When is comes to getting your local Fort Worth business listed in the Google map pack good off-page SEO helps, but citations are key.
Before I get into the specifics, lets go over what the Google map pack is as well as citations.
You have probably done a search for a local business or service and noticed that Google returned a list of local businesses with their address, reviews, and contact information as the first results on the page. In the SEO world, this is considered the Google map pack.
Citations on the other hand are similar to backlinks, but don’t actually have to include a link back to your website. A citation is just a mention of your business on the web, with or without a link. You normally see business citations on local business directories like the yellowpages.com, yelp.com, etc.
A normal citation includes your business name, phone number, address, and sometimes a link to your website. It is important to note that the link back to your website is not as important when it comes to citations. Just having your business phone number listed on a third-party website is considered a partial citation and can help your rankings.
When building citations, it is important that your business name, phone number, and address match exactly the same across all web properties. For example, you shouldn’t list your address with “Street” spelled out on your website and then “St.” on a third party website.
With good on-page SEO, off-page SEO, content, and citations one of the last things to do is claim your local business listing. To do this, you must verify your local business with Google and all other major search engines.
Google will normally send you a post card to the business address and ask you to call and submit a PIN number to activate and claim your local listing.
Once this is complete, it is important to fill out your local business listing with as much content and imagery as possible. Don’t skip over sections and don’t be brief. Google won’t even take your business listing into consideration if it isn’t complete. This is an area where you can easily be better than your competitors!
After everything is setup it is time to start gathering citations and reviews.
Like I mentioned above, you can get citations to your website from all kinds of places online. Some of the popular websites include yellowpages.com, facebook.com, linkedin.com, yelp.com, manta.com, etc. Focus on the major websites at first and see how your rankings fluctuate.
Pro tip: There are some tools online that will help you see your competitors citations.. These might be a good starting point. =)
Another area you should focus on is reviews for your business. Google really likes to list businesses that have good reviews. The best place to start getting reviews is from your existing customers. Simply asking them or providing an incentive usually does the trick. Whatever you do, don’t skip out on reviews!
Make it easy for the customers to submit a review for your company. You could create a business card or flyer with the URL they should go to with simple steps. This is all work that will lead to more organic customers in the future.
Overall, if you are a local business owner and have a physical location, having your business listed in the map pack will without a doubt bring in new leads and customers. In order to get your business listed in the Google map results your site must have quality backlinks, reviews, and citations.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Always feel free to reach out.