Have you ever done a Google search for the name of your business? Were you surprised to find your business listed on all sorts of websites that you’ve never had anything to do with? These listings are referred to as citations:
Citations are defined as “mentions” of your business name and address on other webpages, even if there is no link to your website. An example of a citation might be an online yellow pages directory where your business is listed, but not linked to. It can also be a local chamber of commerce, or a local business association where your business information can be found, even if they are not linking at all to your website . You may also see the term “web references” used on other websites—a synonym for “citations”. ~GetListed
You can claim as many of these listings as you can. Some citations will be social media sites like Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, or Yelp. Other citations are just simply a listing of your business. If you verify ownership or even initially submit the information, your business will rank higher in search engines and be more easily discovered.
To claim your listings, there are a few key directories of several listings each. You’ll want to be near your business email and business telephone for about an hour to claim these. Changes can take up to a few months to entirely work through the system.
- Whitespark – this won’t display as much a list of sites to claim but will show you what your competitors are listed on
It is important to get your business listed on all these places, and later to seek positive reviews from happy customers. Make claiming your business online a top priority.