Ideas that helped us build 100k+ citations for our clients in less than 24 months.
While generic directories will give you a decent start to your citation building activities, it is important that you submit your business to niche or industry specific directories that can give you higher value citations. There are many directories focused on specific industries like Home Improvement, Health, Legal etc.
To discover niche directories, search in Google for keywords like "home improvement directory" or "dental directory" by including your industry name in the search term.
Here's a list to get you started.
There are directories and blogs for specific locations - as broad as region (Northwest, Southern) and as specific as locality (Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York City).
Being listed in the smallest ones allows interaction with your direct neighbours and community while the larger ones have more reach.
You can find location specific directories by searching for "city + directory", "county + directory" or "state + directory" on Google.
Another great way to build citations is by looking at where your competitors are getting their citations from; in many cases, they may be getting listed in new sources you're not listed on where it makes sense for you to get added.
You can find your competitors' citations by following these methods:
1. Search in Google for your competitors' business name + location; Use something like LinkGopher to extract all of the places your competitors are listed on. You can de-dupe this list to find a list of new sources to get listed on.
2. Google your competitor's telephone number / address / website domain name and put their site as a negative keyword (-site:competitorswebsite.com) to see where these show up other than their site.
3. Reverse image search their original images (like their logo, online mascot or promotional material) using either Google Image Reverse Search or TinyEye to see sites they're on.
4. You can also use tools like Ahrefs or Backlink Watch to find backlinks to their site.
Online classifieds sites are also a great way of building more citations. Each classified posting you make can be a citation.
You can also use the Classifieds maintained by your local publications. They will usually be an inexpensive way to advertise and create brand awareness for local readership.
Just be sure to add your NAP information to every classified posting you make.
You can get started with Craigslist and Locanto.
Use Google to find a list of mentions of your business name and website. Contact the websites that have mentioned and see if they'll add your NAP data within the mention.
You can find your mention by following these methods:
A. Search for different combinations of your business name and use wildcards.
B. Search for different variations of your website name (without http, with http, with or without www)
C. Search for your N, A or P solo to see if there are mentions you can convert to full citations
D. You can also use a tool like Mention or Google Alerts to keep consistent track of your mentions to convert these to citations.
You can modify old or defunct citations to improve on your citation count. If a website has already cited an old address of your
business, chances are, they will change this to a new address if requested to do so. Also, it's generally a good idea to have a clean citation profile across the web.
A. Run your existing and old business addresses on a tool like Synup or Moz Local.
B. Find websites that have cited you and edit these profiles if possible
C. Contact sites where you cannot directly edit / claim listings
D. Use a tool like Whitespark to search for your old citation information to find tons of unstructured citations you can edit
E. If all else fails, you can always use google search with different combinations of you old NAPs to find new citation sources!
You can add geo-tagged photos to various photo sharing sites that accept these to convert them into citations.
You can find your mention by following these methods:
A. Use a tool like GeoTagPhotos.net to geo-tag your images
B. Distribute this to as many directories that accept geo as possible
Here is an example of uploading an image to Flickr and adding your NAP.
Accounts on sites might allow you to link back to your business from your profile. You can link back to your website using that option. Additional information could be added in the personal description or location information tabs.
Additionally, other sites which allow you to post content will allow you to write down your information on a company profile.
Take a look at About.me and AboutUs
There are many pages or sites that function as lists of companies or businesses that you can add your business on to create citations.
- Run a google search for "List of plumbers in city" or "plumbers in city".
- Replace city or state with your own city and state. Try different combinations including "list of", "list of businesses in" etc.
- Contact these sites and see if they'll add your business along with the NAPs to their pages.
A microsite is a small, stand-alone site which has its own agenda, but is still connected to yours. As long as these are legitimate and relevant, they can not only be a good citation tool, but also a good way to direct traffic in general.
It is ideal that you add your core NAP to any microsite you create. In general, it is a good practise to have microsites that are useful, relevant and will act as an additional sales funnel for your business.
Adding your NAP on your meta description is a good idea; this is especially important because many aggregator sites re-publish your META description on their own sites. If your NAP is in your meta description / titles, you stand to get 100s of new citation sources automatically from aggregator sites.
- Ensure that you have your Name, Address and Phone in either your title tags or meta description.
- If you are not able to add your complete NAP on your meta description or title, you can spread it between both; add your phone number to your meta title and adddress + biz name in your meta description.
Wikipedia is the most famous of these sort of directories, but peer-created and managed directories exist where you can create a profile/informational page. They're useful because it's totally acceptable to have all of information on a lot of these sites.
Check out Wiki Directory
Job boards online are a good way to recruit, but also a place add your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) for a citation; you can also give a good impression of your company and work culture with a well-written job posting.
You can use both general job board sites and industry-specific job boards. Most job boards have optional paid benefits and features, depending on your budget, you should make use of these.
The Balance has curated a listof top job boards.
Your local Chamber Of Commerce will have a website with a list of members and their NAPs.
Getting enrolled in the local chamber will be a great way to gain a high-quality ciation.
A. Find / enrol in your local chamber
B. If you are already a member or enrolled, insist that they publish your information on their website
If you cater to or offer service for specific language-speakers or simply have a multi-lingual staff,
you can promote your business on directories for various language speakers. Here is a list of those directories ordered alphabetically by language.
Here is a list of Spanish directories you can apply to.
Do you offer free Wi-Fi at your business? There are some directories which compile these businesses so that customers who need access or want to work outside of their homes and offices can find those locations. Check out the most popular site for this.
Having offers is a good way to get citations from promotional sites. If you offer coupons, there are plenty of sites you can promote them on and multiple ways to do it - such as creating and sharing a graphics or collaborating with certain sites to have your promotion - along with your NAP - featured. Check out the obvious ones first Groupon and RetailMeNot
Events, especially local events, are a great way to get citations and visibility.
A. Organize an event
Running your own event can help get your name out to the community. You can get citations through placing your NAP on various local sites and news channels, and on any community sites - for example, if you run a fundraiser for a local animal shelter, they can advertise on their site and materials too.
B. Offer an event space
If have the space, you can offer your location as a meeting space. This can range from wellness,like a yoga class, to professional development, like a Toastmaster's meeting. They will have at least your business name and address on any promotional material they create.
C. Sponsor an event
If you cannot run an event yourself, you can get nearly the same amount of benefit by sponsoring one.
Check out EventBrite and Evvnt
If events/package deals you have are exclusive and need tickets, booking sites can offer another way to build citations.
Whether you're the organizer or providing the event space or just promoting your business' services, you can have your details on booking sites as long as it's relevant.
The obvious ones to get started with are Bookingand TripAdvisor.
If you have a toll-free 1-800 number, you can get listed on a 1-800 directory. These are basically a phone book sites specifically for toll-free numbers and will have varying amounts of information you can provide.
Reviews are the life-blood of every local business today and you can convert your reviews into citations by encouraging your customers to add information about the NAP of the store they visited within the review.
A. These reviews also get syndicated on user profile pages and can act as additional citations.
B. Some reviews get syndicated in third-party sources and can act as citations.
A press release is a tailored citation for you. Ensure you have something newsworthy - its reach will be limited by the quality of the content. Since the release will be about your business, it is a certain and easy citation.
Bloggers can hold more sway than you would think. Often they are the go-to for information about a certain area or a general topic. You can reach out to local bloggers to see if they'l write about you or if you can contribute something to their blog. Oftentimes, they will reference you within posts.
A. Do a broad search for "city name + blog" or "city name + blogger" to find a list of bloggers in your city
B. You can also look for bloggers from your city using aggregator sites like Technorati.
C. Engage with these bloggers and see if they will reference you as a friendly neighborhood business.
Videos are a relatively popular form of content. You can share these videos on sharing sites such as YouTube and Dailymotion and have your NAP and other business details in the description. These videos can also be embedded on other sites and shared on social media. Obvious mediums are YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion.
Here is an example of a video citation, implemented by Amber Air Conditioning.
There are communities where presentations can be uploaded and shared. Similar to a photo-sharing site, these sites have categories of presentations which can be read/watched by people on the site. You can place your company information within a presentation as well as within its description.
Check out SlideShare.
Documents can be uploaded onto websites where communities can read and learn from various documents. They're usually filtered by genre, so adding your NAP to a document and uploading it not only builds a citation, but the information inside will also reach interested parties (and can be shared).
Check out Docstoc and Scribd.
If you run a podcast, there are also directories which compile these. They can be sorted by genre, date, etc. so you could not only expand your audience for your podcasts, but also put in your business details for people to refer to.
Get started with this directory.
Infographics have become a new and shareable way to convey information; they tend to have a larger reach because it is an easy, condensed form of content for a reader. If you have taken the time to put together a useful infographic, you can not only cite your business on it, but also share it on infographic directories and use that location as a citation.
Here's a list of 100 such websites.
There are sites where you can simply upload your company logo. Use the description to write your NAP and create a citation, and link back to your site.
Here's a site you can get started with.
Donations can be a good way to get a citation on a website. Contributing to a charity/cause, especially a local one, will also help in branding your business as part of the community. People who see your business information on these sort of sites will have a positive impression of the business.