The Growing Local Search Ecosystem

the-local-web

Local search is all any marketer is talking about this year! Take a look at a portion of this infographic above. As you can see, local websites are at the heart of local review, social media, daily deal and mobile websites. It’s no wonder that local search sites are considered to be the single largest opportunity for national brands with the capability to drive local awareness as well as sales. Check out all 5 infographics here.

Local Citations
This brings me to my next point of the importance of building quality local citations that work in unison with your SEO plan. Local citations are mentions of your brand and business contact info that are unlinked. We’ve talked about them previously like they’re references made in an academic paper.

Just like with link building, you’re looking for quality in local citations. Some citations are great for your website, where low-quality sites could not be helpful at all or even harmful.

How to Find Good Local Citations
With the growing importance of local citations, it’s important to grow them at a natural speed and to fill out all your information correctly. Remembering choosing directories for link building? It’s time to look at local citation sources in the same way.

The most obvious way is to do a quick visual run down of the site itself. Does it look well-design and legitimate? Is it overrun with ads without any contact information? Check Page Rank, Domain Authority and Domain Age. This is the quickest way to find out if a site is legitimate. You can also search for their name + “scam” or “fraud” to see what kinds of results come up.

Some local citation sites are known for their pushy salesmen who guarantee #1 rankings without any real proof or transparency. Other sites may have complaints about over billing. It’s best to stay away from these sites or at the very least, avoid paying for your submission.

Local Search Takeways
Local citations are here to stay so it’s best to read up on the latest best practices and tactics. Remember, that quality matters much more than quantity. SEO is about much more than links in today’s world and we have to understand where local and social play a role in website’s success. It’s all starting to come together as pieces of a bigger puzzle now!

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