Whether you have a small or large business, making sure your brand ranks well in the local search arena is important. In order to increase your SEO ranking, businesses are required to have an up-to-date and accurate address and phone number.
Placing the company’s city, state or region they operate in will help generate a more effective local search. These should be included within the titles, tags and in some cases meta-tags.
Google Map Packs are the group of three businesses listed below the Google Ads on the first page. Contrary to popular belief, these listed businesses are not sponsored ads; but instead these are three businesses that are listed organically. They are chosen by Google based on how well each business ranked within their brand category. Within this coveted spot, Google will show a map as well as driving directions to your business site. This is the “cream of the crop” when it comes to online real estate for businesses. Companies that are listed in this group will obtain what studies suggest are nearly 50% of the total clicks.
One of the quickest ways to decrease your SEO rankings is to have misinformation of your company’s physical location on your website or social media sites. SEO Specialists oversee placing this information onto sites such as Yelp, Citysearch, Merchant Circle and more. This information should also be up-to-date on citation data aggregators such as Infogroup, Localeze, Factual, to name a few. Within these sites, SEO Specialists can verify the address and phone number of the company is listed perfectly (including correct suite numbers, etc.). If Google cannot decipher if the business contact information is accurate, your business address and/or phone number could be listed incorrectly, or in most cases not be listed at all. This can be detrimental to your brand.
Anytime your local business name, address or phone number is listed online, you receive a citation. Some of the most effective ways to add citations include: adding forms to your website that list your company information such as articles, forums, press releases, etc and adding your business information into online directories such as Yelp. Businesses can also list their website and contact information onto their social media sites to obtain more citations. They can actively send backlinks by visiting other blog or forums around the web and add a link into the comments section. Analyzing your competitors’ citations will also be beneficial. This will help you find more online directory sites that you may not have already been aware of. Customer reviews placed on websites and social media sites will also generate citations.
Positive customer reviews will help increase your SEO ranking, as well as gain trust with your audience. They are usually ranked with a 1-5 star system; 5 stars being the best rating. They can range from anywhere to one sentence to several paragraphs in length. Customers are known to compare different reviews and will base those results towards their purchasing decisions. Make sure that your competitors have around the same range of review ranking in order to stay relevant within your business sector. If your company is running into issues obtaining online customer reviews, there are several ways to obtain them. The first being direct contact.
Ask in person, call or email customers directly to leave a review. Another method is to leave a link as a part of your email signature for customers to leave a review. Printed flyers that are distributed is still a tried and true method as well. The number of reviews each company needs can have a great deal of variation. This number is going to typically reach between 5-50 reviews. Certain industries will be more likely to get reviewed than others. Auto mechanics, hairdressers typically receive more reviews than accountants, for instance.
Companies should make sure their reviews continue to appear on a consistent basis in order to keep a higher SEO ranking. If a website has fifty reviews on their site that are positive, yet are all over a year old, this will not help with your ranking. Another factor to keep in mind about online reviews is customers are more inclined to leave a review of your product or service within three days of purchase. The transaction will be fresh on their mind and chances are they would have recently used the said product or service within that time frame.
Keeping your optimized website updated with the correct contact information for your customers and/or potential customers to find you as well as verifying that information is accurate all over the web will merit a better chance for them to find you. This positive experience, along with a quality product/service, will help increase your overall SEO ranking which will then help to showcase your brand in a positive light.