SEO and online marketing in general is a lot more important to small, local businesses than they usually realize. Citations- any online mentions of your business- have a major impact on your local rankings, as well as your visibility across the web. There are a lot of ways to get your name out there, and a lot of strategies to follow- you just have to figure out what to focus on.
Of course, Google search results are crucial to your marketing. But before you start working on your rankings, adwords, and etc- be sure that all of your information is consistent on Yahoo, Bing, Mapquest, and any other search engines. Once that’s worked out, you can start to work on your local citations on Google. As mentioned before, citations are any mention of your business, whether that includes a link or not. Having more and more instances of your company’s name increases your prominence online. There are several different kinds of websites you’ll want to be mentioned on, and you should try to cover as many as you can. First, regional websites, like a tourist website for the city your business is in, can be very helpful. Try to get your information on as many of these as possible. Then there are local business directories like Yelp, Yellowpages, and etc. This can provide plenty of citations, as well as testimonials and reviews of your business. Finally, you’ll want mentions of your business on blogs, newspapers, and other independent websites. Try to get your business into lists found on individual blogs, ads in the paper, and articles. Having your name and information so prominent across several different kinds of websites will help you exponentially.
In case you don’t realize how crucial citations are to your business, they make up about a quarter of all the factors that go into your local search rankings. There are a lot of things you can do to try and manipulate and boost your ranking, but in the end, the number and prominence of citations you have will help you immensely. But maybe you don’t know what all to include in a citation. There are a few main things you should include when listing your business somewhere. Of course, you always have to have the name, address, and phone number of your business. That’s a given- and be sure that these are consistent across the web. Don’t change a single parenthesis of your phone number, don’t format your address differently, etc. In addition to those basics, you can have good-quality, pleasing photos of your business. You can also place importance on the categorizing and location of the listing. When creating citations, pick categories that you know will be relevant to your potential customers. Think of things they might be looking for that you can provide.
Small business owners, especially new ones, aren’t always aware of how local SEO can impact their business- especially when it comes to citations. Get your business’ name out there as much as you can, mention it all across the web. Give people your information easily and accessibly, with plenty of places to read about it, and you will see increasingly positive results.