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In case you haven’t been keeping up with Google’s SEO updates for this year, you might be surprised to find that your local citations will carry even more weight than ever before. Not only will they influence your potential local clients and customers, but Google will now weigh them in search rankings!
That’s right. Local citations factor into SEO the same way social media does now: it proves that your website and company are providing valuable services and content that people genuinely benefit from.
Google is all about relevance and genuineness these days. Not that they haven’t always been, but they are cracking down harder than ever on black hat SEO practices like keyword spamming, dishonest link building, et cetera. Local citations prove that people who are looking for something in your industry can find it in you, that your website and local citations are actually connecting people to valuable services and products.
This is actually good news, because it allows more ways for the really great businesses to rise up to the top of the search results, the people who care about their customers and online presence the most.
So what does that mean for you? It means that, for starters, you should start cleaning up your local citations (especially Google+!). From Yelp to G+ to Angie’s List and more, that means you have your work cut out for you (though local listing management software can help with that). It will be tough, but trust me, it will be well worth it in the end when you have local customers flocking to you and your website is showing up on Google page one!
From now on you will have to keep aware of your local SEO presence, which means more continual work for you and your marketing team. At the very least, check on it regularly.
(Local citations for SEO / shutterstock)