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Quality not Quantity – Small Business SEO Citations

Google Local Business Center for Small Business SEOIf there is one fundamental mistake that people make with SEO, and this is extends from lone rangers to business owners right through to SEO agencies it is always concentrating on volume. More (crappy) links, more (crappy) citations, more (crappy) content. More, more, more is better, better, better – right?

Well, you know, bigger is not always better (or so I tell my wife) and quantity is not going to win out over quality in more competitive spaces. I have seen estimates that total citations accounts for around 25% of the local rank so whilst they are certainly important, getting them right and concentrating on that quality is also an equally important and often overlooked factor where you can get a leg up on the competition.

Getting Started

Before you wade in make sure you understand what a citation is, the types of citations and make sure you have a consistent name, address & phone number (NAP).

Optimising your Listings

Another mistake made with SEO practioners and DIY SEO folks is to think of citations (and links) purely as a way to inflate rank and position of the site in the search engine results pages (SERPs – acronym soup). Instead, we want to think of each one of these structured citations as being an advertisement for our business. So, each advertisement could be a potential listing in the search engine result pages and could generate a visitor or even a phone call or email direct from that listing – but, only if that listing is well put together and to do that you have to think beyond just collecting citations for pure volume.

So, we want to devote some time and effort to making these listings as good as possible so that means:

  • A claimed listing
  • Consistent business information
  • Correct categorisation
  • A strong description with keywords where natural to do so
  • Images & Videos
  • Opening Hours
  • Reviews, reviews, reviews
  • Regular updates

Ultimately, each listing is going to be different but for the bigger ones, the ones that actually crop up in search when you are searching around your service then making these as strong as possible means you have more potential ways that people can find you AND well put together listings will pass more value upstream and improve your local SEO in the process – win win. A well put together listing also has more chance of popping up in the search results so again – think of these listings as adverts & put some effort into them!

Quality & Quantity

We do wan’t to build plenty of citations, that can certainly help our positioning but we also want to make sure they are as good as possible as they will pass more value and more importantly they will generate more business. Simply put – if you can bring quality control into all you do in search then you will always be one step ahead of the competition.

If you have any other questions on Local SEO or Small Business SEO then give me a shout on Facebook or Twitter.

Marcus Miller

I am an SEO Consultant based in Birmingham UK and with clients all over the world. I have been working in and around search for 15 years and currently focus on SEO Consulting, Website Consulting, Local SEO and Technical SEO Audits.

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