Local Listings, Citations & Directories

Rightly so, businesses place a lot of focus on their website; ensuring that it is both user friendly and search engine friendly. However, getting a leg up in local search results will require more than a solid-functioning website. Today, relevance, proximity, authority, and popularity are super important for a business to thrive in local search results. Done correctly, citations, niche directories, and local listings provide valuable links to your website that accentuate overall search engine strategies.  

High Value Directory Listings

High value local listings for both general and niche industries can have a legitimate impact on search engine results and E.A.T. (Expertise, Authority & Trustworthiness) The best news is that they have little to no required investment -other than time. Below is a list of the top 5 general citation listings based on a combination of MOZ Domain Authority, Alexa Ranking data and other core components of local business search optimization.  

5-Step High Impact Listings For Local Business

  1. Google My Business

    The most valued place for a local business with at least one physical location is, by far, Google My Business. Add your business listing for free to gain customer reviews and show up in more local search results including Google & Google Maps.

  2. Bing Places For Business

    Bing weighs more heavily on social signals & pulls reviews from third party sources such as Yelp & Facebook. Free listing & very worthwhile to add this smaller search engine to your local search strategy.

  3. Better Business Bureau

    The BBB receives a massive amount of traffic, builds trust immediately & appears on page 1 of many organic brand searches. (Google approved) Even the free, non-accredited version, is a win-win for local business.

  4. YELP

    Yelp follows some strict guidelines that make it difficult to acquire new reviews & have bogus reviews removed. On the other hand, Yelp reviews are shared on other platforms. Most importantly, information from Yelp is used to populate Apple Maps.

  5. LinkedIn

    When someone searches from Google or Bing, your LinkedIn posts can appear. This type of professional platform quickly builds authority, trust & also can be used to build a network of new clients & referrals for your business future

Honorable Local Listing Mentions

A free company Facebook page allows an opportunity to gain reviews and engage with huge daily base of customers. It is expected for a local business to have a page, however, if the page is not current or engaging, it can have a negative impact on a business brand. Secondly, I have removed Yahoo Local Business listings from my top 5. They have been through many changes in recent years.  The complications of having to manage this listing through a 3rd party company (YEXT) takes it out of my top 5. If you do not mind the hassle, go for it. I choose to ignore it & replace that time with more productive endeavors.

Internet Listings For Local Success

Please do not litter the internet with listings that have no clear purpose. (In an effort to inflate traffic numbers from paid ads, companies like Yellow Pages and Yellow Book have been known to do this.) Instead, ensure that each referral site truly adds value to your overall online strategy. Local SEO consultants who setup and manage these efforts utilize marketing tools that measure the popularity and value of each potential link. Measurement data includes data such as traffic, ranking and domain authority. If you do not have the ability to hire professional help, just use good common sense. For example, if you are a local law firm, it would make sense to have your information on AVVO. On the contrary, it may not make sense to list on Grub Hub or Zillow.

Local Business Citations Overview

Use citations, niche directories and local listings to brand and inform. Done correctly, they provide links of qualified eyeballs to your business website. What works for your business may be slightly different. Just stick to the citations that are most relevant to your specific industry and town and have the most impact on local search results & website traffic. If you need assistance setting up or managing your business listings, contact us for affordable pricing options.

Location Landing Page for Service-Related Multiple Location Business

What is a Location Landing Page?

Is it a location page? YES! Is it a landing page? YES!

It’s common to see service-related businesses with multiple locations not performing as well as they could in local search results.  At first glance, many of these businesses, such as law firms, insurance agencies, financial planners and home improvement specialties appear to have decent looking websites. However, what they typically have in common is that they are missing optimized location landing pages.

Having multiple locations doesn’t change local SEO ranking factors

Local SEO ranking factors have many moving parts. One piece of that puzzle is the “location landing page.”  A location landing page is a dedicated page on your website that is highly visible to search engines while providing all of the important information for website visitors to find and contact your business.  Aim to achieve clear connections between office locations and your services. These pages should also easily convert a web lead into a phone call, email, or forms submission to your business. Or, in the very least, provide directions to your business.

Again, if  you have multiple locations, a dedicated location landing page should be created for every one of your business physical locations.  Each page should be SEO optimized according to local ranking factors. Some of the most important ranking factors to keep in mind are:

  • Keep the name, address & phone of each location consistent across the web. Match each one with how they appear on your Google My Business location page.
  • Consider site navigation, architecture & page hierarchy when naming your new city page; ensure the city name is in both the URL and the Header of each page.
  • Title & Meta-Description unique to each location landing page & include city & state of each physical location AS WELL as service keywords you want to rank for.
  • Make your page relevant to your services and interesting to visitors by creating interesting and unique content. Keeping things unique for multiple locations can be a challenge, but
  • Ensure there are several ways to be contacted from these pages & don’t forget a Google Map with a marker and directions.
  • Use local citations such as Google My Business, Yelp, & Bing to start creating inbound links to each location landing page URL.
  • Ensure that each of your new pages are mobile friendly & have a fast load time.
  • Be sure to mention your locations throughout your website & add internal links to your new location landing pages.

Product vs Service Related Local Business Location Landing Page

Generally, businesses who sell products feature photos, descriptions and reviews to do much of the work of selling.  Businesses that sell services have more of a challenge to creative interesting and relevant descriptions, but are also encouraged to leverage and utilize reviews.  As long as your business has physical locations, and your goal is to optimize  local search results in those cities, there isn’t a difference in location landing page strategies or SEO ranking factors for this page.

Determine your customers search keyword intent and go from there.  (This will be some variety of your service keyword + city name.) Don’t get caught up in trying to stuff too much content / information into each of these pages.  Follow the bullets above. When completed, your location landing page should look and feel just a little bit like a PPC landing page.  It should have a strong message with super-tight context that grabs attention and clearly has contact information with easy accessibility to action.

Creative Ideas for Location Landing Page Content

  • Call This Location/Office Now.
  • Share a photo of the office location in this particular city.
  • When was this location established? Why?
  • What has changed over the years?
  • Has your office or the surrounding had renovations or improvements?
  • Is there parking here or nearby?
  • Does this office have a unique feature?
  • Does this office have a dedicated staff?
  • Is your business connected to this city by community sponsorships or events?
  • Do you have bragging rights connected to the city?
  • Can you provide alternative driving instructions or visual markers that would be helpful?
  • Do you have local reviews for your service? These are the best bragging rights! Add them!

Remember, the rest of your website provides more detailed information about your services.  You’re landing page should not look like another home page.  Be sure to have user-friendly navigation and include at least one link to a top-category page on each location landing page. If you do these things, along with the other elements highlighted, your local service-related business is off to a great start.

What NOT To Do on your Location Landing Page

  • Don’t cut & paste/duplicate content from other pages on your website.
  • Don’t make up landing pages for cities that you aren’t physically located in.
  • Don’t over or under-link this page. (And never purchase links.)
  • Don’t over-do the content to create clutter. This is a simple location landing page.

Hire Leaning Tree Digital Strategist To Create Your Location Landing Pages

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