If GMB is the information cornerstone for a business then why would we need to claim, update, and verify business info on any other site once we have done it on GMB? Simply put, because Google is not the primary tool people use the internet through. Google also uses other information sources like online business listings, websites, and consumer input in order to best serve their customer, which is the searcher.
So, in order to make sure that the search engines receive the right information from these other websites we must give those websites the same and supporting information as we gave to Google in your Free Google My Business Listing.
Business Listings and Citations Websites
What are these sites? Well, they are called business listings or citations. Think of them like a pumped up digital phone book. A few examples are YellowPages, Yelp, AngiesList, Kudzo, EzLocal, and Factual but there are literally thousands; don’t worry you don’t need thousands. There are only about 50 local business listings that most SMB’s should focus on.
In the past, data aggregators were really the best and most cost-effective way to handle this. But that was because when search engines first started using other sites as citations/proof for a businesses legitimacy they only relied on three pieces of information: The Business Name, Address, and Phone Number. But now as the internet and technology have vastly improved and with no end in sight these online business listing sites now accept a vast array of information(like GMB does) from pictures to categories, descriptions, products, services, and even allow specials to be put up at the business owners desire.
Because the accuracy of information is the first place we must focus in order to build a solid online presence, the automation process of data aggregators and their inconsistency with uploading the correct info in the correct places, will no longer cut it for a customer-focused approach. The best way to ensure accuracy is to handpick the right citations for a certain type of business and then manually create, verify, and update them with the correct information.
I have put the top 50 business citations for the USA into a nice little spreadsheet you can download by clicking the link below. The majority of these are free to claim, update, and verify all it takes is your time to do so.
When creating your online business listings always fill out all available fields and make sure that they match the info GMB has listed in regards to the primary business information(name, category, address, phone number, hours.)