Rock Your SEO with Google Maps Citations
What is a Google Map citation? It’s when the name of your business is mentioned on another website. For instance, a citation could happen on a business directory like Yelp, Foursquare, or Yahoo Local when your company is mentioned by name.
Make Sure Your Data is Accurate
It’s a good idea to opt to include your business address and phone number, so your citation is comprehensive. And you definitely want to make sure your information is entirely accurate.
To make sure your map listing ranks high in local map searches it’s imperative that your business name, phone number, and address are consistent in all business directories and citations (ex: mentions of your name, address, and phone number are always the same).
Citations allow Google to find reputable sources of information about your business to help rank your Google Local map listing. Using map citations, Google can validate your business’ existence and legitimacy as well as the accuracy of what you’ve said about your business by corroborating information about your business from multiple sources.
How Does it Work?
By finding relevant information about your business on other websites, Google can be more confident about the information that you’ve given them concerning your company. This helps make sure that Google displays your business listing when someone performs a search for the kinds of products or services you offer.
To benefit from local citations, it’s essential that you set up a Google My Business profile, claim your business, and optimize it by adding your business name and details to directories and other websites.
What Kinds of Citations Are There?
Types of citations include:
- Business directories (Yellow Pages, Yelp, etc.)
- Industry, niche, or sector-specific directories (Trip Advisor)
- Local newspaper and press websites
- Local themed blogs
- Prominent local websites (primarily when related to your business niche)
- Social Profiles (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.)
How Can I Use Citations to Beat My Competition?
The short answer is that you need more high-quality citations than your competitors. Although the total number of citations is important, it’s also vital to keep in mind that the quality of the directory where your citation is listed is also very important, and so is the accuracy of the information that you enter.
If you want your Google Map citations to rank high on Google Local listings, then you need to make sure that your general and niche citations are complete because this will create value and improve your visibility and presence within all of Google maps products.
It’s easier to obtain a business listing citation, but it’s a little more tricky to obtain a local or niche website citation. You’ll need to have something newsworthy for these local websites and newspapers to talk about, and you’ll have to get their attention to begin with. If you have anything newsworthy to report, we recommend releasing a digital press release on your website to announce the news.
How Can I Make An Excellent Local Citation?
For a local citation to be excellent, both individual people and Google itself need to see it as credible and trustworthy. To help build trust and credibility always include three pieces of critical information when creating or claiming your business directory style citation:
- Your business name
- Your local telephone number including your local area code
- Your business’ physical address
It’s important that these three pieces of information are both present and consistent on your website as selectable HTML text and not as a graphic.
This information is vital when creating and filling out both the general and industry-specific directories.
What Should I Keep in Mind?
Pro Tip: If your business is in a particular niche or obscure area that you’re unable to describe using a broad or general category. then it might not be a good idea to invest in a Local SEO campaign to appear in the Google Map Pack.
Local SEO only helps improve your rankings where your listing appears within the Google Maps Pack, which is sometimes referred to as the seven pack since this is the number of results Google will usually display.
Google maps specific keywords only trigger citations, and these keywords heavily favour local businesses or services. For instance, Restaurants, Gyms, Garages, and Grocery Stores are good examples of local companies.
Keep in mind that only specific phrases trigger the maps to show in the results. For example, if you search for “Garage”, the map citations will not appear, but if you search for “Garage Near Me”, then the map citations will be displayed. When it comes to voice search, the voice assistant will default to the “near me” option.
To learn more about Google Map citations and how to improve your overall SEO rankings, including Voice Search rankings, click here.