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The Critical 15 Citations to Give Yourself an Edge

We’ve put together this list of the critical 15 citations to give you the edge when it comes to building citations in your local SEO campaign. These are outstanding, high authority citations that have worked wonders for our clients. That’s why we call them “critical.” These citations aren’t the be all and end all, but they do get you off to a great start and can work wonders for you too.

Please note that these high-quality citations tend to be high traffic sites. You may use a throwaway email account to register citations so that you can avoid spam, but you should use a branded email with these citations ensuring you can quickly move through the verification process and make the process much smoother.

#1: Bing Places
DA: 97
No Follow

Bing is perhaps the second most powerful search engine after Google. It’s crucial that you register and personalize your business with Bing.

You can verify your business through phone or postcard; a process that takes up to 2 weeks.

Bing and Google have similar verification processes. Just open up bingplaces.com and register for a Microsoft account if you don’t already have one. Just log in if you do. After you log in, you need to find your business through the name or number. You will need to create a new business if you can’t find yourself and follow the steps. If you do find your business, then you just claim it and go through the Bing verification process.

Fill out the form and profile with all the relevant information, including hours, NAP, any social media profiles, URL, etc. Bing is a very high traffic website so give your profile a personal touch by adding photos. It takes up to 72 hours after verification has been completed for the listing to go live.

#2: Yelp
DA: 94
No Follow

Yelp is an important asset for service based businesses. This high authority is an absolute must for restaurants. Yelp provides people with a way to review businesses, so it’s vital that you have a complete profile.

Verification is processed by phone. You need to type in a code to verify.

The verification process for Yelp is pretty simple. Start out by going to Yelp for Business Owners (biz.yelp.com) and find your business. Claim your business if it pops up by following the simple process. If you can’t find your business and need to create yourself a new profile, then head to the bottom of the screen and click the “Add business to Yelp” button. Complete the form by entering your info. Yelp pages need photos of the business and, in the case of a restaurant, opening hours and a menu.

Verification happens on the same day through a phone call, but it can take up to 72 hours for the listing to go live.

#3: Facebook
DA 100
No Follow

Facebook is far more than just a social network. It’s also a high authority citation that your business NAP should be on.

It only takes a few minutes to get verified on Facebook because they don’t have a formal verification process. However, you should choose the option that says your page is a real business, establishment or venue. Start out by creating a page and choosing Local Business, Place, Company, Organisation or Institution. After that, completely filling out your profile is relatively easy.

Ensure that you provide the full address, phone number, and website URL so that everyone can see it when they load up your page.

Categories are an essential part of Facebook, so you should make sure you choose the most relevant ones for your business. Also, make sure that any images you use are professional. They should be the right size to avoid being pixelated and blurry.

The citation should be active as soon as the page is created.

#4: YouTube
DA: 100
No Follow

YouTube is one of the most effective tactics for Local SEO. It provides a great citation source, but you can also include your website and NAP in the description; something not many people know. YouTube is also owned and operated by Google now; making this a total win-win situation.

Much like with Facebook there isn’t a real verification process. Just make sure that you attach your Google+/My Business account to your YouTube account. The first thing you need to create is video content. If you don’t have a camera, then a quick slideshow will do. What matters is that it is in the format of a video and can be uploaded to YouTube.

You should edit the description of the video and make sure to put in the following information:
The full name, address, and phone number of your business
The URL of your website (if you put http:// in the URL then YouTube will convert it into a link for you)
A bio about the company including a bit of spam-free local SEO.
Open up the advanced section and geotag the location of your business. This could be what makes or breaks the citation; which will be active as soon as the video has processed.

#5: Yellow Pages
DA: 89
No Follow

There’s still value in using the Yellow Pages as a great citation source. It’s not worth getting advertising but being listed for free is great.

The verification process happens by phone. All you have to do is enter a code.

Start out by going to yellowpages.com and choosing “Get your Free Listing” to begin. Find your business. It’s most likely already in the Yellow Pages somewhere. If not then you can just add your business. Due to the high traffic nature of the Yellow Pages, you should customize the listing as much as possible.

Phone verification doesn’t take long and, as soon as it’s done, the listing will be live, and you have your citation.

#6: The 4 Data Aggregators; Acxiom, LocalEze, Infogroup (Express Update) and Factual

It’s a good idea to do these manually to personalize everything and be listed as quickly as possible. The real value is found in having the four main data aggregators, though. If you can get in early on these sites, then you’ll find your citation can trickle down to smaller sites, including a few others on our list.

Unfortunately, it can be a major pain to get listed with these guys manually. Some of them, such as LocalEze, also only allow you to have paid listings. I’d have to recommend opening up your wallet and throwing $84 at Moz Local. Moz Local saves you time and money by submitting your information to the big 4 for you.

If you use Moz Local, then it can take between four and eight weeks to be verified and listed with every aggregator.

#7: Yahoo!
DA: 100
No Follow
Yahoo is the worst nightmare for building citations manually. It looks like they’ve decided that they’ll only bother approving the listing if you can bother to pay for “Yahoo LocalWorks” which is pretty much just Yext. If you were to look at the forums for Yahoo Local, you’d just find a bunch of people ranting about how their listings have not been approved.

Even so, Yahoo is still a great citation to have on your side. Make every effort to get verified, even if you aren’t verified straight away. If you were to get listed with the big 4 data aggregators listed above, then your listing will likely make it to Yahoo eventually.

Verification happens by phone after you submit your listing or by Domain Email.

The process of getting a Yahoo citation begins by obtaining a Yahoo ID. Open up Yahoo Small Business and find your business. If you can find it, then claim it for yourself, or just add it as a new business. It’s pretty easy to go through the verification process; it just takes forever for it to be approved. Take a look every few weeks or months to see if you’ve been verified or not.

Yahoo says that it can take 60+ days to be approved. It’s ridiculous for sure, but it is good for your business to grin and bear it.

#8: LinkedIn
DA: 100
No Follow
You need to have a page for your business on LinkedIn. This is a powerful source for social media and citations. It also reaches many employees around the world; vastly improving your brand visibility.

There’s no real verification process here either. All you need to do is click accept and submit your posting. Start out by opening up LinkedIn and clicking on “Add a Company.” Add the name and domain email of the company to verify that you’re an official rep of the company. Please note that for this you really will need an @yourdomain.com email address; a Google Mail one will not do. After this, you just have to fill out the relevant info and NAP.

A LinkedIn profile is something that needs to be personalized. Make great use of tags and create your custom cover photo. The good news is the citation is active almost as soon as the page is created.

#9: Angie’s List
DA: 89
No Follow

Verification for Angie’s List happens through email.

This is a website set up for paid subscribers, so you won’t be able to do much over there without being a paid subscriber. Even so, your business is provided with a free listing with a minimal amount of info on NAP and business categories. It’s also a very high authority citation.

Start out by seeing I your company is already on Angie’s List. If it isn’t then it’s easy enough to provide details about your business and verify that you’re a part of the company. Remember that Angie’s List is a paid website, meaning that the user base is very dedicated. You won’t be allowed to include too much information about your business unless you’re willing to pay a premium yourself. There’s no need to do this if you just want the citation, though. It could be worth considering. However, many businesses have used Angie’s List to achieve success.

It can take a few days for your listing to go live after you submit it.

#10: Manta
DA: 84
No Follow

Manta is dedicated to listing the small businesses. This high power citation belongs in any list of the top 20 citations.

Verification is pretty simple here. After signing up and submitting the listing, you are sent an email. The email contains a phone number and a four-digit code. Just call the number and provide the code when prompted.

Start the process by going to Manta and clicking “Add Business” Add the info for your company and submit it. It shouldn’t take too much longer for you to get the verification email so you can call the number and verify your business. There’s not a lot on offer as far as customization goes at Manta, but it is still an important citation to have.

The citation is active as soon as you verify the four-digit code on the phone.

#11 The Better Business Bureau (BBB)
DA: 95
No Follow or Follow

The Better Business Bureau is perhaps the most trusted business organization there is. That’s why it’s important you have a citation from them. You could still get a free listing and a citation even if you don’t have BBB accreditation.

It could still be worth it to pay the dues and get BBB certified, though, provided you can afford it. Becoming accredited turns your No Follow link into the much more valuable Follow Link; which could push you ahead of the competition.

There’s a lot of debate on this topic because you’re paying for a link, but it looks like Google doesn’t mind if you pay for this link because of the reputation the BBB has. Local SEO Expert Phil Rozek wrote up a great piece about the BBB you can check out for yourself here.

After you get approved there are a few options for verification including email, phone, and postcard.

Rather than go into full detail about how to get a citation from the BBB, I’m just going to recommend the great how-to guide Mike Munter wrote about How to Submit Your Business to the BBB. He includes all the information you need to know to submit the listing and receive accreditation.

Please note that to be listed with the BBB your business needs to be older than 12 months. It can also take a week or two for the approval to happen, and the accreditation process takes longer.

#12: FourSquare
DA: 89
No Follow
FourSquare took a hit in the business directory department and tried to rebrand themselves. Despite the rebranding it’s still a great citation that your business should have, even if the verification is a bit strange.

You can get verified and given a premium listing instantly by paying $20, or you can wait for a postcard so you can be verified through mail.

Open up the FourSquare website and claim your business. If you can’t find it, then you can create it by filling in a form and signing up. If you don’t want to pay $20 for instant verification then just wait for the postcard to arrive. The card will be sent to the business address, and it has a code on it. Use the card to verify the listing. Make sure you go into as much detail as possible with your FourSquare listing; adding pictures and social media profiles. That’s the key to getting the most out of FourSquare.

If you choose to wait for the postcard to arrive, you could be waiting 1 – 2 weeks.

#13: Merchant Circle
DA: 85
No Follow

Merchant Circle is still one of the best citations, and it always has been. Grab yourself a free profile, verify it by email, and put your NAP up.

Just create the free page and add the business info; going into as much detail as possible. After this just click submit and verify your listing through a link sent by email. You’ll be up and running in no time as the citation goes live as soon as you complete the verification process.

#14: Mapquest
DA: 94
No Follow
Mapquest remains a great citation, but it’s now more difficult than it used to be to get a free listing for a new business. They partnered up with Yext, and now they like to pretend they only offer paid listings. Just go to the right page, and you’ll be set up with your free listing, though.

Verification occurs after you send an email containing the correct information to their support department.

If you have your business listed on Mapquest already then simply find it and claim the listing. If you can’t find your business, then you need to follow this simple process.

Start out by clicking here to open a support ticket with the MapQuest Team, and provide them with this information:
Name of the business
Address
Phone Number
Website URL
Up to 6 Business Categories
The Latitude and Longitude Coordinates of your Business
After sending this request, they will email you back in the next few days confirming that they have added your business. It takes a few days after being added for the listing to go live and the citation to be complete.

#15: Hoftrog
DA: 66
No Follow

Hotfrog is an old, but still relevant, citation site. Profiles can be made quickly for free, and Hotfrog allows you to put in tons of personalized information on your free profile. Verification happens through email.

Start out by opening up the homepage and clicking “Add your Business.” Give them all the info they need and hit submit. After this, you should get a verification email that contains a link for you to click. Clicking the link takes you straight to your profile. Hotfrog can ask for a lot of information before they conclude your profile is 100% complete, but you should tough it out and complete it. Use the spreadsheet to record your login information. The profile should go live as soon as you verify it.