Recently, we’ve noticed that some of our clients are receiving unsolicited SEO citations reports from shadowy SEO companies. These SEO companies will often use false information to frighten our clients into believing that there are problems with their citations profile when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. At LinkNow, we manually monitor the status of all our client’s citations to ensure that when they need to be edited or resubmitted, it happens promptly and accurately.
Understanding the difference between a trustworthy SEO report—such as one from LinkNow—and an untrustworthy one can make or break your SEO strategy. In this blog, we’re going to go over the basics of citations, explain the difference between good and bad reports, and show why it’s important to stick with a time-tested SEO strategy like those we offer at LinkNow.
What Are Citations?
Citations are an important part of every good SEO strategy. They’re like references for your business that tell Google that you are who you say you are. As we explained in a previous blog post about citations, some are simple references to your business in news articles or blogs, while others are references located in business directories like Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.
What Is an SEO Report?
SEO reports are designed to give businesses an overview of their citations profile. It will typically show a list of business directories and then display the business name, address, and phone number displayed on those listings. In a final column, it will show the “status” of the listing, that is, whether your business is “Listed”, “Not Found”, “Incomplete”, etc.
What Are Unsolicited SEO Reports?
Unsolicited SEO reports come in many forms, but their goal is the same: to convince you that your citations are being mismanaged and that—naturally—they’re the only ones who can fix it for you. It’s a marketing strategy designed to scare business owners into switching SEO companies.
They work by offering a combination of true and false information. For example, you may receive an SEO report from a company that claims your Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing listings are up to date, but that you’re missing citations in 50 other databases that are essential to your ranking. Except that when you look into these 50 directories that are ‘absolutely essential to your ranking’, what you find is that they are useless for ranking at best, and data collection scams at worst.
Or, as on one report I looked at this week, one scammer claimed that our client doesn’t have a Google or Bing listing even though they do and that while they do have a Yelp listing, they reported that the information is inaccurate—even though it’s not.
After scaring you with exaggerated information, the scammers will offer to fix your citations profile and add your NAP to all the missing business directories. But it’s a trap! Signing up with one of these companies may lock you into their system, and if you become unsatisfied with their service and decide to return to LinkNow, they may revert all the citations to out of date information that could hurt your Google ranking.
Why Choose LinkNow to Manage Your Citations Profile?
At LinkNow, our marketing packages are designed to set up business owners with the citations that matter for ranking. When you sign up with us, we run a full audit of your digital footprint (every citation you have online) to determine the most effective way to establish your online presence. We also do this once a year or whenever you change your NAP to ensure continued accuracy. These audits are performed manually, right here in our office, so that we can keep the quality high.
As mentioned above, some citations are valued higher than others. By focusing on the highest-value citations like Google, Bing, Yellow Pages, Yelp, etc. we ensure that our clients’ SEO always comes first. It’s all about strategy. And being experts with field-tested and results-driven practices, we are well-positioned to help our clients outrank the competition, year after year.
If you have received an unsolicited SEO report from a company you don’t recognize, or you have any questions about your citations profile, speak to us first. We will address your concerns and give you a full break down of your current situation so that you can make the most effective decisions about your business.
Have any questions or concerns? Leave us a comment below, and we’ll get in touch with you!