Citations And Local SEO?
If your interested in local SEO and run a website for you’re business you should of at least heard of citations.
If you haven’t heard of them before you may be asking what the hell are they.
Well for local SEO citations are one of Google and bing’s key ranking factors meaning the more high quality citations you have of your business. The higher your website should rank for local online searches.
Citation’s are an online reference to your Company’s business name, Address and phone number also known as NAP for short. These NAP online references are normally found on google places, yell, bing maps, business directories and review websites.
Citations and search engines
Search engines Google and Bing use citations to rank websites locally. Because they can use the NAP information pulled from various sites to confirm that businesses are who they say they are.
After all if you own a business It’s not going to be good idea If you’ve submitted your website to loads of business directory’s with the wrong name, Address and phone number and google is clever enough too know that too.
Your business may also receive citations if your website is placed on an authoritative business index or written about by a blogger or online newspaper. Because these sort of citations are hard to obtain It means they are much harder for businesses to fake. Search engines are a big fan of citations from websites with authority and they should pass on a much higher local SEO rank to your website compared to standard citations.
Start Claiming your Business listings today.
Before you can start claiming any local index listings your business must meet the following criteria.
1. Have a business name
2. have a registered local phone number with the correct local area code
3. Have a physical business street address (Shared, PO boxes and virtual addresses
4. Your business must be able to make in-person contact with its customers during stated open hours and through online only.
It is really important for local SEO and best practice for any business to consistently represent there business online and in the real world. Using the exact same Business name, Address and phone number. Accurately across websites, business listings, signage, stationary and anywhere you may use to help market your business.
Making sure that you follow this simple rule when creating any business listing will really help boost your local SEO.
Business listing categories
Each time you create a local business directory listing there will be an option to choose which categories best suit your business.
According to google guidelines it’s really important that you choose the same categories across all business listing. And that you choose as few categories as possible that describe your overall core business from the provided lists.
For example lets say you run a carpet cleaning business that also cleans upholstery. From the category list you would choose carpet cleaning as your first and upholstery cleaning as you second category. Choosing any more categories such as cleaner, dry cleaner, industrial cleaning will only help confuse search engines to find out what your business actually does and could help devalue your local SEO rankings.
Enhance your listing
To help your listings stand out statistics have proven that adding photo’s and videos can increase the number of clicks your listing may receive. Although there is no proof that adding photo’s or videos will improve your local search rank. Adding attractive photos and video’s will encourage visitors to click through to your website.
Usually business listings have somewhere for you write a description about your business make sure that you include targeted keywords. But don’t add too many as this is bad for SEO a good rule of mine is to only use two or three at most. You should also enhance your listing by adding any social media profiles such as twitter, Facebook where possible in your business listing manager.
Many directory sites such as google places, bing and yell include somewhere for your customers to leave reviews.
If your business receives a review good or negative it’s really important that you engage with your customers by responding to reviews as this shows search engines. That your listing is being actively managed and can help improve your rankings.
What have you learned well citations are a really easy and simple way to get started in local SEO.
The key to citations is making sure that each and every citation you create is always updated with the correct information and consistently accurate across each and every listing.
Imagine having a stamp with all of your NAP and listing information that you could just go stamp on every single relevant directory. They would all look the same and that is what you need to achieve. Some directories will have extras for you to fill in but the basics should always be the same.
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