Does Your Business Have An Accurate Directory Listings Profile

How To Complete An Accurate Citation Profile | Kinetick Knowledge Monmouth County NJ
Most business owners find that creating an accurate consistent directory listings profile is too overwhelming a project to thoroughly complete. Not to mention, no one enjoys going through a verification process one directory listing website after another. And while no one signal wins the local SEO battle, in what is a very competitive web environment, listings & citations do matter! 

It is important to understand that information inconsistency a) will often confuse consumers and b) be counted by search engines as a negative signal. Listings are an important local search ranking signal, but often they are left untouched due to the overwhelming task at hand. One must work through each one then be prepared for an ongoing (one by one) management process. So get your NAP/ business name, address, phone, website link, even hours of operation consistent between the website and (at least the obvious) relevant business listings. By doing so,  your online presence will present as reliable to search engine algorithms. That’s right, search engines cross-reference information on directory listings they trust with your website.

4 out of 5 consumers search locally (according to Google), so listings & citations matter when it comes to your business being found. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number, but at minimum assume it includes a website link and hours of operation. Listing sites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp.com and/or Superpages.com can matter! In fact, anywhere your NAP is mentioned – that is considered a citation. If your NAP is on a town or an association website – that is a citation. 

The Downside Of Directory Listings & Citations

 

Maintaining consistent and accurate listings is time-consuming. Going through each listing one by one and completing the following can take more time than most business owners have or wish to commit. To accomplish a consistent listing/citation profile you’ll need to:

  1. Create business listings at leading directory sites, one by one and each via a verification process.
  2. Create a Google my business profile, including listing, which is the no. 1 most important listing!
  3. Create a Facebook business page.
  4. Clean-up inconsistencies and in any existing citations you have setup.
  5. Prepare to manage these listings, one by one, as is necessary. 
  6. Find and build niche (e.g. your associations) and/or location-specific citations (e.g. town directories).
  7. OR, if budget allows, find a service that offers Search & Directory Listings Management.


Listings & Citations Pay Off


While it can be a long and tedious project (or an outsourced cost), having a complete and accurate citation profile is good for business! It’s not the whole picture, so far as search engines go, but your business will see an improvement in local rankings once everything is in order.


The Importance Is Clear


So if it wasn’t clear before, accurate business listings are valuable signals in the local ranking of your business. The competition is always coming online, so it is necessary to consider getting an accurate listing/citation profile. If the time necessary is too much we can help with Listing Plans, Fundamental Local SEO, broader SEO & Social Media Plans.
If listings are all that is needed, have a look at our Kinetic Knowledge Search & Directory Listings Management Plan

  • To get the most important citations accurate & consistent (59-60)
  • To gather website back-links
  • To generate review alerts
  • To be able to update or change information immediately across all listings when things change
  • To add enhanced service & management profiles, including images and back-links AND
  • More… have a look and please do not hesitate to ask any questions at all.

Content for New Jersey Business Owners

Geo-Targeting in Marketing

For MOST business owners the target consumer is neither national nor worldwide, but local to a particular area.
And so for that same locally targeted business owner & marketer, using geo-targeting & territory based references matters! Consumers often search for answers, what they need or want locally (i.e. Westfield NJ Blacktop Contractor). For the business owner who produces locally specific content, the reward can be the most qualified website traffic, leads and new business!

Content is the BASIS of any competitive web presence. The goal must always be to offer useful information that discerning potential buyers will appreciate. It’s that same useful information that demonstrates the authority a search engine will support with better position and visibility. It can translate to a connection with those same potential buyers – when they search locally! 

Geo-Targeted Content

Defining authority for particular towns and/or counties may mean a page dedicated to experience as a “Home Builder in Union County NJ”. It is a method for appealing to a searching consumer who happens to live in that county. This content should define a body of knowledge or experience for that given town and/or county.

There are also going to be the best types of content for a business serving consumers in a particular geography. For instance, a home builder has a better reason for photographic content than maybe a home inspection services company, but the latter shouldn’t rule out the use of imagery. For instance, to detail potentially harmful and safe forms of mold common to a local with images is likely something homeowners in that local area are looking into.

Any locally specific detail in content can easily be the difference in converting a local buyer.

Local Business Authority And Geo-Targeting!

The chance of competing for visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) begins with content. Properly executed geo-targeting in content can be a successful competitive strategy for business owners interested in a particular radius of operation! Propose not only what there is an authority for, but WHERE that authority exists! SEO Services can help, so contact Kinetic Knowledge for a consultation today!

Measure SEOSearch Positions Forever Change, So We Must Measure SEO

Not all search engine optimization (SEO) is the same! What’s necessary for success depends on a presentation of value, visibility with qualified people and on how much competition there is. No matter what, a business is going to have to measure SEO in order to succeed.  

Rank in search results may require a large number of on and off-website signals or, in some cases, just enough. And while the competition is never ever static and search positions are forever changing, it is only measurement and analysis that will determine whether or not an SEO effort is working.

In fact, only measurement and analysis can show what is necessary for success in the future. If you are not analyzing, you are simply not doing SEO!

What Should SEO Cost?

There’s also a lot of confusion surrounding the cost of SEO; what’s necessary for a particular brand with specific targets and how much it should cost can be all over the map. If a firm is going through the painstaking and costly process of recruiting inbound links from (safe) websites, for instance, it can help a campaign to succeed. But is that signal necessary?

For instance, with a locally targeted business where the active competition (for target keywords) is minimal, there may not be a need to pursue back-links as a part of the effort; thereby, the cost necessary to succeed may be less. 

It’s why we recommend a fundamental set of SEO signals, to start. Set realistic goals, jump in and then measure the resulting data! Build fundamental on and off-website signals in order to establish a well rounded visible presence and then begin to measure what stems from it.

It takes time, maybe a few months, but some times the fundamental signals are all that is necessary. It’s also possible analysis will determine more signals are indeed necessary, but either way, it is better to build then waste in an environment where the things that work are forever changing. 


What Does A Fundamental SEO Program Include?

  1. Keyword Research For Target Subjects
  2. Search Optimized Website Pages, optimized for keywords targets
  3. Google My Business Tools Setup, Verification, and Optimization
  4. Claimed And Optimized Search & Directory Listings
  5. Standards For Maximizing Positive Client Reviews 
  6. Keyword Search Rank Tracking Software 
  7. Traffic Analytics Setup
  8. Track, Measure and Analyze Traffic Data
  9. Allow Analysis To Determine Whether Or Not Signals Must Be Added
    1. Blogging
    2. Geographic targeting
    3. Social Media Campaigns
    4. Links Build Campaign
    5. Alternative Content
    6. Structured Data
    7. And more

With SEO or, for that matter, any form of marketing & advertising – there is a risk; a business may succeed right out of the gates, but the resulting measurement will always determine why or what is necessary to reach the desired result… and even how to grow from there. The point being, “you cannot grow what you do not measure!” 

faking google reviews The Power Of Client Reviews

Are you a business owner that doesn’t do much advertising? Maybe you rely on a word of mouth method? If so, be sure and leverage the raw power of customer reviews. Do it not only to demonstrate a local presence in a way that mimics good old word of mouth, but because search engines like Google will reward it!

For example, what could be better for business than a prospective client seeing others singing your praise out in the open? 80% of consumers say they research a business, product or brand online before purchasing. 90% say online reviews influence their buying decisions. So go to Google.com and type in the name of your business plus town & state. It’s likely results will include your Google Listing on the right sidebar, including if you haven’t created one. If not already, you can get control of it by verifying your Google Listing.

Google Listing reviews play a significant role in local search engine rankings (i.e. website content ranks better when reviews reinforce the brand). Folks, if you’re not set up to ask for good client reviews you are missing a huge opportunity!

Faking Reviews Qualifies as False Advertising by Law

There’s one small catch with reviews, and that is they should be real! Reviews should come from people who have actually visited the business, used the product or experienced the service. A business owner may consider paying someone to generate false reviews and there are certainly companies offering to generate them; however, business owner be aware that other business owners have been prosecuted for it.

September 2013 NY Attorney General Schneiderman announced that 19 companies, some local businesses and some SEO and/or marketing firms, would pay fines of up to $350,000 for their role in soliciting and writing fake online reviews. It’s known as Astroturfing, and it qualifies under the law as false advertising! Here’s part of what Schneiderman had to say in a press release:

“Consumers rely on reviews from their peers to make daily purchasing decisions on anything from food and clothing to recreation and sightseeing. This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that we should approach online reviews with caution. And companies that continue to engage in these practices should take note: “Astroturfing” is the 21st century’s version of false advertising, and prosecutors have many tools at their disposal to put an end to it.”

Online reviews are deemed so powerful and necessary for any business (small or large) that the act of writing or having fake reviews written for a company resulted in legal action. In fact, it culminated in multiple companies paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.


How Can Your Business Get More Good Reviews?

If you’re going to stand by the trusted word of mouth advertising strategy – you may still need to get into the digital age. To do so develop and execute a plan that targets satisfied customers and asks them to write a review for your business online. Here are some tips:

1)     Create an email template to send to a satisfied client after they leave your business.  The template should thank them for their patronage and ask them to leave an online review.

2)     Make it easy for them. Set up a reviews page, from it provide a direct link to your Google+ local account where they can easily leave the review. Don’t expect people to fish around online trying to find it. If you don’t know how to find it, ask us.

3)     Develop a way to follow up with customers to see if they leave a review or send a gentle reminder to do so. Consider creating a spreadsheet to help you track this. Again, if you need help do not hesitate to ask.

4)     Set a goal for yourself to obtain a certain amount of reviews each month. You can track this in the spreadsheet.

5)     And don’t forget, there are a series of other Local SEO factors that (combined with good Reviews) can really make things explode for your business!

Online reviews musts become a component of your local SEO strategy along with locally targeted content development, social media management, consistent off- website listing citations and more. If you need help with a plan give us a call at 732-722-5915.


About Kinetic Knowledge

Based in Monmouth County, NJ, Kinetic Knowledge is a full service digital marketing agency offering custom website design, SEO, social media management, and more.

 

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  2. HOW CAN A BUSINESS DEAL WITH A NEGATIVE REVIEW?