What Do Citations Do?

A recent Moz post  defined citations as “mentions of your business name and address on other webpages – even if there is no link to your website.”  What do citations do?  They serve the purpose of validating that the business is real and are a key component of on-line rankings.
Solopreneurs need to consider the best places to list their business as part of their marketing plan so that they get this ranking juice.  They also need to provide business details so that on-line searchers know who they are and what they do AND they must provide a link back to their website wherever possible.

On-Line Places to get listed

While some of the above entail a membership or listing fee, others are completely free.
As an organizer for MeetUps for two local networking groups (consisting of mainly solopreneurs), I have conducted a review of over 400 member listings. Here’s what I found:
  • About 40{b7e7048532d1a8624ac961ac8cb7ac8430a1a69fc3cc1e773ca58fd467a5e49b} provided only a first name  – How does this help other members know who they are?
  • About 10 {b7e7048532d1a8624ac961ac8cb7ac8430a1a69fc3cc1e773ca58fd467a5e49b} do not provide a face-on picture – How will other members recognize them?
  • About 20{b7e7048532d1a8624ac961ac8cb7ac8430a1a69fc3cc1e773ca58fd467a5e49b} put no details about their business at all – This communicates they are not serious about their business or are just not organized.
  • Most did not state their business name – How would Google handle this?
  • A full 80{b7e7048532d1a8624ac961ac8cb7ac8430a1a69fc3cc1e773ca58fd467a5e49b} did not include a link to their website in the introduction details – How could other members support them if they cannot be found?
  • I observed one person who had joined 77 MeetUps with only a picture, first name and a three word phrase about her business.  What results was she expecting?

 How to Make the Most of Citations

  1. Use the same professional face-on picture across all listings;
  2. Always provide a link to the business website;
  3. Always state the name of the business;
  4. Tell how prospects would recognize themselves – What you do for prospects and the benefits they receive, who you do it for;
  5. Ensure all your listings provide the same information;
  6. Create a document that contains all of your citation information for quick and easy copy/paste;
  7. Create a list of all the on-line places you are listed, date implemented, updated and reviewed.
  8. Review each site at least annually to ensure information is current.

Mindset Monday Challenge

Do a review of all your on-line listings.  Are they consistent?  Is there some work required here?
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