Citations are one of the ways search engines measure you as a business. A Citation is simply a mention of your business in a standard format called a NAP, or Name, Address, Phone Number. It will look like this:
Premier Painting Service
123 Main St
Atlanta, GA, 30303
The important thing to remember is that you need to keep the whole NAP the same as much as possible everywhere on the web. This can be easier said than done, since sites that gather that information get it from different sources, even public records like licenses and incorporation records. Just like links, citations from good sources are worth more to your ranking position than citations from spammy, irrelevant sites.
Surprisingly, I’ve done analysis on some companies that are really successful, been in business for years, and have very few citations at all!
Focus first on two main spots, your website, where the NAP should be on every page to help Google know where you do your work, and your Google Places page.
Start with your Google Places page, if you have one. Look at the address they show for you, and use it if its accurate. Its worth it to change the NAP on your website before you mess with the Google Places listing, because it takes a few weeks to get Google to update your listing, and changing the address triggers an automatic verification period.
After that, you are ready to move on to the rest of the web! Sound like a huge challenge? It’s not, because there is a great FREE tool that I love that will help you analyze your NAP, find where it is already, and where its not, and even give you a “to do” list to get it all in order.
Here’s the first place you should stop when it comes to your local rankings.
This is an incredibly easy tool to use, although some of the work it leads to is more difficult. Getlisted has most of the major data aggregators on them that are important to most businesses. You shouldn’t skip any of these, but as a contractor, there’s probably 10-15 more that I would also include, such as Angies List, Brownbook, Kudzu, and others.
Make sure that you start with these major data aggregators on Getlisted.org, and keep track of the data you enter. I have a template you can use to store all the information on each site, like the password, email used, etc. as well as your progress on each one. I’ve played around with color coding the ones that make sense for contractors, so work on all the colored ones first.
It’s always important to understand the principle behind what Google is trying to accomplish, so make sure that you…
Read the rest of Marketing Tools for Painting Companies-Listing Citations