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This step is the easiest of all. You simply fill in your Google My Business Account, put unique content into the descriptions that engages people when they read and make sure it follows all of the regular steps for onsite optimization. It is critical that all the fields on your account are filled out correctly otherwise not only will you not get the benefit, but it will actually reduce your rankings for having an incorrect or incomplete profile. Research has shown and it is commonly accepted within the SEO community that this compnent accounts for approximately 23% of your ranking calculations.
When you set up your account, you’ll receive a card in the mail with a verification number on it. Don’t be fooled though, this is only the first step. Google looks for you to have many other directory listings for your business, preferably on local directories for further verification over your Name, Address and Phone number details. All of these listings have to be absolutely identical in order for you to be fully verified in Google’s eyes. While this is quite detail oriented and time consuming, it is an easy way to pick up an estimated 14% of the criteria to get you ranking high for local SEO.
If you only have one location then this is simpler, as you can just link from your Google My Business account to your home page and then make sure your home page is correctly optimized with the right “NAP” (name, address, phone number) tagging that Google wants to see. If you have multiple locations, then you’ll need to have a separate page for each location all tagged up in line with the Google My Business location that is pointing to them.
In addition these pages need to be fully optimized for SEO in their own right, both the onsite optimization and the offsite optimization. This is the bit that people tend to leave out, as it’s where most of the work is, but it’s also where most of your results will be. In fact, the common acceptance within the SEO community is that this component accounts for as much as 40% of the criteria needed to get you ranking locally.
What do we mean by human interactions? Well to start with there are reviews directly on your Google My Business page and other platforms, such as Facebook or yelp. Whether or not people are actually clicking on your listing, visit your website, get your address details or “check-in” to your business when they arrive also plays a big role. Do you have a lot of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn followers i.e. what is the social presence of that specific location? We believe that this section when done right accounts for approximately 23% of your ranking criteria in local search.