Local Maps SEO: Consistency Key for Building Citations

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In this Video SEO Tutorial, local SEO consultant Chris J. Everett discusses local maps SEO and how building consistent citations across the board is critical for getting your local business ranked next to the Google Local Map Results.

Video Transcription

Hello, I’m Chris Everett. I am an SEO consultant here in Atlanta, Georgia, also founder of Captivate Search Marketing, a local Internet marketing firm serving businesses here in Atlanta.

In today’s edition of SEO Educators I’m going to talk about a topic that specifically relates to local search, local SEO, and specifically local maps SEO which I’m sure you’ve all seen in the Google search results when you may search for a local product or service such as chiropractors or even SEO services where you get the search result that has the map and then the list of businesses, the local businesses that provide that product or service that you might be searching for.

And those, of course, are Google+ Local pages, formerly known as Google Places pages. And really what I want to talk about today is enhancing your visibility with that Google local search through usage of citations. And you may have heard what citations or heard the word citations but not really sure what exactly a citation is.

And really what a citation is – it’s a reference from another website about your company’s location. It’s a name, address, phone number, website address, you know. And basically we’re going to talk about is how to consistently do your citations so that you have a better shot at showing up in those local search results next to the map.

So citations, what are citations. Again, that’s the reference to your business. The Google+ Local listing is actually a citation in itself, where it has a list of the name of your company, it has a list of where your address is, what your phone number is, it may have your website address, and really with citations the key here is consistency.

And what this does is it builds credibility for your company in the local region, which establishes that you are a local business. My business is located in Atlanta, so all of my citations, you know, the list of my company’s address, phone number, and it’s very consistent across the board. So, what I really want to talk about today is how you can build citations for your business so that you can show up next to that map.

And with anything, if you have a Google+ profile, you may already have claimed yours, if not, it’s probably already out there, you can go and claim it. I’ll talk about optimizing your Google+ page in a later video. But specifically for citations, there’s many websites out there that you can build citations for, and those might be Merchant Circle, YellowPages.com, Yelp, Bing, Bing or Yahoo! Maps, Kuzdu, Foursquare, there’s several different websites out there where you can build a profile basically for your website.

You know, it establishes you are who you say you are. You’re conducting business in your local community, you know, and it’s all going to boost your credibility and help you rank next to that map.

The real important thing as you’re building out your citations is consistency. You know, and, consistency comes from the listing of your name, your address, your phone number, or short – NAP. The name of your business, you know, this might seem like a no-brainer, but some times companies try to get cute and utilize keyword phrases in the name of their business even though that might not be the real name of the business. So keep it consistent across the board.

Whatever your Google+ profile name is, you know, make sure that you’re utilizing that same business name across the board on all your, all your citations as you build them out. And again, the same thing applies for your address and your phone number. That might seem, again, like a no-brainer, but you know, there’s some instances where you may have, you may be in a shared building where you have a suite number and when you list on one particular citation website versus another, you may say suite in one and number 100 in the other. So it’s very important to be consistent that you utilize the same naming convention throughout all these websites that you’re building citations on.

And again, phone number, same thing. I’ve had clients who’ve moved from one city to another, they had a pretty decent citation profile already, but when they moved from one city to another, they may have changed their phone number and uploaded citations, or they may have had the old phone number that was a forwarding number to the new phone number, but it’s important that you, you know, as you’re building citations that you have one consistent phone number across the board on all those websites.

And again, these websites are all easily accessible and I’ll post a link in the description of this video below to all of these websites – Foursquare, Kudzu, CitySearch and that sort of thing. You also want to post up some citations on industry relevant websites or local websites if there’s local business directories in your community, get a profile up on there. If you are a chiropractor, seek out medical directories or chiropractor specific directories that you can get a business listing on, you know, to help build your citations.

You might also want to post a video and in the description field of the video you’re working on or marketing, that also can be just another reference point for you as you’re building out your citation profile.

And as you get started with your citations, you know, and take a look at the list below, the link below that I provided you, to several of these websites that you can build your profiles on, but there’s also a couple of really nice tools out there that you can reference as you’re building out your citation profile, specifically, the one that’s most popular is GetListed.org. And on GetListed.org, basically what you do when you get there is you type in the name of your business and the zip code and basically what GetListed.org does is it searches the web, it scrapes the web for references, those citations points for your business, and then it comes back with an analysis of how consistent, of how … it gives you a grade basically of the accuracy of the citations across the web, you know, are you using your consistent name, your address, phone number, does your website address match?

And it also gives you a list of how complete your profile might be. Have you established a Yelp page? Have you established a Foursquare page? And it will show you, Have you claimed this listing? Is your listing accurate? So, you know, this is a really cool tool that you’ll want to use as you start to build out your citations, and it should really benefit, this process should really benefit your ability to rank in the local search results, specifically next to that map.

Now there’s other factors that go into that from optimization of your Google+ page, acquiring of reviews, that sort of thing, but starting with citations is a really solid way to get the ball rolling on your local maps optimization process. And again, I’ll discuss Google+ page optimization in a later video, but in this quick video I just wanted to talk about citations and how those can benefit your business for local search.

If you’d like anymore information, go ahead and visit my website at chrisjeverett.com which is linked down below, or you can visit my company’s website at captivateseo.com. Thanks for watching.

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