Many small business owners have learned recently, that citations help to push their Google Places ranking up in the SERPS (search engine results pages), and they are looking for local citation finder software, information, advice, and tools to help them.
We have been working with small businesses for years, helping them to get or increase their number of citations. During this time we have found many great blog posts, websites, and software on the subject, we have also developed our techniques, which we want to share with you in this post. How to acquire Citations.
Automatic Directory Submissions
Yext has partnered with a lot of cheesy directories and premium named directories too, to make automated directory submissions. Yext got together with all the little business directories a few years ago; they were afraid Google would eat their lunches in the small business marketing niche. They figured that if they partnered up, they could compete with Google. So for $99.00 a month you can automatically submit your business to the underlings.
Recently, Merchant Circle partnered with Yext; if you have a Merchant Circle listing, your email probably gets hit once a week with Yext advertisements. Spoiler Alert: The verdict is in, and most say it isn’t worth the money. Reminds me of a quote from Water Boy Movie: “Which brings me to my next point, don’t smoke crack!” – LT
You should claim, fill-out, and optimise all directories for your company.
Whitespark local citation finder software
This tool will help you find citation sites. This software is a more advanced type of DIY tool. They will not only find citations based on keywords, but they will track your local competitions citations too. These guys help you find all citation sources, not just directories.
They also help you to keep track of where you have submitted your company. Whitespark will cost you $20.00 a month, but they will let you run up to 3 campaigns for the dough. These guys are pioneers in local SEO, and I have used them in the past.
Not only the president but also a member
I am a big fan of the BBB and the Local Chamber of Commerce. I have every small business I work with join these two sites. If you scroll to the bottom of any page on my website, you will find a link to my A rated BBB listing, and also a link back to my local chamber. They are not only excellent sources for citations, but they drive paying customers to you. I get better leads from these two resources than any other directory. Of course, it matters what industry your in, if you’re in food service you may find you get more leads from Yelp or Urbanspoon, but for contractors, the BBB is a must!
Acquire Local Citations Through Sponsorship
Find a local little league team, adult softball team or such that has a website or facebook page you can sponsor. When they post your company as a sponsor, ask them to include your contact info. A lot of local pubs/bars have a website, find a dart team to sponsor and get a citation.
Plan to be a local “Toys for Tots” drop-off, all drop off locations are promoted on lots of local websites.
Most organizations have a Facebook page, even if they don’t have an official website. You could buy a case of cookies from the local girl scouts troop, and ask them to post your address in return on their Facebook page as a place to buy cookies.
Acquire local citations through promotions
Run a promotion that benefits a good cause. We worked with an auto repair shop to run an oil change promotion helping the local homeless shelter. When you donated five cans of food, you got an oil change for $15.00.
The local newspapers picked up this story and came down to take a picture of the owner, and of course, they included the name, address, and phone number in the piece. The local garage expanded it’s customer base, up-sold some front-end work and brake jobs while earning some citations.
There are a lot of meet-up groups and organizations that need space to meet once a month or once a week. If you have the extra area, or if you don’t use your boardroom at night, you can find local hobbyist groups, book clubs and such that will list you as the place to meet.
Put a webcam in your storefront for citations
People love webcam sites, especially during harsh weather situations. For the cost of a $65.00 streaming webcam. You can post your location. CAMSCAPE is just one such site that lists webcams from all over the world.
In conclusion, there are infinite ways to get local citations for your business. Use your creativity and the principles and resources listed in this post to come up with ways to find citation sources.