Citations are local business listings that are typically found on directories and social networks. Some allow you to list your website address and link to your website, and others merely allow for a name, address and phone number. Citations are very valuable for SEO, but there are some things you need to know before getting started.
1) Where do I get listed? First, start with the main search engine directories: Google+, Bing, and Yahoo. Then explore additional local directories, such as Yelp, Yellowpages.com, Super Pages, Merchant Circle, Whitepages and Yellowbook. You’ll also want to get listed on medical review websites, such as RateMDs.com, Health Grades, and Vitals.com. Lastly, make sure you’re up on all the relevant social networks, including Facebook and LinkedIn. Here’s a complete list of the top 50 local directories I recommend.
2) The next, and most important step, is listing your information correctly. You want to make sure that your name, address and phone number (known as “NAP” in the SEO world) are all identical. This will help Google and other search engines better index your website. My recommendation is to go so far as to list “Street” vs “St” the same on each website. If they’re 100% identical then you eliminate any potential issues with your practice being recognized.
3) Make sure you profiles are filled out as much as you possibly can. This includes descriptions, images, videos, and more.
4) Get active on these websites. This is only relevant for a handful of the aforementioned websites, particularly Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Establish credibility by posting regularly and contributing quality content. You can make this process easier by automating many of your posts. Also, focus on growing the number of followers, particularly on Google+, and build up the engagement and excitement on these networks. Here are a few more tips to consider:
- don’t use tracking phone numbers
- don’t use 800#s
- keep you main email the same on all networks
- if you move locations, make sure you update your citations in a timely manner
- refer to your Secretary of State or BBB.com to see what they have listed as your business information
This is a quick rundown of how to handle citations. They can be quite a pain to correct, as you may not have the proper login info. Nevertheless, they’re improtant for your website’s visibility. For a more detailed breakdown of how to optimize your citations check out this article from Moz.
If you have any additional tips for building and/or correcting citations feel free to leave us a message below. If you’d like to learn more about building your local cosmetic practice’s presence online then give TRBO a call at 877-673-7096 x2. You can also leave us a message here.