Local SEO citations are the cornerstone of any successful local SEO campaign, but what exactly are local citations? A local citation (a business listing or web directory listing) is simply any web page online that displays the following information about your local business: Company Address. Phone number. Fax Number.
Google, the leading search engine on the internet, has released several new tools for optimizing local business listings. These tools include Google Maps, Google Local, Google Places, and Google Finance. Google Maps is a Google Maps application that allows the local business owner to show the location of their business to their customers. With Google Local, a business owner can submit their Google Places listing to Google and have it displayed on local listings throughout Google’s major regions. Google Finance provides business owners with a full screen view of their financial health through direct links to their financial accounts.
While all of these tools can be beneficial, there are certain factors that search engines like Google use to rank a site higher in their rankings. One of those factors is the use of keywords in the content. Keywords or key phrases are a list of words that a web surfer will insert into the address bar of a browser to reach your site. The more words or key phrases used in the address bar of a website, the more likely that a site will be ranked higher when a consumer performs a search online. This is one of the primary reasons why it is so important to incorporate keywords and key phrases into your online business listings.
However, there are some Local Business Citations which are so vague and generic that they do not convey the intended meaning to potential customers. For example, many Local Business Citations includes the word “store” without defining what store is meant by the term. If this is done in an attempt to fill the space with as many words as possible without giving any clear definition, the search engine results will deem the site inappropriate.
It is imperative that online directories take the extra time and effort to carefully select local business citations which are relevant to the topic or website being promoted. Online directories must take into consideration that local businesses may sometimes compete directly with larger international companies. Therefore, the search engines like Google and Yahoo want to feature both small local businesses and the larger international companies which often dominate the organic search results. Therefore, an attempt should be made to promote the first page of the organic search results with localized citations. When consumers search for a company name or address using keywords or keyphrases, the first page of the search results will always display companies that have local citations.
There are several ways to increase the chances that a company will be recognized on the first page of the search engines results pages as well as getting local business citations. First, when people perform a search for a company name, address, and phone number using specific keywords, the company’s website will need to appear on the first page of the search results. Second, there should be a proper connection between the specific keyword and the company’s website. In other words, if someone searches for a company name such as “A Quick Way to Make Money”, the search engines want to present websites that relate to the first phrase “quick way to make money”.
Effective local business citations are easy to write. Writing citations can be challenging because they are so specific and difficult to accomplish. However, due to the recent popularity of social media, it has become much easier to create citations using a simple formula. The first part of the formula should be a concise description of the specific information being provided. The second part of the formula is the linking of that information to the specific business in question.
For example, a business’s address should be included with the state it is located in the state and/or city in which it is located in the city and/or state. The most recent citations will be shown first and will have an effect on the ranking of the business in question. In order for a company to be highly ranked, it is important that business citations are written correctly and are correctly attuned to the site being reviewed. If an individual were to use a site such as Google Places for local citations and then attempt to submit inaccurate information or incorrect amounts, their ranking could be hurt.