Google Map Citations to Help Local SEO
Google Map Citations are worth pursuing if you have a Google My Business page and wish to appear on local searches and map results.
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) have evolved over the years. Previously if you wanted to appear at the top of the page you would simply optimise your site to appear high up in the organic results. This changed with the introduction of Pay Per Click adverts and search engines would give prominence to these paid ads. More recently, Google added results to their Maps section. Now if you aren’t using Adwords or appearing on Google Maps, even if you are at position 1 in the natural results you may find that there are 6 or 7 other businesses that a potential customer will see before they reach your listing.
What are Google Map Citations?
Simply, a citation is a mention of your business name on a website. Usually a citation will be accompanied by other information which is often referred to as NAP – Name, Address, Phone No. Data accuracy is important – your citations should include the same details across the web – consistent business listings are a must…
How Google Map Citations Improve Ranking…
Citations are used to help rank your Google My Business listing by supplying the search engine with reputable sources of information about your organisation. Google are then able to validate that your business exists and what you have said about your business is accurate by corroborating information from multiple sources.
When Google crawls information about your company on websites and directories it can be more confident that the information is correct if all information it finds is the same. This in turn ensures Google are more likely to display your business listing when a user performs a search for the types of products or services you provide.
To appear above your competitors on local search, essentially you need a larger amount of quality citations.
What Makes a Good Citation?
The 3 essential items are Name, Address and Phone. These should be consistent across all of your listings and match the information on your Google Business page. Adding a short description detailing what you do is also beneficial and can help when a user searches for services you provide.
How to Obtain Google Map Citations…
Creating citations can be a time consuming task and with thousands of places where they can be posted you need to be sure that the domain / directory is reputable and isn’t going to have a negative effect on your positioning. However, if you are a business that would benefit from appearing high in local search it can be worth the time and effort involved in researching and publishing your information online. Alternatively, if your budget allows, you may consider outsourcing the task to an SEO specialist.