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 online 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 online 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
- Professional organizations
- Local Chambers of Commerce
- Yellow Pages
- Google My Business
- Local Meet Ups
- Various Networking Associations – examples: WWBN, E-women
- Social Media Platforms
While some of the above entails 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 per cent provided only a first name – How does this help other members know who they are?
- About 10 per cent do not provide a face-on picture – How will other members recognize them?
- About 20 per cent 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 per cent 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
- Use the same professional face-on picture across all listings;
- Always provide a link to the business website;
- Always state the name of the business;
- Tell how prospects would recognize themselves – What you do for prospects and the benefits they receive, who you do it for;
- Ensure all your listings provide the same information;
- Create a document that contains all of your citation information for quick and easy copy/paste;
- Create a list of all the online places you are listed, date implemented, updated and reviewed.
- Review each site at least annually to ensure information is current.
Mindset Monday Challenge
Do a review of all your online listings. Are they consistent? Is there some work required here?