Confused about Local SEO? In a nutshell, properly executed Local SEO will get your business on the map…literally. When a Google search returns a map in the results, it is Local SEO that can put your business at the top of the listings.
Over time your business will be listed in many places online, many without you doing anything. Examples include your Google, Yahoo and Bing listings, social media check ins by customers, industry directory listings, Yellowpages, Yelp, MapQuest etc. Some of these listings may be correct but incomplete and some may be incorrect. In fact, if your business has ever moved, changed a phone number, modified its name or website address, then it is almost certain that there is incorrect information online about you.
If you are a new business, then building out your information online is important. The more mentions of your business online, the more prominent it will appear to Google. Mentions will only be connected back to your business if this listing information is correct. Most directory links are “no follow”, meaning that the search engine bots will not crawl the directory over to your website, but Google will still recognize the information about your business.
So to sum up, here is why mentions of your business online are so important to your local SEO:
Search Engine Trust
Google and other search engines assume that if your business is mentioned frequently online, it is worthy of authority and trust.
Out of the top 50 factors determining local search rankings, experts identified online mentions as making up the top 13.1% (according to the latest Local Search Rankings Factors survey).
Quality vs. Spam Mentions
The search engines care about where your business is mentioned online. So don’t waste money on offshore services that promise to build links for you as they may actually get your website blacklisted. Quality mentions include search engine business listings, data sources from government, telcos etc., generic listing sites like Yelp, Facebook, Yellowpages, Better Business Bureau etc., and then really industry or local specific sites like Avvo, City listings etc. Then there are some lesser known sites that still have good link authority from the search engines. Examples include HotFrog and My Local Services. All require a physical address of course so if you’re a virtual business or work from home, you may want to consider a virtual office service.
For proper credit, your listings should contain consistent information and not be duplicated on any given site. Your name, address and phone number should be the same on every site. Your categories selected should also be consistent. Your listing should include as much detail as possible, including photos, video if possible, your logo, links to your social media accounts and business description.
To be effective, Local SEO requires creating keyword rich listings in hundreds of directories. Sounds like a bit too much work? Don’t worry, we have a cost effective plan to create or enhance your business profile and put you on the map. Learn more about our Local SEO services.