If you’re like many business owners, you are always on the lookout for something that will give your business a competitive edge, leaving you standing head and shoulders above your competitors, especially in the local marketplace.
Fortunately, you can. Here are some proven tips you can immediately apply and incorporate into your own SEO and ranking efforts. This enables you to improve your Google rankings by leaps and bounds, as well as send your GMB (Google My Business) listing to new heights.
Check out Moz Local to get the full bible on local SEO!
Google Map Citations
A Google Map citation is actually just a mention of your business name, address, and phone number on another website. For instance, an example of a citation could be a business directory such as Yelp, Foursquare, or Yahoo Local, where your company is mentioned by name.
Local citations don’t need to include a link to your website. However, the greater the number of reputable citations you can acquire, the higher Google will rank your GMB listing and website.
It’s extremely important you post the same phone number, address and business name consistently in all business directories and citations (i.e. mentions of your name, address and phone number) as that helps your map listing rank higher in local map searches.
Citations are used to help rank your Google Local map listing by supplying reputable sources of information about your business. Google validate these aspects:
- Your business actually exists
- It is a legitimate business
- Your business description is accurate and corroborated by several sources
When Google sees information about your company on other websites and directories, this compels them to be more confident about the information you have provided in the description of your business. This ensures that Google is more likely to display your business listing when a person performs a search for the types of products or services you offer and promote.
However, in order for you to take full advantage of your local citations, it’s imperative you set up a Google Business Page, claim your business. Then, optimize it by getting your business name and details added to directories and other web pages.
Here’s a (non-exhaustive!) list of citation types.
- Business directories (Yellow Pages, Yelp, Kudzu)
- Industry, niche or sector specific directories (Trip Advisor, Connecting Dance)
- Local newspaper and press websites
- Local themed blogs
- Prominent local websites (particularly if they’re related to your business niche)
- Social Profiles (Twitter, FourSquare, Facebook, YouTube)