In 2015, there will be an estimated 169 billion local searches conducted (according to BIA Kelsey). What can you do to take advantage of your local market?
The top three foundational ranking factors are so closely related that they can be combined into one main category: structured citations. In order to have a well-structured citation, you need a couple of main components: proper category associations, a physical address, consistent NAP (name, address, phone number), and a keyword-rich description. Being able to produce consistent, quality citations will dramatically boost your business in local search rankings.As the number of local searches continues to grow year by year, it is becoming increasingly important that you optimize your web presence for local business. According to research done by Moz,there are a number of key ranking factors that comprise the foundation of your local web presence.
By following the general guideline of quality over quantity, you can begin to see a rise in local search ranking. However, in order to stand out and dominate in a given locality, there are a few more steps to take to gain that edge over your competitor.
Having photos of your business with a keyword-driven description can greatly improve the quality of your citation. Along with photos of the business, having a number of good reviews on high-authority sites like Yelp and Yahoo will have an impact on the weight and quality of your directory listings. On a site like Yelp, having a good review by a high-authority reviewer (Yelp Elite) gives your listing more weight than others who only have a few reviews under their belt.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember about building citations is quality and consistency. Produce quality citations with descriptions, photos, NAP, and proper category associations, and do them consistently over various directories.
Remember that citation building should be a constant, ongoing process, with your goal being around one hundred well-built citations made over the course of a year. Good luck, and see you on the first page!