Google Places – How to Find Citation Sources

We’ve been discussing the importance of citations when it comes to local business listings, especially Google Maps and Google Local Business Center.  Today we will discuss how to find more sources on which to get your business cited.  Remember that consistency is king in local SEO and your citations need to be the same across the board for them do have the most success.

Free Self-Listings

The first step is to get your business listed on as many sites as possible that allow you to add your own citation.  These include Yahoo, Yellowpages.com, 411.com, infospace, anywho and dozens of other major, popular sites.   There’s no excuse for not taking advantage of these free listings.  The major sites are also rumored to carry more importance when it comes to Google page rankings so get started going down that list.  In a future article I will add a list of other possible citation sources.

Keyword Searches

The next step is to get on Google and the other search engines and start searching using all the relevant terms a potential customer might use to search for your type of business.  Don’t pay so much attention to the local listings that will appear at the top of the page in the Google Places 7 Box, but rather focus on the more generalized listings further down.  These are often niche results that contain directories to a specific type of business.  For example, if you are an automotive shop in Scottsdale, AZ.  A search for “automotive in Scottsdale” might return a link to the Scottsdale Classic Car Association.  This would be a site worthy of investigation since many such sites allow free business listings for a particular niche.  Often just one or two simple searches can turn up several such sites and message boards on which you can secure a citation.  And don’t be shy when contacting them-pick up the phone, use their contact form.  You can’t get what you don’t ask for.

Competitor Analysis

If you notice that a competitor is consistently ranking above you in the local listings, you should suspect that their citation base is bigger than yours.  There are several tools you can use to analyze and backtrack their citations and then attempt to get yourself listed also.

The old fashioned or manual way to track these citations is to simply check their listing on the Google Maps page.  Simply enter a search term that you would enter for your business and observe the hits that pop up.  To the right of the listing you will see “more info”.  Click on this to be taken to the details page of the listing.  Here you will see things such as details, reviews, nearby places, etc.  At the bottom of the page you will see “more about this place” and below that will be a number of links.  Each of those links represents a site where Google found a citation to the business.  Check the citations and then attempt to get your business listed there as well.

The new fashioned way to do the same analysis is to incorporate competitive analysis software.  It basically does the same thing you are doing manually but automates the process and designs a tidy list of websites where your competitors have citations along with some other pertinent data.  If your competitors have a large number of citations this software can make the process of competitive analysis a lot simpler.  We have ‘rolled our own software’ but I will review and detail some software that is publicly available to help you with this process.

As I have said before the key to getting above your competitors and making more next month than you have ever made before is to know what to do and then to do it.  While I can’t [won't] reveal everything we do to get our clients top ranking in Google and top ranking in Google Places 7 Box getting citations is an important part. Our Google Places Citation Service is a surefire way to catapult your results.

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  3. Dave October 1, 2010 | reply
    where and what is the automation software for citations?
  4. Jim October 30, 2010 | reply
    I want to thanks a lot you for presenting this content. I have just learned how to use the world wide web and am just catching up to these young whippersnappers.
  5. Deen February 8, 2011 | reply
    Nice website, keep it up
  6. Zeds May 1, 2011 | reply
    classified websites work as citations? yellow pages?
    • admin May 1, 2011 | reply
      The best answer is that it depends re classified websites. Yellow pages, usually yes.
  7. Doug May 11, 2011 | reply
    Thanks for sharing the information about citations and how to improve a Google Places listing.
  8. John June 16, 2011 | reply
    Not having much luck in a small town with few competitors. I can't make my google place show unless I look on the map to where we are exactly located.
    • localseo.org June 28, 2011 | reply
      John, You need more citations, perhaps get your Places Page optimized and possibly some work to your website.
  9. Matt June 16, 2011 | reply
    I was wondering if the best citation sources are paid or free?
    • localseo.org June 28, 2011 | reply
      "Best" is hard to say. Many are free, some are paid. Our citation service offers many paid ones that otherwise would cost $300/year for free as part of that service. You can read more here: http://localseo.org/google-places-ranking
  10. Genesis September 2, 2011 | reply
    I wish more people would write sites like this that are actually interesting to read. With all the garbage floating around on the net, it is a great change of pace to read a site like yours instead.

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