Now that we are reminded that marketing a business on the Internet follows traditional marketing principles, we know from organic search engine optimization that links are very important for ranking and now I am telling you that citations from highly relevant sources are also important. So I guess the question becomes what is the difference between a citation and a link. Let’s take a look.
Citations are merely Web references of the company in question. When referencing a company online, there are certain pieces of information that are important to reference such as the company name, it’s address and its unique local phone number. We learned this was a N .A .P. for name, address, and phone number.
On occasion, search engines and these data providers collect information from public sources and while it’s not as important to ensure that these public sources are accurate, is worthy noting that when dealing with these other sources that you provide them with identical NAP information. For example, when a business requires a business phone number from the local telephone provider, typically they automatically receive insert into their Yellow Pages and upsell ad space. The information provided to the telephone provider should be exactly the same as you would in your Google places account. This is a source of information for Google that they trust.
Local Citation Sources
Following is a list of data providers that search engines pull information from, because as we’ve discussed Google Places is merely data aggregator. While there are other data providers evidence has clearly indicated that these are the top data providers that Google pulls is information from in these following seven data providers you should check and ensure that the formatting of your NAP is identical from provider to provider.
Major Search Engines
- Google Places
- Yahoo Local
- Bing Local
- Facebook Places
Major Data Providers
Secondary Data Providers & Portals
- Best of the Web Local
- Merchant Circle
- Angies’ List
- Judy’s Book
- Geo Directories
- Theme Directories
- AOL Local Search
On occasion, search engines and these data providers collect information from public sources and while it’s not as important to ensure that these public sources are accurate, it’s worth noting that when dealing with these other sources that you provide them with identical NAP information.
These other sources may include company annual reports, SEC information, federal state and city governments, various business magazines, newspapers and local publications, and Postal Service information.
Of course these public sources are typically for larger firms. As an internal rule of thumb, when a client provides us with over $1000 per month in revenue, we will look at public sources.
- Annual Reports
- depending on the state, once a business reaches certain revenue mark, or if the business is public, annual reports are published. This is good content to get exposed and perhaps the company blog or a partner’s blog. The annual report should be available for download in PDF format and the business NAP should remain consistent.
- SEC Information
- The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation. Located at www.sec.gov is a website to acquire information about a business. Confirm listings here and NAP.
- Federal, State and City Governments
- When registering your company, you must have it registered with the state, feds and your local business directories. Confirm your NAP in all of these sources
- Business Magazines
- Industry and theme magazines are always looking for theme related high quality content. These are sources you can create positive content to help your online exposure
- Local Newspapers & Local Publications
- In the next video, we’re going to uncover how to find and look for local newspapers and publications to get your content published in.
- Postal Service Information
- Ensure the post office is using the same NAP that you have established.
Continued part two of this post “Citation Acquisition Strategies for Online Marketing“
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