Your First Steps for Citation, Directory, and Review Sites
If you didn't do this when you started your business, do it now!
3.5 minute reading time
Many small businesses never get around to correcting their information at online directories, but it’s important to increasing local traffic. If you are one of those small biz owners, here is a checklist of how and where you should be listed.
Your own website is the one place where you control everything about your marketing message, but third party citation sites, online directories, and review websites help guide visitors to your site and help with your SEO as well. Some of these require a fee, but there are also free directories that let you provide quite a bit of information and personalization. Since these platforms aim to give visitors lots of options to choose from, they encourage you to maximize your listing – and you should!
There are literally hundreds of these third party sites where your business could be or may already be listed, but you should at least mazimize those most important to your business. Here are a few to start with:
Some sites let you open an account immediately with an email or phone verification, but others send snailmail which can take a few weeks. Keep a spreadsheet of your efforts or you’ll lose track of what’s happening.
Know (or decide on) the official information details for your business is so that you are consistent across all platforms. Keep a cheat sheet so you aren’t re-inventing the wheel every time you fill out a new form. Most listings ask for:
- Exact name of your business (Be consistent.)
- Phone number of business
- Address of business (Some use "area of service" instead of a street address.)
- Contact name (It doesn’t have to be the owner.)
- Contact email
- Short description of business
- List of products and/or services
- Business category
- Logo (some only allow square logos, so have a version that looks good in a square.)
- Photos of your business, products, employees, etc.
Now you’re ready to methodically claim and update your listings. Having good and accurate information all over the internet helps folks find your business when they are searching online and guides them to your website, the place where you have complete control your marketing message. We do this all the time and have the tools to do it efficiently, so if you simply don’t have the time, give us a call and let us take care of it for you.
Image “Phonebook,” Adam Lehman, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
This article is an update to “Managing your Online Reputation” dated 9/30/2013.