Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Local Search Citations and Reviews

How To Get Local Search Citations and Reviews

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Local Search citations and reviews are critical parts of developing a robust and productive local search presence. While citations and reviews are both very important, each contributes its own value. This post will acquaint you with the differences between, and value of, local search citations and reviews. For more information, or to get started on leveraging the power of local search citations, you should contact an internet marketing comapny that understands local search SEO.

Local Search Reviews

On your business local search page, especially Google Places, people have the opportunity to rate your business and enter review comments. As the volume of reviews grows, your online reputation develops. Ideally your business will have a four to five star rating, with plenty of positive reviews. Reviews can have a strong influence, good or bad, on prospective customers who are considering your business. If you are too busy to do this work you can hire a company that offers Google Places help.

How to get local search reviews

You have some control on getting reviews however it usually takes proactive measures to get positive reviews. Unhappy customers are often al too willing to post a bad review. To get those important positive reviews you need to always ask your customers to post a comment for you. If possible, you can send the customer a thank you email with the request and links to a few of your local search listings. Many people simply won’t take the few minutes to post a review, but over time you will be able to acquire a nice collection of reviews. Having reviews adds life to your local search page but it is preferred that your most recent review is not over two or three months old.

A less than stellar review may make you cringe, but the upside is that it lends a feeling of legitimacy to your overall presence because your reviews are not stacked with five star raves from your friends and family. If you have a problem with negative reviews, especially reviews you believe are unjust, you can engage online reputation management services to improve your situation.

Local Search Citations

Citations are the part of your local search page that includes third party mentions of your business on other local search sites (reviews), articles, news stories, blogs and forums. The value of citations is that Google values citations as a vote of confidence in your business. These "votes" add up, and play an important role in upward ranking of your local search page. The qualities of the citation sources, and the nature of the citations, are more important than the quantity of citations.

Citations are not under your direct control however you can take actions to help acquire these coveted elements of local search marketing. For the sake of expediting receiving value, saving your time, and insuring that things are well done you can hire a local seo company. A local search engine marketing company already knows where to get high quality citations and how to do so. This includes doing citation source checks on your competitors to identify new citation opportunities.

Important citation building factors

When building local search citations it is very important to maintain consistency in the information used to identify your company. The first area is your name, address, and phone number (NAP). For your business name this is as simple as always including or omitting and identifier such as” LLC”. When possible it is advantageous to have the citation include a link to your website but this is not a make or break issue. Internet press releases are another great way to control the message and get widespread exposure.

No matter what you do to acquire local search reviews and local search citations, always do things ethically. Hard work and an honest approach will yield positive results that improve local search rankings.