Claiming Business Citations

What’s a Business Citation?
A business citation is simply every occurrence of your businesses’ Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) that occurs on the internet. They are also referred to as Business Listings. You are probably familiar with some of the more common listings – Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, Angie’s List, Dex, etc. But there are literally hundreds of business listing sites, some of them specific to certain business niches. The more you’re listed on, the better.There is a bit of a science to claiming your citations correctly. It’s not a five-minute job; in fact it’s a bit of a pain.

First you need to source all the listings that are available and build a spreadsheet for tracking those you’re listing on and your progress in claiming them. If there are duplicate listings for your business, you need to have one of them removed. If any are populated with incorrect information, you need to claim them and then update with the correct info. Then you need to ensure they’re all consistent, and to deal with the different methods of claiming (phone vs email) – these are things most business owners don’t have time for. The entire process can encompass several weeks, because you have no control over each listing’s process. Some of them can be frustrating and laborious, requiring several follow-ups.

Why Claiming your Citations is Important

If you don’t set up, optimize and claim your business listings, they will be populated with the information from data aggregator sites and will probably match the way your business is set up with the post office. It’s important that your listings are consistent across the all the different sites – that is a positive signal to Google and ensures your listing isn’t confused with a business with a similar name or location.Having your citations claimed and optimized is also a signal to customers and prospects when they land on those sites that your business is professional, up-to-date, and on top of all its digital marketing assets. An unclaimed business listing on Yelp or Google makes it look like the lights are on, but nobody’s home.

Let’s start with Yelp. 

Customers and prospects searching for businesses on Yelp will see that your listing is  “Unclaimed”. That’s the first signal that you’re inattentive to your online properties. And that you probably don’t respond to reviews and customer feedback.When your Yelp Business Listing is Claimed, you control all aspects of it. You’re able to highlight all your important business information, add your website link, and add several pictures and a logo for your business. You can write your own detailed business description, the owner’s bio, and add your hours of operation.Once your listing is properly claimed, competitors can’t get control of and sabotage your listing.

Once your listing is claimed, it’s time to start paying attention to the reviews. Make sure you respond to any lukewarm or bad reviews (remember, perception is reality and the customer is always right!). Don’t argue with a customer in a public forum, rather reach out and try to offer a resolution to whatever caused the bad experience. This way, even if you have a couple bad reviews, other customers will see you’re responsive to these situations. Every business can have a bad day, or deal with a sour grapes customer who just needs to vent. But ignoring bad reviews just makes your business look uncaring and inattentive.You can briefly respond to the great reviews as well, with a Thank You to the customer and an appreciation for their business. You don’t need to respond to every single one, if you’re getting dozens of reviews, but pick a handful and say something appreciative every once in a while.

A few stats represent how very important online reviews are to today’s consumers. Don’t ignore this very important aspect of managing your business!

Positive reviews make 68% of consumers more likely to use a local business
Negative reviews stop 40% of consumers from wanting to use a business
91% of 18-34 year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
57% of consumers won’t use a business that has fewer than 4 stars
86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses

When you’re ready to get your business listings set up and optimized, give Social Karma Marketing a call. We have a process and the resources to make it painless for you. You’ll get a complete spreadsheet with all your new listing data when we’re done, along with the login and password information to further update your sites when necessary.

Simply choose from among our 3 Business Listings packages here, and then fill out the Business Listings Discovery Form (link to page). We’ll have what we need to get started and will call you to confirm the order and answer any questions.

Business Citation Packages