If you read our last post on Google changes for 2014, you know the name of the game for SEO this year is relevance, and also quality (I guess that’s two names, but who’s counting? ;).
So it should make a lot of sense that local citations will see some significant changes in SERP value this year, too. Think about it: what says relevant more than local?
What Are Local Citations?
For the uninitiated, a local citation is basically just your business name and address getting mentioned together somewhere on the internet other than your website. Most people make this happen through local business directories like Yelp and Angie’s List, but you can also guest blog, trade mentions with other websites, submit press releases, and do pretty much whatever you do for backlinking.
How Backlinks Will Change for Google in 2014
As I said in Part 1 of this series, Google is cracking down hard on spammers and is trying to make Google support quality over tactics. The same will go for local citations.
Powered By Research has an interesting forum from bigwig marketers projecting 2014 SEO changes, and everyone weighs in on citations. The fact is if you’re spamming citations all over cruddy citation warehouses like a Vote for Ron Paul sticker in Montana, you’re wasting your time (and may even get penalized).
Local Citation Solution
The solution? You’ve got to work with Google here and change your game. Honestly these updates are great, as they’re allowing the quality providers to rise to the top while penalizing the fly-by-nighters and dishonest businesses. So if you’re a quality business, you’ll do great!
- Keep your local citations limited to high-quality directories and make sure your profiles are complete.
- Send out relevant press releases only when they matter, and include your business name and address at the bottom.
- Keep guest posting to a minimum and make sure it’s on quality blogs with a great bio and tag at the end.
- NEVER post your address randomly/for the HAY of it just to get another citation on a website that has nothing to do with local businesses.
- To fix up your local citations (ALL of them!) FAST, use PuTTin’ OuT’s new citation fix software!
Remember, local citations are LOCAL. If in doubt about the relevance, just don’t cite yourself at all – don’t get too exCITEd!! (Couldn’t resist getting one more of those in 🙂