Did you know consistent and accurate local listings is one of Google’s organic search ranking factors? Because Google wants to provide searchers with the best and most accurate information, it looks for businesses that present a consistent presence across the Web, which includes local citations like listings and review sites, when deciding what to show in search results.
One of the most valuable citations for your online presence is Google My Business. Here are a few tips from our latest 5 in 15 webinar: 5 Google My Business Basics that Get You Found that can help you use your Google listing to improve your SEO and present clear and accurate information about your business to local searchers.
What Are Business Citations?
Citations are any mention of your business name across the web, even if those mentions are not linked directly to your website. Citations can include local listings, review sites, and your listing on Google.
Why Are Citations Important to Local SEO?
Creating consistent citations, meaning your business information like your, name, address, and phone number, is the same across the web is an important local ranking factor because it shows Google that the information on these sites is trustworthy. If Google sees varying information about your business, it’s not sure what to trust, and as a result, may not show anything about your business at all. Plus, having this information listed the same everywhere helps create a user-friendly experience. Imagine you’re searching for a local florist, and you find one that seems promising, but you notice their phone number is listed differently on Google, Yelp, and CitySearch. This conflicting information might deter you from trying any of them, and you may, instead, choose to look for a different florist.
How Can Google My Business Help Your Local SEO?
When you verify your business information through Google My Business, you’re telling Google that your business information is correct on Google Maps, Google search results, and Google+, where consumers are actively searching for businesses online. While it’s important to maintain consistent citations across all local listings, this is a great place to start.
What Does it Mean to Have Consistent Citations?
When it comes to consistency for search engines, it’s important that all your citations contain exactly the same information about your business. For instance, your business name should perfectly match what’s listed on your website, down to punctuation and descriptors like “Inc.” or “Co.” The same goes for your business address – if the address on your website has “St.” instead of “Street,” make sure it’s listed the same way on your Google My Business dashboard and other local listings.
Learn More in Just 15 Minutes
Managing your information through Google My Business can help local searchers find your business online. Hear more helpful tips by downloading our free on-demand webinar: 5 Google My Business Basics that Get You Found. And, check out the other webinars in our 5 in 15 series to learn about marketing insights, tips, and trends in just 15 minutes.
If you’d like help managing your business citations across directory listings like Google My Business and Yelp, check out our local listings management solution, ReachListings.