Question: Where do agencies start when they look at your Local SEO?
Answer: Your business citations.
These are your business listings and profiles located all over the internet. They are the front door to your business and the customer’s first impression of you. But, most importantly, these business citations help you rank in search engine results, especially for Local SEO.
Here you’ll find our step by step guide to improve your Local SEO with your business citations.
And we’ll tell you how Google’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) will affect your business listings?
Keeping reading — you need to know this information!
Step 1: Claim or Create Your Business Listings
Make sure your listings are set up with the big players such as Google My Business, Bing Places, Facebook Pages, Yelp For Business, Foursquare, Australian Planet, Brown book, Hot Frog, Opendi, Search Frog, Start Local, Tupalo, Where To, Local Mint etc.!
Claim these ASAP so that no one else can edit your info or begin to leave reviews without your knowledge.
Step 2: Be Consistent with your Details
Make sure that your information is consistent, complete and accurate. Consistency with your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is one of the most important signals that Google uses to get you higher in search engine rankings; it is the significant groundwork for your Local SEO.
Make Google’s job as easy as possible, after all, it’s one big complicated robot and the results are black or white, you’re either in, or you’re out!
Where is your business listed, and are your listings correct? Click here for a free local presence check!
Step 3: Do Some Keyword Research and Include Them in Your Content
Whether you do your keyword research manually or use a professional service, either way, you must put some time and effort in.
Start with a search of your competitors on Google or Bing, what keywords do they appear under. You must include geographically specific keyword/s and service/product specific keyword/s.
Some keywords are so widely used that the competition will be tough — you’ll never get ranked high enough. So, mix it up and think outside the square, you could find excellent keywords with less competition.
Your business description also needs to include your keywords, but make sure the information is still useful and relevant to customers. If you have created a Google website, and are writing a Bio or uploading posts, remember to carry your keywords through your content.
Step 4: Link your Website and Ensure Consistency
Make sure to enter your website details in your business citation, nothing spells conversion rate like a customer that clicks through to your website — bingo, it’s a hot lead!
You must also make sure that your website NAP matches all of your business listings. You need to take every effort to ensure consistency across the web.
Step 5: Choose your Categories Carefully
Make sure you choose the correct category for your business. Try to be specific with your category if you can, but don’t choose an obscure one, or choose too many. Think about what your customers will type into their search?
Here’s a useful Google link to help with Categories.
Step 6: Assign your Attributes — Why Are You Different?
Attributes help customers answer specific questions about your business, such as whether Free Wi-Fi is available, or outdoor seating. These attributes allow you to increase your appeal to customers that check out your profile. Think about what your customers would ask and save them a phone call —
they’ll appreciate it. And make sure to put your accurate business hours up, you don’t want to disappoint customers that turn up on your doorstep.
Step 7: Find Some Awesome Images
Photos help boost your reputation and increase the number of clicks on your profile. Ensure to add some eye-catching images to your listing that depict your products and services and add appealing images of the interior and exterior of your business — take the opportunity to sell your brand!
Soon Google will be using AI to judge your images and match how suitable they are for people searching for services. So, get your cameras ready and start snapping some professional photos — whether it’s your best soy latte or your best kitchen reno, the Google bots will soon be checking them out!
Step 8: Speech Recognition
With more and more customers using smart technology and AI in their homes and cars, speech recognition will play a larger role in searches. When a customer is in their car, and they ask for the best local café, you want Google to choose you first! Optimising your business listings will get you there.
Step 9: Ask for Those Reviews!
Remember to ask your customers for reviews! Reviews help all businesses, whether large or small improve their rankings in search results. Head over to our blog on reviews and learn more.
The take-home message with business citations is to be consistent, complete and accurate with your listings. If this all sounds too much, we can help!
Google, 2019, Improve your local ranking on Google.
Google, 2019, Behind the scenes at The Future of Search.