apply digital technologies to the needs of businesses. As an early adopter of new ideas and technology, my clients are able to benefit from imaginative and effective programs that keep them ahead of their competition.

The Company

Smartfinds is a digital marketing agency working with national and global corporate clients including domestic and off-shore franchise operations with their online marketing efforts. We offer a number of core competencies including web marketing research, analysis, strategies, and tactics; website development and SEO; organic search engine marketing with content marketing and social media marketing; Google AdWords advertising including pay-per-click; Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools interpretation; Local Store Marketing including customer ratings and reviews management; and more.

Our entrepreneurial business approach employs open-mind creativity and early-adopter assertiveness along with in-depth planning for business growth. Our goal is to be a strategic partner with our clients focused on increasing traffic to the website, business growth, generate leads, increase sales and revenues.

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