What’s the problem with inaccurate business listings? 

Inaccurate business listings are problematic because they can cause a decrease in the level of trust Google has in your business.  Incorrect business listings can also confuse potential customers and they may struggle to communicate with you. This could cause them to move on to one of your competitors.

“My Business Doesn’t Need Links or Citations!” 

Links are a great source of relevant traffic to your websites and these visitors are usually more likely to become customers.  If your business is mentioned on a website that is connected to your local area, then this is likely to be more valuable than a mention on a website with no local connection. 

If the website the citation appears on has a high domain authority, then this citation will likely be more valuable to you than one from a website with low domain authority. Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that predicts how likely a domain is to appear in the search engine results pages compared to your competitors.

Appearing on websites that are related to your industry or niche is helpful from an SEO perspective.

Build a site without local listing management. 

We have built hundreds of websites and we take care not to remove links.  For example, we built a website for a contract manufacturer but they didn’t have any local business listings. This meant no listing in industry niche directories for contract manufacturers, no local profile in their geographic area, and no links to improve their organic search rankings. 

Building a site without a local profile listing limits your business’s reach and visibility in the industry and local publications such as Yellowpages, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau. Imagine a potential customer looking on Yelp and your business is not there but 3 competitors are. 

What is Link Building and Why Should You Care?

Link building is all about getting other websites to link to pages on your own site. These links are called backlinks. The more high-quality backlinks a page has, the higher it can rank. 

Historically, backlinks are one of Google’s most important ranking factors.  Links are often earned by asking for them, adding them to a site request, or creating content that people want to share. 

Each link is like a vote of confidence for the search engines.  The more quality links from a good website, the greater your opportunity to rank higher than your competition. These links can also be great sources of referral traffic to your business too. 

Link Building Prospects-1

What are Citations and Why Should You Care?

Citations are online references to a business that features the business name, address, URL, and phone number.  You’ll often hear NAP meaning Name, Address, and Phone number. Most citations take the form of an online business directory.  Google Business Profile, Facebook, Yelp, and Bing Places for Business are common citations. 

Citations serve as a trusted and authentic source of information about your business. Google will identify that your business has been mentioned through the presence of your NAP citation data, and this is enough to influence trust signals toward your brand. All things being equal, you’ll rank higher than your competitors! 

Top directory citations

Why are Citations and Links Beneficial for Local SEO?

Being listed on business directories and third-party websites is generally free.  It makes it a viable way to boost brand awareness, get referral traffic, and increase your search engine rankings. Some local business directory sites allow customers to provide reviews. Positive reviews will help your business stand out from the competition. 

Links are beneficial to your local SEO because they build trust, domain authority, and relevant links from industry directories.  These links usually lead to more traffic from relevant sources and increase the number of leads generated for your business.  Because the traffic comes from relevant sources, it will increase the likelihood of a sale. 

How to Add or Claim Your Bing Places for Business Listing?

Bing Places for Business is Microsoft’s version of Google Business Profiles.  By claiming your Bing Places for Business listing, you will increase your visibility in Bing search results.  Bing search is the default search engine for Microsoft products. 

Bing Places for Business

Below are the steps to add or claim a business on Bing Places for Business: 

  1. Log in to your Bing Places for Business Account.
  2. Go to the Business Search page. Select the business type and the country the business operates in Search.
  3. Search for your business using the phone number or a combination of the business name and the location.
  4. If your business has been added already, it will appear in the search results. If you see it, click ‘Claim Business’ to be redirected to your location dashboard.
  5. If you’re adding a new business, you’ll want to click ‘Create New Business’. 
  6. You will see the NAP details currently published on Bing. Unfortunately, at this stage, you won’t be able to change them until verification is completed. Click “Next”, to proceed to the next steps, where you can edit and/or add more rich data to your listing.
  7. Click ‘Move map pin’, move the pin to the center of your business’ area, then click ‘Submit’.
  8. Enter your business category and write your business description.  Note: You’ll need to select from one of Bing’s presets. 
  9. You should choose to show your full address if customers can visit you at this address. If you don’t have a business address, select ‘No’.
  10. Enter your business’ contact details and links to relevant social media profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.
  11. Click ‘Browse’ to select the photos you’d like to upload. Add pictures of your business to your listing.
  12. Next, you’ll need to set your working hours. Click ‘Skip’ to proceed without setting business hours.
  13. You can verify the business listing right away or do it at a later date. You will see several verification options such as website, email, telephone, or postcard.
  14. Select your preferred verification method and follow the instructions on the screen.
  15. After your business listing is verified, you will go through a 7-14 day publishing period.  Then all changes will become visible on Bing Maps and in Bing’s local search results.

Note: Postcards may take a week to reach the business address. You can also verify via the Bing Places app. 

Common Mistakes in Link Building and Citations

Below are a few common mistakes in link building and citations:

  • Assuming all link building and links are created equal.  They are not! Google will consider the authority, relevance, link position on the page, anchor text, and whether or not the link is “follow” vs. “nofollow”.   
    • Follow links help your site improve its SEO. NoFollow links don't help your site as much with SEO.
  • Not having a link building strategy to improve your search results. 
  • Not targeting high-quality links to increase domain authority. 
  • Not fixing broken links from previous link building. 
  • Not using internal links in your site content to improve the customer experience. 
  • Not removing duplicate listings. 
  • Not using local listing management tools or local listing management software to save you time. 
  • Thinking Google is the only online listing that needs your business information. 


If you are looking to increase sales or awareness of your brand, your business needs accurate business listings.  The business listings will help to separate you from competitors by providing referral traffic to your business.  Also, your listings help to build trust and in many cases, provide access to review sites for customers to provide feedback on your products and services. 

Remember that it is not just a link or your business information.  It is a way to reinforce your industry niche and improve your domain authority so that you appear higher in the search engine results.  Having a higher position increases the likelihood of visitors to your site and potential opportunities to sell your products and services. 


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