BBB.org is one of the top 15 most important citation sources for Local SEO.
It’s one of the Internet’s most popular business directories.
- Whitespark puts them number 13 on their list of citation sources for the US.
- They are one of Moz Local’s Direct Network partners.
- We put them at number fourteen on our list of best local citations sources.
If you want to perform well in Google Maps and other local search results, optimize your Better Business Bureau listings.
Before you can do that though, you have to find them.
The BBB website tries to recognize your location automatically.
In the top right corner, you’ll find a symbol. It controls your “Home Location.”
Sometimes, this can interfere with your ability to find listings. Not always, but we sometimes notice issues when searching for listings from a different location or when using a VPN. It can also give you some trouble when hunting for duplicates.
We recommend setting the “Home Location” for any and all locations you need to search.
Once set, proceed to search.
If it recognizes your business, it will try to autofill your brand info.
You can select it to go straight to your listing.
But we recommend completing the search to make sure you don’t have any duplicates.
You may find you business in a list.
Or you may not find any results that match your info.
Record any and all listings you find for your business. Their format includes city and category: https://www.bbb.org/us/nc/greensboro/profile/seo-services/greensboro-seo-pro-0503-1000000023.
If you’ve found your business on BBB.org, it’s time to claim it. If not, it’s time to create it.
Manually Claim Listings
Taking ownership of your business listings offers several advantages.
But it can be a tedious process.
Generally, top-tier platforms like Better Business Bureau are the most annoying. This is especially true if you’ve changed names, numbers, and/or locations often. Depending on your goals, automated solutions like Yext may be tempting.
We have seen Yext fail to suppress duplicates on multiple occasions.
Given BBB’s spot as one of the most important business directories online, it’s crucial that your presence there is 100% accurate. So take control of all profiles.
This may be easier if you don’t have any yet.
It’s really that easy.
However, they have a backend approval process. So you aren’t guaranteed to get your listing published. We’ve had profiles get rejected the first time. It’s rare. But it does happen. Resubmitting has worked for us so far.
If we ever needed to take additional steps, it would probably look like the claim process.
How to Claim Existing
The Better Business Bureau is a legitimate company.
Unlike most citation sources, they are more than a online business.
Perhaps that’s why they seem like they care more than many of the others. BBB.org probably has the best support of any online directory. They are fast, friendly, and very helpful.
Similar to Chamber of Commerce, the BBB is managed city by city. Their support team is segmented by city as well.
Therefore, your Home Location must be set to the correct address. From there, you simply click the name of your location.
You’ll be brought to the main page for that location.
Scroll down to the “Email this BBB” link.
A short form will pop up.
Fill in your name and email. (We recommend a branded email address.) Then write a message telling them about your business. We like to include a link to one of our main profiles like Facebook or Google Maps as well.
Submit and you can usually expect a reply via email in less 48 hours or less.
This is more of an “edit request” than a profile claim.
But it gets the job done.
If you’re correcting info, they often remove the original URL and create a new one.
This means the duplicate process is much the same.
How to Handle Duplicates
The BBB doesn’t usually have duplicates.
When they do, removal is typically fast and painless.
Set your home location. Click it. Return to the “Email this BBB” link from the claim process above. Fill in your name and email.
Now, all you need to do is write is duplicate removal request message. We recommend you include all incorrect URLs and links to your correct profiles elsewhere. Using a branded email address also gives you additional credibility.
Removing duplicates on BBB.org usually takes less than 48 hours. It is a manual process on their end. So you need to check behind them. But we haven’t had many problems with them so far.
Again, the Better Business Bureau has better support than the majority of other online citation sources.
Whatever your duplicate situation, make sure you get it fixed. Duplicates are terrible for local SEO and the BBB has been among the best citations sources for several years.
Do whatever it takes to remove duplicates on the Better Business Bureau.
It’s an important leg of the journey to page one of Google.
Need more help claiming and optimizing your Better Business Bureau? Leave your questions or comments below. We’ll answer ’em all. Plus, we have more in store for this and our other local SEO citations posts down the road. In the meantime, you might also be able to pick up some hints by taking a look at our marketing company on BBB.org. Or, learn more about our Local Citations Services via our Free SEO Audit.