If you are a local business owner, there is no doubt you would like to see your website, Google Places , Yahoo Local or Bing Local listing come at the top of the local search results when a potential customer does a search for your products or services. To achieve that you will need a good mixture of local SEO techniques, all of which are designed to get your business in front of web users. one such technique is link citations optimization.
You may not yet be aware of how important they are, how to get them or even what they are but I'm here to tell you, without them your business website or search engine local listing is going to be buried out of sight, hidden for ever from the eyes of your life blood, new customers.
What exactly is a link citation?
When ever the search engine spiders come across your business details, like business name, address of your trading promotions, telephone numbers, website address, email address and other details associated with your business, it is counted as a reference to your business and the best part is it does not matter if it is a link in the true (internet) sense of the word, just the mention is enough to improve the position of your website or local listing in the local search results.
Do you really need them?
Quite simply yes, link citations improve your chances of getting on top of those all important Google Places / Maps Listings. Just in case you have been really busy of late, and have not seen the "new" Google search results, these are the results that appear when you do a local search, such as say "central heating engineer Wolverhampton". The search will return results with marks A to G, the top seven spots under the paid results, that are represented on the map found in the right side bar. Check it if you have not seen them before, or you need reassuring that this is the case. Now if you are not in those seven results you will show on the map as a spot and chances are no one will even bother checking you out. There is plenty of evidence that this will be the case on my website.
So, it is now not enough just to claim your Google Places Page , you have to set it up right and then go about getting links back to it, not in the same form as normal websites (a hyperlink with keyword anchor text) but in the form of citations. The good thing is there are plenty of places for you to get citation links, from the big players in local online directories to the smaller niche specific directories, you want to add your business information to as many as you can find (or afford) but the downside is, it takes up so much of a business owners time doing so. And just to prove the point I am going to give you 10 sites that will give your local SEO campaign a shot in the arm, if you do it right. Sorry but if you are still to claim your Google Places Page then these are no good to you.
Here's where you can get ten quick and easy link citations.
Like I said, there are endless online directories, with more appearing every day, and all can help you show in those all important top seven places. To get you underway, and to shamelessly push my affordable, local SEO, directory submission service, here are ten to get you on your way.
- Smile Local
- Cylex Business Directory
- Best Of The Web
- City Visitor
- Insider Pages
- Yellow Pages
- Business Magnet Directory
- City Listings
- Hot Frog
If you get on OK with those, and you fancy some more punishment (Google really like to make you work hard for that top spot), then there are many more out there. Try this little trick. Search for your competitors link citations by going to the top seven places for your business and click on the Place page, just scroll to the bottom of the page and under More About This Place you will find all their indexed citation links. If there is nothing there they have none but if they have, just go and list on the same directory and give your local SEO efforts a further boost.