I’m going to cover the three major pillars of local search, which are Listings, Citations and Reviews
First we’ll look into listings. We are going to take a look at the types and locations of results in the triggers that indicate to a search engine that it is a local search. We’re also going to consider the three major search engines that are currently players in the local game.
Some people say citations are the new link. If you recall from marketing principles, a website or businesses’ transparency and exposure on the Internet from high authority sources is what will get that business exposed in the search engines. In order to increase the businesses trust, citations from trusted websites are required.
Citations are merely Web references of the company in question. When referencing a company online, there are certain pieces of information that are important to reference such as the company name, it’s address and its unique local phone number. We call this NAP, N . A . P . for name, address, and phone number
Reviews are a very important part of the local business marketing strategy. In fact, I believe the reviews are likely the single most important factor in marketing a business online. Not for just for ranking, but overall marketing initiatives.
There are so many reasons why reviews play such a significant role in marketing the local business online from possibly influencing the search results to dramatically improving or hurting perspectives conversion to the call to action.
Customer reviews are merely the digital form of word of mouth advertising. It has been said for centuries that the best form of marketing any business could ever potentially receive this free word-of-mouth and by employing certain campaigns internally at your business you can drive system reviews to your company.
Reviews are becoming a very important part of establishing different factors within the local business results listings and their respective rankings.
For example, the concept of social review ranking is not being discussed anywhere where implementing systems to measure and monitor and understand how the search engines are deploying review ranking algorithm systems and how the search engines are building social profiles of online reviewers to determine different review patterns.
This is one of those topics that can be very simple and become very complex. Because of the sheer importance of reviews, we have gone to great lengths to understand the system while marketing a business online.
While I believe that the difference between organic search engine optimization and optimizing for the local business results will become closer and closer together, today there are still different strategies.
The biggest difference that will separate the two organic search engine strategies, SEO and Local, is that the process of search engine optimization is still ranking websites and the latter is ranking a business.