Citation and Reviews – Pillars of Local Marketing The Way To Get Positioned On Google Maps
What is a “Citation” in terms of local search?
Citations are defined as a mention of a business Name, Address and/or Phone number (NAP) on a webpage.
It can also be defined as a mention of a business name in close proximity to its address, phone number, or both. Citations are an important part of the local search algorithms of both Google, Yahoo and Bing.
In order for you to take advantage of local citations, it is essential that you already have a Google+ Local Business Page setup, claimed and optimized.
Citations are used to help rank your Google+ Local map listing (this was formerly called Google Places Pages) by providing Google with credible sources of information about your business in order that Google can understand your business exists, is legitimate and that what you say about your business is true and accurate. Google gathers this information from multiple sources to verify its validity.
In simple SEO terms a Local Citation is simply where your company is mentioned on other websites and places found on the Internet. Local citations are used heavily in helping you to rank in local search results.
An example of a citation could be a business directory such as Yelp, Angies List or Four Square where your company is mentioned explicitly by name. It could also be where your company is mentioned, cited, referenced or spoken about on other local websites.
What Are The Different Kinds of Citations?
- General business directories
- Industry, niche or sector specific directories (Trip Advisor, Connecting Dance)
- Local newspaper and press websites
- Local themed blogs
- Prominent local websites (particularly if they’re related to your business niche)
- Social Profiles (Twitter, FourSquare, Facebook, YouTube)
If Google finds your company information on other local websites and citation directories it can be very confident that your business operates its services in these locations. Google will more likely to display your business listing when a person performs a search for the types of products or services that you provide.
In traditional organic SEO, Google largely looks at, counts and credits hyperlinks from one website to another website in order to rank a website in the Google search results. Acquiring more relevant links in theory, will improve an already ranking website even further.
In regards to localized SEO, company mentions (Local Citations) as well as text hyperlinks help to rank a Google+ Local map listing in the search results, acquiring more of these citations will help you to improve the position of an already established Google+.
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Having Top Rated Reviews is A Pillar in Local Google Ranking
When you offer content that people love and are interested in, there is every reason for them to follow through and give you the review you deserve! Often out of not taking the next step due to your visitor moving on to another thought or something else of interest, he or she doesn’t give you that review. Your content should be emotionally powerful enough for people to take that next step of giving you a review. This is why the best way that people get their visitors to leave a review is to ASK THEM FOR A REVIEW. Put the request out in front of them.
It keeps their mind on you and many times will follow through when given a kind command. “LIKE” Me on Facebook is a common and now an everyday term. Even more effective is giving your visitors an easy path to liking you or leaving a comment. Tell them to leave you a review and Engage With Your Audience. When your audience knows, likes and trusts you, most often they will give a review especially when they are asked by you.