What Directory Listings & Citations Are
Your business has directory listings & citations on the Internet whether you put them there or not.
A "citation" is a listing of your company with NAP (Name, Address Phone) or NTA (Name, Telephone, Address) only.
A "directory listing" will include other information such as email address, website address, photos, services you offer, etc. These are built automatically and if you have moved over the years, or put in your information differently to a few places, your erroneous or outdated information is propagated throughout the Internet without your input.
Examples of Citations and Directory Listings:
Many of these listings may have partial or incorrect information. Google uses this information to index your website, so it is important to correct any errors.
There are two ways to correct your listings:
- Automatically with an aggregator
Automatically updating Citations and Directories with an "Aggregator"
Some directories are updated only through automatic, paid services on an annual basis. You cannot manually update these yourself.
With the platform we use, we are able to submit to the top four aggregators: Axciom, Factual, Infogroup and Neustar. When you submit your company information to an aggregator, the aggregator keeps your information "fresh" and indicates that the data is fresh to those entities looking at it. After the year is over, you can choose to continue to pay for this service or you can let it go. If you don't pay for the service any more, the data does not go back to the incorrect information, but instead is marked as "stale" so it is not as trustworthy as "fresh" data.
Manually Correcting Citations and Directory Listings on the Internet
Manually correcting citations and directory listings takes a long time. You need to create an account on each website, verify your account, log in, submit correct information, and check to make sure it was updated. TechCare offers a service to make manual corrections for you. The changes you make manually are permanent and lasting, so you should only need to do this once unless you move or change numbers or other information.
Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is the listing that appears on the right of the screen when you google any business. It looks similar to the screen shot here. Companies have the ability to "take ownership" of this listing and make sure the information is up to date.
This listing is super important because it tells Google a lot about your company: the correct Name, Address, Phone Number and Website address. In addition, you can add more helpful information such as hours of operation, photos, posts, category of your business, reviews, and a description of what you do.
Below is a basic list of things you should do as a business owner with your GMB listing.
If you do not have ownership of your GMB or Google My Business listing, you really should take control of this immediately.
Gaining Control Over Your GMB Listing
Having control of your GMB (Google My Business) is one of the most important things you can do for your online presence. TechCare can help you with this list.