Here’s How Local Search Works
Aside from the whole “Organic SEO” bit, (which if you don’t fully grok, get in touch ‘cos it’s really important,) here’s the fundamentals behind being visible in local search results.
NAP & Digital Footprint
I’ve written about NAP before, (if you don’t understand what it is and how it affects your visibility, get in touch,) but it’s not just NAP - it’s about visual branding, about imagery, about standardized language and about knowing where and how to apply these things.
Top 10 Directories
Links back to your website are perhaps the biggest factor in online visibility, (see Organic SEO above,) however in the local world there is a category of links called “Citations” - these are links back to your website from online aggregators.
- Google is an aggregator - it aggregates the world
- Facebook is an aggregator - it aggregates friends
- YP.com is an aggregator - it aggregates businesses
- Yelp.com is an aggregator - it aggregates business reviews.
- Citysearch.com is an aggregator - it aggregates local businesses
This is not about having a blog post linking to your site with cleverly devised anchor text - this is a simple listing - your NAP (see above,) a link to your website and occasionally some photos and language.
You need a citation to your business from the top 10 aggregators at the very least - 5 of which are listed above - and citations are generally free.
The Next 50 Aggregators
- IRS.gov is an aggregator - it aggregates Tax information
- NAEA.org is an aggreator - it aggregates Tax Professionals
- CSEA.org is an aggregator - it aggregates Californian Tax Professionals
- TaxMama.com is an aggregator - it aggregates discussions between Tax Professionals
I’m using the word aggregator on purpose but you could substitute it for Directory. There are thousands of websites that list or curate information where your business could get a citation.
Note that - as with organic links - not all citations are equal. A link to your website from IRS.gov is going to have exponentially more impact than the flattering blog post on bryanslegoblog.com.
Researching the right sites for your business, creating the citation and following up to make sure it has been implemented correctly, all takes time.
It’s Not Rocket Science
I know that for my clients it’s not that they can’t do it or couldn’t learn how to do it, it’s that they don’t have time.
So the question becomes, who is going to do it?
If you’d like to get a jump on your local visibility get in touch - I have some solutions.
Written while listening to: Sadness Development by music2work2
Image Credit: Citation House, Worcester by Duncan Hull on Flickr