Getting visibility online is essentially the goal of search engine optimization. In the scheme of SEO, it's essential to do the simple work that will lay the groundwork for your entire campaign to flourish.
One of those simple pieces is making sure to get as many local SEO citations as you can. It's an easy way to boost your rankings, and we're going to explain why.
Getting a local SEO citation is essentially the act of getting your business name and information listed on a site. Back in the day, no one would be able to find your information if you weren't in the phone book, and the same idea is true here.
Not only does getting citations help your basic visibility to users, but it also boosts your search engine rankings in a number of ways. We're going to discuss four of the most notable ways that local citations help your overall ranking in search engine results pages.
Let's get started:
First and foremost, having your name listed on popular websites allows the users of those sites to leave remarks and ratings about your business. This is huge.
Aside from search engine algorithms, customers and users are heavily influenced by the reviews that fellow shoppers or users put online. Simply having a number of places where customers can review your shop will help your business' visibility.
At the same time, those reviews are extremely beneficial to your search engine rankings. Before you understand why, though, it's important to know a little bit about the search engine algorithm.
The point of a search engine is to provide users with search results that are as accurate and relevant as possible. When there are a number of accurate and relevant results available, the most useful of those results float to the top.
The algorithm uses some 200 factors in determining the websites that show up at the top of your feed, all of which helps to pick out the best site for you based numbers. Reviews are like beacons of truth for the algorithm because they are a source where customers do their work for them!
"This site is good, that one is bad," these human reviews are a weighty factor in optimization because they're users telling search engines what is useful and what isn't.
So, the fact that you have your name listed in citations helps users to be able to review you, thereby giving you a better chance of rising to the top of the results with good reviews.
Linking is another huge element of any good SEO campaign. Being situated in a network of respectable links shows search engines that you're a reputable site that people value.
The more sites that link to you, the more of a chance you are a site that has valuable content. Think about it, websites wouldn't want to risk their reputation by linking to low-quality, dangerous sites. Doing so would hurt their ranking and cause potential security threats to their users.
On the other hand, linking to a site shows that you have respect for the content you're linking to. Search engines take this and use it as a measure of quality, making link building a huge piece of search engine optimization.
Getting as many citations as you can generates links. Each site you're listed on will provide you with another link. Sure, citations aren't the most valuable links, but they do contribute to your success.
Additionally, each time you're mentioned, shared or commented on, you'll generate another link.
Another component to think about is the possibility that your competition isn't optimizing well. All too often, local businesses cut themselves short by having lacking, incorrect website information on too few sites. This leaves customers wondering about hours, products, quality, and more.
It's an extremely common trend. Maybe it is just that most local business owners haven't come to appreciate how important SEO is just yet. In any case, it's likely that they're not doing the citation work that you are.
Getting a number of citations and putting work toward your SEO can yield especially large results if people in your area don't value SEO. With no competition, you'll rise right to the top of the search results pages.
Local search results are arguably the most important ones as well, so it's likely that improved local SEO will lead to a huge influx in foot traffic to your physical store.
Sites that allow you to post citations for your business are typically high-powered, popular websites. These are places that consumers go to find information about products and businesses they love, and it's essential for you to throw your hat in the ring.
It won't always be extremely easy to become visible on these sites at first, but, just like every other aspect of the internet, it isn't as hard as it seems to succeed. You'll just need to do some research, apply yourself, and see what happens.
Trusted sites like Google MyBusiness will provide an avenue for you to be seen by anyone who searches keywords relevant to your content. Without these avenues, no one would see your site. You'd be lost in the sea of other pages that were never optimized correctly.
Essentially, you're getting exposure. This exposure helps your SEO by providing traffic to your page. That traffic is going to engage with your site and boost metrics.
As you establish your brand and site with customers, the more they'll engage with it, and the more they do that, the more the search engine will value your site and rank you highly.
Gathering local SEO citations is only the beginning of a great SEO campaign. If you want to see great results, you'll need to do a little legwork on the front end of the process.
Either that, or you can speak with the professionals about it. Book a call with us to learn more about SEO and how you can make it work for you.
These steps will give you complete ownership of your small business presence online and provide results in getting the clicks, calls, leads, customers, foot traffic, etc. that you are looking for!
Keyword research is the foundation of building your online presence. You need to find out what your customers are searching for, so that you show up! The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to do a Google Search and see what comes up in the pre-text. Who’s ranking for the term you put in? Where do you rank with this term? You can also download a free tool call “Keywords Everywhere’ https://keywordseverywhere.com/, that will give you a lot of insight on the terms you believe your customers are using and other suggested keywords with data.
Advertising on Google is a really fast way to get your business to the top of search results for the keywords you are targeting. Setting up ads are easy and if you claim your Google Business Page (mentioned below), Google usually sends a $100 credit!
The Map Pack is the information in the middle of the Google results page – of companies and their location. To rank in this area, you’ll want to focus on the following:
If you have not claimed your Google Business Page yet, go do it! Search for your business and on the right you’ll see if it’s been claimed or not. To tell, look for the link that says ‘claim your business’. This will get you started.
This is your business name, address, and phone number. You will want to make sure they are consistent across all sites. These are called citations – your profiles on other sites like Yelp & CitySearch. If they are not the same, Google gets confused and you will not rank as well. If you see a lot of inconsistency here, let us know and we can help.
Reviews are huge for ranking! When is the last time you purchased something without looking at the reviews? The more good reviews you have, the better! Always ask customers to leave a review on Google. A good way to ask for reviews is a good Review and Reputation management service. This will help weed out the negative – so you can help your customers better, and post the positive everywhere you’d like!
This is making sure everything you do is optimized for search engines. It takes longer for this to start working, but it helps everywhere. You’ll want to make sure your Google Business Page, your website, any blogs, videos, or podcasts you put out are using your researched keywords. And, anytime it makes sense to link one piece of content to another, absolutely do it!
Reading over this may seem overwhelming, but once you start learning about it and putting things into practice, you’ll be a rockstar SEO expert!
Good luck! If you have any questions, we’re always here to help!