Inaccurate Business Information Is Not Good For Your Business!

In 2019, having consistent and accurate business information across the internet is critical for your business. With the ubiquity of internet service and devices, most people search for products and and services online. If you’ve never done this before, it may seem like an obvious and trivial thing –  how hard could it be to manage and regularly update your online presence?

If you’re not sure where to start, run a scan to check your online presence and see what the internet says about your business.

Who needs to update their business information online?

  • New businesses
  • Existing businesses without an online presence
  • Businesses that have relocated or changed their contact information

Inaccurate business information is bad for business. Every business needs to update their business information online.

What business information needs to be updated?

  1. NAP – Name, Address, Phone Number
  2. Company Website
  3. Operating Hours – this is absolutely critical if you are open to the public – restaurant or doctor’s office
  4. Products
  5. Services
  6. Payment Methods Accepted
  7. Business Specialties

When business information is added to a website that is out of your control it becomes a ‘citation’ or business listing. Citations can be great for you because they help customers who search for your products and services online find you.

Where do you have to update your business details?

There are many citation sites online, but it’s important to make sure your business information is up to date across major online directories and websites. For starters, your business information must appear and be correct on the following sites:

If your business is in a niche category like law, you will need to consider the following sites as well:

How do you update your business information on all these different citation sites?

You can add and update your business information to online directories manually. You will have to go to every site, create an account, username, password, remember all of those, request an update, and wait for your information to appear.

Alternatively, you can use Connect4 Consulting’s Citation Submission Service and we can do this for you. You update your information once and our service will add this information to all of your relevant citation directories.

Nine reasons why your business information must be correct online

  1. 68% of consumers would stop using a local business if they found incorrect information in online directories. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)
  2. 93% of consumers say they are frustrated by incorrect information in online directories. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)
  3. 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)
  4. In the last 12 months, 71% of consumers had a negative experience because of incorrect local business information found online. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)
  5. 30% of consumers would go to a competitor if they couldn’t locate a business because of incorrect information found online. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)
  6. In the last year, 22% of consumers visited the wrong location for a business because the address was incorrect online. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)
  7. 40% of consumers would give up looking for a local business that they couldn’t find because the address was wrong online. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)
  8. After seeing a local business listing online, 24% of consumers will call the business before going to visit it. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)
  9. Upon finding an inaccurate listing, consumers are more likely to blame the local business than the director. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)

If you’re losing potential customers because of inaccurate business information, contact us today.

For more information on local citations, see:

Top 50 Citation Sites for Local SEO

This post lists the top 50 citation sites for local SEO. A citation is an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP). Google uses citations, and also links to your website, when evaluating the online authority of your business. Unlike links though, citations don’t need to be linked to your business’s website in order for you to be credited for them. To optimize for local SEO, most businesses should audit, correct, and create citations from high authority sites and sites that pertain to a particular business category. A law firm, for example, might require citations from AVVO whereas a restaurant needs to make sure its NAP information is accurate on YELP.

According to Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors survey, citations play a critical role in local search rankings. Consistency of structured citations—having the business name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistent across the company website, Google My Business, and trusted citation sites—is often one of the key ranking factors in Moz’s survey results each year.

You can choose to update and verify the information on these top 50 citation sites for local SEO manually or you can hire someone to manage this for you. Consider Connect4 Consulting’s Local SEO Services.

Top 50 Citation Sites for Local SEO

  1. Google My Business
  2. Bing Places
  3. Apple Maps
  4. InfoGroup
  5. Acxiom
  6. Factual
  7. Neustar Localeze
  8. Dun & Bradstreet
  9. Facebook
  10. Yelp
  11. Yellowpages
  12. Yahoo! Local
  13. SuperPages
  14. Foursquare
  15. MapQuest
  16. Manta
  18. Kudzu
  19. Yellowbook
  20. CityGrid | CitySearch
  22. MerchantCircle
  23. ShowMeLocal
  24. Best of the Web
  25. LocalStack
  26. Hotfrog
  27. Brownbook
  28. Cylex-USA
  29. Insiderpages
  30. EZlocal
  32. Tupalo
  33. ForLocations
  34. CitySquares
  35. GetFave
  36. 2FindLocal
  37. Nokia Here
  38. Yasabe
  39. AngiesList
  40. Sales Spider
  41. DexKnows
  43. MyHuckleberry
  44. ZipLocal
  45. iBegin
  47. MakeItLocal
  48. B2BYellowpages
  49. BizVotes

Updating your listings on these sites is not hard but it’s a tedious process. Each site has different information about you and a different way of verifying the information. Many sites require follow-up phone calls and emails to confirm your business listing. Unless this sounds like a good way to spend your time, Consider Connect4 Consulting’s Local SEO Services.

Do you have more 5-star reviews than your competitors?

All things being equal, those 5-star reviews are very important when it comes to local SEO. Do you have more 5-star reviews than your competitors? If so, you’ll probably show up in the local search results instead of your competitors. Google encourages businesses to be proactive when it comes to customers leaving reviews. That is a clear indication that you should be asking your customers to not only give you reviews on your Google My Business listing but also on third-party review sites like Yelp, Homevisit, Facebook, and others.

Connect4 Consulting Google Reviews

If you don’t have more 5-star reviews than your competitors, you need to start getting aggressive. Make sure you ask your best customers and you can make it easy for them by sending them directly to the review page. Timing is everything. Send the request for a review while your customer is still happy about the work you have provided. If you’ve recently gone above and beyond the call of duty, for example, try asking a customer for a review. If you’ve done a great job, the chances are very high that you will be rewarded with a 5-star review.

How to Show Up in Local Search Results

Want to know how to show up in local search results? If you’re having trouble getting your business to show up in the Google local search results, you’re not alone. For starters, there’s a lot less territory there – with ads on the top and bottom of the page and online directories, there isn’t much room for small local businesses to show up on the first page of Google search results.

Complicating matters, Google has a local filter that can cause a business listing to drop out of local search results. This filter isn’t very different from websites ranking organically in search results. Ideally, the best sites win the top spots.

What causes a business to get filtered out of local search results?

There are a variety of factors that influence local search results. The following situations might cause a business to get filtered out of the local search results.

Proximity of the search is critical

Google now takes into consideration where the mobile searcher is physically located when they are performing the search. This means that local search results can also now depend on where the business is physically located when the search is being done.

Select the Most Specific Google My Business Category

When you set up your Google My Business category for your listing, choose the most specific category that is appropriate and relevant to your business. You can see in the screenshot below that Len The Plumber has chosen Plumber for it’s Google My Business Category.

If you see your competitor outranking you, find out what category they are using and select the same category for your business. Look at all the other things they are doing to differentiate themselves online and copy what they are doing so you can outrank them.

Make sure you don’t select too many categories. More is not better. Too many categories can confuse Google to the point where it’s not sure what your company’s specialty is. Try removing the less specific categories.

Don’t Have the Same Physical Address as Your Competitors

If it’s possible, don’t have the same address as your competitors. This means that you should not list a virtual office or a UPS p.o. box store as your physical address. If you do this and there are competing businesses in the same location, there’s a good chance that you won’t appear in the local search results.

Multiple Practitioners Working in the Same Location

If you’re an attorney, accountant, doctor, cpa, or some other professional in an industry where there might be an office filled with people working in the same category, Google may filter out some of your practitioners’ listings? Google doesn’t want one business dominating the first page of Google local search results.

The workaround to this dilemma is that each practitioner’s Google My Business listing should have a different category (if possible) and should be directed to different URLS (either the person’s specific profile page or a page about their specialty – they should not all point to the business home page.

Another thing you can do to differentiate the practitioners is to make sure that each practitioner has his or her own unique phone number in the Google My Business listing.

See What Your Competitors Are Doing

If your business is not appearing in the Google local search results, see what your competitors are doing. Maybe they are doing something different or better than you – and you can learn from them. When you’re evaluating your competition, make sure you focus on the signals that help sites rank organically:

  • Do they have a better Google+ description?
  • Do they have more 5-star reviews?
  • Is their Google My Business listing completely filled out while yours is missing some information?
  • What is their business category? Is it different from the one you have selected?

Remember that Google just wants to show the best businesses first. If you truly compete head to head with your competition, and you follow the advice in this blog post, you will eventually appear in the Google local search results.

Related Google Local Search Blog Posts

At Connect4 Consulting our specialty is website design and internet marketing for small businesses. You might find these other local search related blog posts of use:


Five Problematic Local SEO Tactics

Local SEO is a constantly evolving practice. What was very effective a few years ago is often no longer effective now. And in some cases, what was effective a few years ago will actually get you into trouble now. It is very important to stay up to date so you know the best practice for improving your local search results. Here are a number of local SEO tactics that are still quite common but I will dissect the SEO tactic and show you that there is a better way of achieving the same result.

Local SEO Tactic 1 – Exact Match Domains with a Location Qualifier

Exact match domains with a location qualifier are urls which use a combination of service-keyword + location in them, as opposed to the business name or brand. This Local SEO tactic was very common a few years ago but we still see it today. An example of this is:

While url optimization does carry some SEO benefit, if a boost in local search results is your SEO goal, then it makes more sense to focus on using location-specific keywords throughout your site content and structure. It is much better to use a brand-led domain. Google likes it more and it conveys more trust because it doesn’t look spammy.

Brand-led domains also make it easier for you to expand geographically. Think about it this way. If you have a region-specific domain, then you’re narrowing your business to one location.

The best-practice approach is to use a brand-specific domain and then create localized landing page content. This approach builds trust and credibility, provides location-specific content, and doesn’t limit you to one geographic location.

Local SEO Tactic 2 – Region-Specific Top Level Domains

Region-specific Top Level Domains allow you to end your website domain with a specific geographic location. Like While this looks cool, Google confirms that it carries no additional SEO weight. The best practice Local SEO approach is to choose a brand-specific domain name and then build region-specific content in your website.

Local SEO Tactic 3 – Local Doorway Pages

Local doorway pages are similar to landing pages except for the key fact that landing pages are designed to funnel real visitors who search for a unique keyword and then “land” at your site and come in through a page that’s not the home page. Local doorway pages have urls like You can have a page like this if there is truly unique content on that page and it’s a page that’s part of the site structure.

Local SEO Tactic 4 – Focusing Link Building Only on High Domain Authority Websites

If you’re a small local business, it’s important to get links from small local directories and websites. From a local link building perspective, these are links from sites involved in your community, e.g. hotels, bed and breakfasts, city information, libraries, churches, etc. As long as these websites provide actual value to your local community, they will also bring inherent SEO value to your local business. Once indexed, these links will show Google that your business is actively involved in its surrounding community.

Local SEO Tactic 5 – Setting up a Huge Service Area in Google My Business

Google My Business gives users the ability to set their radius of service around their physical address. This allows customers to see how far a business is willing to travel to visit a customer.

Some business owners set their radius to its maximum in the hope of ranking across several locations. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work and you’re still only likely to rank around the actual, physical location of your business.

The radius setting should be used realistically & needs to accurately show the area of your business. If a huge service area is correct then that’s fine, just don’t expect any cross-location ranking boost to come from it.

The reality is that if you want to rank across several locations and make the most of local SEO, you need a physical site in each major city that’s actually used and occupied by your team.