How to Use the Power of Citations and Reviews to Improve Local Rankings

Local search engine marketing is a lot different from search engine optimization for a non-geo unique emblem. Any search engine marketing professional or practitioner will inform you how neighborhood SEO rating elements keep on changing, making it hard for groups to leverage the power of pinnacle locations on Google SERPs.

Here’s a quick look at local SEO ranking factors, as presented by Moz in its 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors report.

It’s no marvel that external locations indicators (citations) and review indicators feature inside the top five members. In this guide, I will talk approximately leveraging citations and critiques for ramping up nearby SEO.

Understanding Citations

A quotation is an internet point out of your enterprise name, address, and make contact with quantity (NAP). Consider citations as the equivalent of backlinks in your commercial enterprise website, simply that NAP citations do now not need to be hyperlinked to your internet site.

A mention of just your business name, without the cope with and phone wide variety, is considered a partial citation, and now not as useful as an entire quotation. That’s why NAP is valued so much because it will become the ‘string’ that counts as a citation that Google values.

The first-class practices you want to comply with to ensure NAP consistency are:

  • Citations help with nearby SEO are precious most effective if they healthy the NAP of your internet site and your Google My Business web page.
  • Focus on selecting up a format of NAP that doesn’t have any quirkiness or precise elements.
  • Do a few Google searches for famous neighborhood businesses and spot which name, address, and phone wide variety formats they use.

Why Citations Rock?

Google uses citations as a factor for verifying the accuracy of the contact details of the commercial enterprise in their local enterprise listings. Mismatching NAPs could confuse Google and motive it to both passes your listings, or display information that’s wrong. On the contrary, if Google finds that dozens of websites mention the equal NAP in your enterprise, it’s all of the much more likely to encompass your NAP in its SERPs.

Business Directories for Citations

Here’s a motion plan you can believe.

  • Get your Google My Business list.
    Make positive your My Business Profile is entire
  • Create an alternate email ID to create profiles on commercial enterprise directories; trust me, you need it, to stay secure from masses of junk mail emails each day.
  • Find a list of fifty (or better nonetheless, one hundred) online business directories; here’s a terrific source.
  • Find a freelancer or budget some time on your own to create at least 5 profiles every day (try this, and you’ll potentially have 150 citations in a month).
  • Also, search for niche unique commercial enterprise directories, consisting of Viator and TripAdvisor for touristy places, and Zomato for eating places.

Beyond Directories

The commonplace misconception going around in SEO spheres is that commercial enterprise directories are the only supply for buying citations. That’s unfaithful; there are numerous others, as an example:

  • Press releases
  • Profile pages
  • Question and solution websites
  • Article and guest publish bylines
  • Forum signatures
  • Image and video descriptions

Go Big on Local SEO With Reviews

Review signals constitute 9.8% of local SEO. To devise a useful strategy for getting more traction via business reviews, you’d do well to first understand the reviews-relevant micro-factors that influence local SEO.

  • Number of native Google Maps reviews
  • Number of 3rd party reviews
  • Product/service keywords present in reviews
  • Number of reviews posted by authority reviewers
  • Authority of 3rd party websites where reviews are posted
  • Diversity of 3rd party websites where reviews are posted

Google My Business reviews

Getting your Google My Business reviews and stars to appear on the top of Google’s search result page can be a game changer for your local business. You need at least 5 reviews to show up there and need to have more reviews than most competitors (which can be difficult).

With the help of Google Maps marketing, you can effectively promote your business to local audiences. Moreover, it makes a lot of sense to request all your recurring customers to leave a review; incentivize this by giving them a discount. Here’s a superb guide. Greg Gifford, a SEO educator, suggests creating a ‘how to review’ help page for users so that they know exactly what to do.

A Comprehensive Business Reviews Strategy

Yelp is a pretty useful platform for getting your business reviews because Google seems to value Yelp reviews highly. Don’t directly send your Yelp business page to users; instead, direct them to do a Google search for your business + Yelp, click on the Yelp link in the search results, and then do the review. That’s because reviews done on Yelp via direct links can often be flagged and not published because Yelp considers them suspicious.

Focus on people that already have a Yelp account, and motivate them to write long reviews. Make it a point to respond to reviews to create a sense of legitimacy around it (this makes sure Yelp doesn’t discard it).

By following a comprehensive business reviews collection strategy focused on your business website, Yelp, and Google My Business, you can move closer to completely dominating local SEO. See how The Violet Hour completely dominates the SERP using this strategy.

Final Words

Local SEO is increasingly capturing higher proportions of global search volumes, and is the most vital enabler of success for local brands. Use the tips and tricks discussed in this guide to make citations and reviews the success factors for your local SEO success story.

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