Anyone who’s read our series on Google’s 2014 SEO updates (particularly that one, Part 2 on local citations) knows this is going to be a wild year for SEO, and that your local listing presence is going to be more important than ever in improving your website rankings and helping customers find your store.
But that doesn’t mean it’s time to start tossing your business name and address all over the internet in hopes high volume equals high ranking – that’s actually a Google-2014-no-no that could hurt your SERP ranking.
What Local Listings SHOULD Look Like
In the old SEO days of yore (y’know, like, 2013), people were told by the SEO blog powers-that-be and “gurus” to hit every last local listing website, guest post on mass web content warehouses, use cheap content spinners, press release about everything, and blah blah blah with their business names and addies all over the place to gain citation cred.
But we all know that’s not genuine, and now Google’s ranking system can recognize that, too.
Google is always trying to do away with the seedy gray area SEO practices that used to thrive before Google could figure out how to cover it up. In an attempt to improve the genuineness of local listings, they’re emphasizing quality listings and sincere posts over mass production.
The whole idea of local listings is to connect your local markets to your actual business, and technically that’s what outlets like Yelp, SuperPages, LocalPages, Foursquare, etc. etc. are designed to help people do (not just store your citations).
Shelf the Spam
So instead of spamming every one of them and throwing your citations all over the web, think like a local consumer: what would genuinely help them decide to find you? First of all, there’s a good chance they’re looking for you on a mobile device, so make sure your profiles and localized efforts are mobile SEO friendly.
Second, only hit the major, high-quality local listing cites. Even paid ones could be worth it if your membership gets you even one or two customers a month – remember, word-of-mouth referrals start with just one customer!!
Third, only guest post on decent websites with credibility that are genuinely in place to provide people with original content. The same goes for your press releases. Still use your local citations the end, but don’t just throw these anywhere on the web.
And lastly, start controlling ALL of your local listings with Yext local listing software via PuTTin’ OuT. Make it easy on yourself and get back to business!!
How are your local listing efforts changing this year? Let us know your tips for keeping up with Google in the comments!