Local Citation Building 101

Local Citation Building 101

Now that you know what a local citation is, how do you actually get them? First things, first – if you’ve already setup a Facebook, Google+, FourSquare, Yelp, or any other number of social media profiles – you’ll want to start with those. Make sure that your NAP (name, address, phone number) is used consistently throughout all of the listings that you already have. Pro Tip: Make sure that you’re using your local phone number, and not a toll free number, in these profiles. You can also use services like BrightLocal and WhiteSpark to see what other listings you have out there. If there are any inconsistencies in your preexisting citations, you’ll want to correct those first. Next, you’ll want to make sure that you’re listed in the major local business aggregators – sites like Acxiom, Infogroup, Localeze, and Factual. Many smaller directories get their data from these big guys, so there’s a chance that if you add your business to these directories, you’ll also be added to a number of small directories as well. Now that we’ve got that taken care of, how do we create new citations? You can start with a bit of competitive analysis. For example, let’s assume that you’re a florist located Atlanta, GA. We would start by doing a simple search in Google for “florist.” We would likely see something like this: For this search, it appears that Gresham’s Florist of Atlanta is doing pretty well for themselves, having claimed the top local listing. If we want to try and emulate their success, one of the things we need to do is find out where their business is listed. To...
What are Local Citations?

What are Local Citations?

A local citation is any reference to your business online. It can contain any combination of the following elements: Company Name Phone Number Address Link to Website A complete Citation needs to contain your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). Including a link to your website, if possible, is recommended but it’s not required. For local businesses, Citation Building is an important piece of a solid Search Engine Optimization strategy, as both Google and Bing use Citations as part of their ranking algorithms. Structured vs Unstructured Citations A structured citation is typically found on websites like Yelp, YellowPages.com, Google+, Angie’s List, and other online business directories. An unstructured citation is a more casual mention of your business online. For example, if someone were to mention the name and address of your restaurant in a blog post about their favorite local restaurants, that’d be considered an unstructured citation. Consistency Matters When it comes to building citations, you want to make sure that your NAP is as consistent as possible. The more consistent that you are, the easier it will be for the search engines to understand that your citations represent your businesses. There’s a big different between Speedy Plumbing Services, Inc 123 Main Street Suite 200 Boston, MA 02108 617-555-1234 and Speedy Plumbing Svc #200 123 Main St. Boston, MA 02108 888-222-1234 Make sure that your NAP matches what is listed on your website’s contact page as closely as possible. Wondering how to start building local citations for your business? We’ll cover that in another post. Until next...
It’s About More Than Just Rankings

It’s About More Than Just Rankings

Good search engine optimization, or SEO, is the culmination of many things done right. It’s more than just keyword rankings and traffic. That’s part of it, sure. But it’s also about getting qualified traffic that converts. And although I’m sure that you’ve heard the phrase “Content is King!” over and over again (and I’m not disagreeing. A solid content strategy is a big part of SEO), there’s more to it than that. DESIGN Even if you have the most well written, entertaining, and informative content around – if your website is poorly designed, there’s a very good chance that your visitors are not going to convert. A well designed website will not only reinforce your brand’s message and story, it will get your visitors to convert. There’s more to designing a great website than just good looks. It needs to be easy to navigate. It needs to contain strong, appropriate calls-to-action. It needs to make it EASY for the user to get to the information that they want. Does your website do all that? TECHNOLOGY So, you’ve hired the most talented designer that you could find and they built you a website that represented your brand perfectly. They did usability studies and even held focus groups to make sure that they were on point. They implemented the perfect blend of branding, user-experience, and conversion strategies. And then they hosted it on the same server that they’ve been running since 2008, located in a friend’s closet somewhere. If your website isn’t hosted in a reliable server environment, you’re losing opportunities. Nothing frustrates users more than having to wait for a...