Posted by Kris Bennett, PR Specialist on January 15, 2015
You may be asking yourself, “What the heck does that title even mean?” To put it in simply, leveraging local SEO listings and citations is the process of using all of the searchable local listings; such as Google+, yellow pages and others; to be ranked at the top of the search engine. The benefit should be glaringly obvious; it allows people within your local areas to find you first over any competitor.
Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Well, surprise! It is!
Although the process is relatively simple, it can be tedious to complete. The first thing you’ll want to do is head over to moz.com/local and search your listing score by clicking “Check my listing score”. From there you should see your company name or several of listings of your company name.If you don’t see any listing or you do have multiples then it’s important to get going on your SEO listings.
Your listing is compiled by a search across major sites known as citations and aggregates. Citations are companies like Yelp, Superpages and Foursquare. Aggregates are companies that distribute your name, address, phone number and website (NAPW or NAP for short) to make sure they stay uniform.
There are two first steps depending on what your score search returns. If your initial search returns several of your company names (before you click to see your stats) or when you look at your stats it shows many duplicate listings. Your first step should be deleting/removing duplicate postings and inconsistencies. This will help you improve the consistency of your NAPWs and improve your MOZ Local score and local presence.
Each one of these connects to different (sometimes similar) citations that will all carry your information. For a complete look, this infographic explains this system in more detail than I will.
Tediousness. That’s the first catch. You’ve seen so far the work involved isn’t arduous or difficult. It’s time consuming and repetitive. The tedious part is going through each aggregate and citation making sure that they each have the exact same spelling and listing information (Remember NAP). For example:
These are relatively the same listing, but for the Google Maps and other map crawlers, this would be rather confusing. When searching for a listing, these systems look for consistency to prove that the information is correct. When each one is slightly different, it ranks it lower or doesn’t pick it up at all. The more consistent your citations and listings are, the higher your MOZ score and ranking becomes.
With many of the citations, there is an option for a description of the business. This is another tedious part. Each description should be unique because Google uses the descriptions as unique and worthwhile content while ranking the uniform NAPW as authoritative content.
The second catch is that when changing incorrect or duplicate listings, the process is different for each citation and aggregate. It can be difficult and time consuming to change the listings or have duplicates removed. Be prepared for the long haul with those.
These aggregates and citations are for the generic local listings. There are, for many industries, specific citations, such as dentalsearch.com or healthgrades.com. It is important to find your industry-specific citation sites and add your NAPW to those. Make sure to keep them uniform and with a unique description as well.
Improving your local listing score can drastically help your company and can get you on the map within your areas. Don’t be that business with fantastic service, product and vision but not a single client to be seen. Get on the map, by putting yourself there. It will take time and consistency to get on the top, but nothing worth doing is easy.