Where To List Your Online Business and How It Matters For Local SEO
Local SEO really matters for small businesses that have a physical location as most of the local searches made on the mobile phones and laptops results into offline purchases. While people search locally the perform certain tasks that include the search for an address, location, or phone numbers, find coupons or special offers, ratings and reviews, checking for a business that have desired product and services, number of days and time of operation of any organization and driving directions etc. If any or all of these searches matters to your small business, then you surely need to pay attention to your local SEO and ensure that your business is shown up when users do their research.
Here we will discuss how you can optimize local citations across the large amount of local business listing channels.
The Attributes of Local Business Listing
For small business, having physical location and the implementation of local SEO best practices will be more important as compared to the broader SEO approaches. Citation is one of the local ranking factors that matters for your local SEO and its the core part of your SEO strategy. In a simple way it is a small mention of your business on the other webpages that you don’t own that also includes your address and phone number, and a link to your website. The factors that need to be considered to improve your local ranking include citations and location information, links, reviews and finally the website. Yellow Pages are the best example of online directory where you can list your business.
Apart from business name, address, and phone number, things like photos, videos, and proper categorization will also be helpful. Now, we will discuss the top factors that are important while creating your listing.
Name of Your Business
Your business name or title is one of the foremost factors for ranking well in the local search engine results. You need to also make sure that your company name remains completely consistent across all data sources over the web. This will help you to establish trust on your existence and your location. If your company has different names in different listing there are chances that the search engines consider these names as the name of two separate businesses while indexing your business.
Following things must be kept in mind while deciding your listing:
- Your company name must reflect the kind of business you do
- You should have a real-world title. Still, you can include a single description that will help your customers locate your business and your services
- Never use marketing taglines, store codes and URLs as descriptors as they are not valid
You can also do some keyword research to get a perfect and an optimized name for your business.
Remember to have consistency in the way you mention your address in the listings. As we mentioned above, since these search engines work based on detail-oriented architecture, they will consider the addresses that are entered in different way as different businesses and this will lower the confidence of the visitors and will have a negative impact on your rankings. Also, you need to keep in mind the actual physical location of your business, as it also matters how far your company location is from the actual city.
The importance of consistency also applies equally to your phone numbers, especially while putting them on the web. If you use several phone numbers, for best SEO practices, we recommend never to do that.
Proper category associations are most important to have relevance. While creating local listing for your business on the search engines, you will need to select the categories that best describe your business that will be then used by the search engines to serve the results related to those keywords. Improper categorization will severely harm your ability to get ranked for the local keyword searches.
Some of the ways through which you can optimize your categorization include:
- It is very important that you carry out keyword research to find out the common industry names that consumers may be using to find companies that works just like yours
- You can use Google Sets to discover the search terms that Google considers as semantically associated with the category names that you have already chosen
- Do not restrict your keywords only to the broad category names
Now we will discuss where exactly you need to create online listings and citations to have maximum impact.
- Local Search Engines like Bing places, Google places and Yellow Pages
- The Big Data Aggregators like Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup and Neustar Localeze
- Social Media and Local Blogs
- Local Directories and Newspapers and also register yourself at the Chamber of Commerce website for your city
To manage all your citations, it is always good to do it yourself, or pay for the subscription software or for any SEO agency based on the size of your business and your budget while making your decision.
Building citations and getting in front of the consumers' eyes are the most important part of your company. Never overlook this!!
[We are Connecting Dots, a full service eCommerce solutions company. At Connecting Dots, we help companies build great online businesses, we are Magento and Hybris implementation partners and build great eCommerce portals]