There are four major factors that I cover in this three part Local SEO tutorial series:
This is “Part 3” of our Local SEO tutorial for ranking on Google Maps. I want to remind you that you’re going to find the same advice I would give to my restaurant clients, beauty & hair clients, and any other retail or service-based businesses that is interested in improving and optimizing their Local SEO.
Today, we’re going to cover “Citations”, the fourth major factor that will help rank your local business on Google Maps. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below =)
Factor #4 Citations
Slightly confusing, but this is Part 3 which covers the fourth factor of ranking on Google Maps.
Once you have your Google My Business profile and your business website optimized, the next step for Local SEO domination is your Citations.
A citation is any mention of your business or brand anywhere on the web. These are usually directory listings (e.g., Yellow Pages, Yelp) and social profiles (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin). And the more citations you have online, the more likely you will outrank your competitors on Google & Bing searches.
The most important factor of your citations is the Name, Address & Phone (also known as NAP).
What you want to do is go to all the major directory listing sites that are relevant to your business and add your business profile on those listing sites. Yelp and Facebook is a must when it comes to citations as they are relevant to any business, but there are many other directory listing sites that will be very helpful to your Local SEO.
A tool that I like to use to figure out which listing sites to add citations for my clients is WHITESPARK. They list all the major listing sites categorized by industries.
Find your business category and take note of all best citation websites for your category. Then go to each website and enter in your business information.
The most important thing you have to remember is that your NAP has to be VERY CONSISTENT across everywhere it appears online. You’re going to want to use the exact address, the exact phone number, the exact way it’s written out on your Google My Business profile, and they’re sticklers for this. I’m talking as consistent as using the same abbreviations, whether or not you use “Suite #” or “Ste #”, the word “Street” versus “St.”.
Some of these directory listings sites also have fields to add categories and images, so make sure you fill those out completely.
End of Part 3
In conclusion, your Local SEO campaign is going to require some good old fashioned hard work, but if you keep focused and go through this tutorial, you will be able to get it done within a few days and start seeing some results right away.
Make sure you always check the performance of your Google My Business profile. There are two ways to check:
You can see a brief overview within the last 28 days in the “Home” section of your Google My Profile admin, or you can go to “Insights” for more detailed analytics. Screenshots provided below: