Today’s Guest Post is brought to you by Tony Leary our recent Google local expert and guest.
I’m assuming you’re reading this because you want leads from Google. Not the pay-per-click kind. Well to get there, 15.5% of the top 8 signals Google looks at is your internet citations. If you want to read what all the local search geeks get together and talk about annually to come up with that number, you can find the details here.
Contractors Secret Weapon to Citations
This is a fairly advanced list for the extreme DIY’er. Or it’s a great way to double check who’s performing your local SEO for you.
This isn’t “Tony’s recommended list”. It’s a combination of others’ research focused just on contractors.
One of those sources is BrightLocal. They’re an industry leader when it comes to local SEO. Here’s their list of 1,000+ citation sites for 41 different industry verticals.
Another source is WhiteSpark and their list of top 50 citations for the US. These guys have cherry-picked the self-made local search experts and made them employees.
Bonus: Max Minzer of ReEngage Consulting (and host of the only weekly digital marketing show discussing local search marketing) has just published a how to for the top 20 citations regardless of industry (mostly the top 20 from the top 50 WhiteSpark recommends).
Before we get started, let’s discuss real quickly what a “citation” is.
Citations are a mention of your business
If you’ve ever created or read any academic work, there’s a reference section at the end. Similar to citations. When someone mentions your business on their web page, they’re giving you credit for whatever is the topic of that web page.
Well, that’s how the search engines look at it.
So when your business is on YellowPages.com as a remodeling contractor, they’ve just told Google where to find a remodeling contractor, along with your phone number. When the directory has been around a while and has other web links back to them, they earn a high domain authority. This list is based off of that domain authority.
So, while all of that sounds great, you’ll also be exposed to the people who preferably use that directory to find services.
Now, here’s a word of warning. What you’re also doing by signing up to these free directories is inviting their sales team to call you and pitch their paid advertising. For this I have two recommendations:
- If your primary business number is your cell phone, check out services like Grasshopper. For about $20/month you will have a call greeting with optional extensions (along with other useful options). You can also get a free phone number with Google Voice but you’re risking messing up your citations by not being consistent.
- Create a separate email address on your domain (e.g. email@example.com). Once you sign up to these accounts you’re going to get LOTS of emails from them; ranging from welcomes to sales to reports you won’t look at, etc.
With all that aside, here’s your to-get list.
Top 10 Free Citations for Contractors
Reminder: This is the advanced list of vertical directories to complete after you’re properly listed on the top 20 standard horizontal directories. This is also the free list. There are others, such as HomeAdvisor, that have a higher domain authority but you’ll have to pay to get listed there.
- The Blue Book Building and Construction Network
- HomeStars Rating the Renovators
- Contractors.com The best contractors live here
- Fixr.com When we connect a local business to a customer, we smile
- BuildZoom Helping reliable contractors promote their business
- HomeBlue Contractor Network
- hire-contractors.com rate and review local contractors
- ReliableRemodeler.com Find local contractors fast & easy
- Chiefmall.com All contractors localized on the web
And More Citations