Now more than ever, consumers are using the Internet to find local businesses, products and services. The growth of mobile and local search is making it imperative for small businesses to have more than just an online presence. You need to be listed online to be found.
A key component to being found in a local search is making sure your primary business data (name, address, phone number) and secondary business data (hours, payment methods, etc.) are accurate and up-to-date across numerous online directories.
Your Primary Business Data: Citations
Your primary business data—name, address, phone number—are known as citations. A citation is any mention of your business name, address and phone in local search engine directories such as Google+ Local, Yahoo! Local, and Bing Local.
Citations are the local search equivalent of inbound links—the more, the better.
Besides search engine directories, there are hundreds of local directories (or aggregators) that people use to find local businesses, such as Yelp, Superpages, City Search, Angie’s List, Merchant Circle, Foursquare, and our local search portal, Yellowone.
The more places your business information is consistently listed, the better your chances of being found in a local search. More listings means Google and other search engines can be more confident that your business actually exists and that the information they provide to searchers is accurate.
Unfortunately, the ‘do-it-yourself’ nature of Internet market means managing your listings across dozens or hundreds of local directories and portals … more than most business owners can handle—which is why most don’t. Many feel their time is best spent managing what they do know—their own business—and letting the experts handle their marketing.
Having accurate and up-to-date business listings is a key ingredient in a recovery search, where users are trying to recover the name, address, or phone number of a business they already know. But it doesn’t help you to be found in a discovery search, where users are looking for a specific type of business within a given area, such as ‘pizza columbus oh.’ Only a complete local search solution increases your likelihood of being found in both types of local searches.
Get Listed. Get Found.
Want to get listed on dozens of highly-trafficked local search websites, IYPs, and mobile devices? Our network partners include local search portals like Yelp, Yahoo!, MapQuest, City Search, Foursquare, Superpages, Yellowbook, and Yellowone, and get over 150 million unique visitors every month. Contact us today.