I guarantee you’re doing this wrong, because it’s difficult, complex and google changes their mind & rules regularly.

What are Citations?

All right. Today I want to talk about one of the most important things to get your video ranked at the top of Google, but before I do, make sure that your restaurant doesn’t do this.

If you do what I’m going to tell you here, there’s a good chance that it won’t.

All right. So, one of the most important things to rank your local website is to get your citations right. Now, what are citations? Citations are mentions of your website around the web. Now, they’re not backlinks. These are basically anywhere on the web or on directories, on OpenTable, on Zagat, on Yelp, where your restaurant is listed somewhere. So where there’s the name, address, and phone number of your restaurant, this is a citation. Literally when the name of the restaurant, the address of the restaurant, and the phone number of the restaurant – this is a citation.

#1 Citation Rule

It’s very important that your restaurant have consistent citations around the web. Google wants to see that you’re a legitimate business. In Googles thinking, if the citations are different around the web then you’re probably not a legitimate restaurant. This means if you spelled the name of the restaurant differently, have your phone number or address listed a different way then Google is going to question your credibility.

Now, a lot of times citations happen automatically around the web, and it’s pretty frustrating. I want to show you a couple of things. So, take a quick look at this screencast that I made. (see video)

A live Example

So, right here I’ve typed in “Chinese restaurant near me” in Google. If I go down here to the second page of Google here’s a restaurant called 369 Chinese Restaurant. These guys actually rank pretty well, because they’re in Florida and I’m doing the search here from Boulder, CO. So, typically searches are localized, but they actually are in Florida. So, they’re ranking all the way over here in Boulder. However, they’re on the second page, and let me show you why they’re on the second page.

Inconsistent citations are keeping them off Page 1

All right. If I use one of my tools here to take a look at 369 Chinese Restaurant, let me show you what I see. So, these are citations. This is their Google listing. Here’s their Facebook listing, Yelp, MapQuest, MerchantCircle, Hotfrog and Chamber of Commerce. But look at this. See how their phone number is listed different in Google than it is on Facebook? Here on Google no 1. It’s got (407). Down here in Facebook, it’s just listed +1 and then 407 with no parentheses.

These are citations not done correctly. If we look a little further down here at Yelp, their address is Winter Springs South, FL. In these other places, it’s just Winter Springs, FL. Now, it may not seem like a big deal, but this is a very big deal for Google. It’s why this website doesn’t rank on the first page of Google right now.

Take a look at Facebook here. See how Facebook, in the citation for Facebook or the way they’ve listed their address on Facebook, it says Florida spelled out, where on Google it says FL. Down here on MerchantCircle it says Suite 161. You don’t see that up here. I mean these, down here on Hotfrog, it’s 369 Inc. It doesn’t say Chinese Restaurant.

Clean up your Citations

So, part of what we do is we go in and we clean up citations for your restaurant and we go to every place on the web that your restaurant is listed. We use a tool like this and we go and find all of the places that it needs to be updated, and we clean up the citations. Just doing that can create a major boost in your ranking.

So, this is a quick description on how citations work. If you want to rank at the top of Google, if you want to rank on Google Maps for your restaurant, if you want to get more traffic and more sales from Google and from the web, then clean up your citations!