Google’s search algorithm places a heavy importance on the number of incoming links to your site. These citations come from other sites that list yours and provide a direct link to your pages. For local search engine optimization based off Google Maps listings, the number of pages that simply mention your business’s name, address and phone number is also an important factor. If the citation contains a link to your site, all the better, but it’s not necessary. These references are called citations and can play a tremendous role in your local page ranking. Often these sites are local directories such as those maintained by newspaper websites or local search engines found in larger markets. If you want your listing to appear in Google’s coveted “7 box,” then you need your business to be listed by as many sources as possible.
Not all referring sources or citations are the same. The more reputable that Google believes the referring site to be, the greater weight it will carry in the page rankings. For instance, the Better Business Bureau and the Yellow Pages are considered more reliable and authoritative than a small, free local directory listing. That’s not to say that getting listed on such sites is unimportant; every citation counts.
There are a few ways to go about building the number of citations your business has. The cheapest way is to do it yourself. Once you have ensured you are cited in the big boys such as Yellow Pages, Yahoo Directory, the BBB, etc., you now need to search out the less obvious sources. One way to so this is to analyze the listings of your direct competition and related local businesses. Often they will provide you with potential citation sources that you haven’t considered. Once you know their sources, try to get you business mentioned also. We will go more indepth into this tactic in a later article.
If you are willing to spend a little money, you can submit your business information to a business listing service. These services ensure you are listed in all the major directories, many of which you would likely have not considered. These services usually charge somewhere around $50 to list in all the major directories. We will review the most popular in the coming weeks.
The most expensive and most thorough option is to hire the services of an SEO company to formulate an in-depth online marketing strategy. These services will ensure that your business has as many citations as possible and will also optimize your web pages to make sure they will get noticed by Google. For businesses in competitive markets, this is often the best option.
Link and citation building is a continuous process. You must consistently seek new sources of citations and stay ahead of the competition. Try to ensure that your citations remain as consistent as possible when it comes to your business name, address and phone number. In Google terms, consistency is trust. This works well for customers too.
One way to really keep on top of things is to make sure you know immediately every time your customers are talking about you. To make this possible we offer our clients a special Local Reputation Management Service so that every mention of your company-good and bad-you can be made aware of. This allows you to turn no reviews into lots of reviews and good reviews into glowing reviews and bad reviews into ‘handled’ reviews.
The price for this is a very reasonable $79/month. There is no contract, cancel any time. However, most people love it and stick with it indefinitely. To get started simply click the paypal button below.