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The dealers were delighted with the new Find a Dealer that not only showed the nearest location but also allowed searching by postcode and even driving directions. Courtney Martin - Allpower Industries

Local Business Citations The Most Overestimated SEO Practice Today

In 2016 we saw a clear trend develop in local SEO. People were building many citations for local businesses in an effort to rank higher in the local searches. What was concluded was that these citations were highly overestimated, most likely the most overestimated factor seen in local search engine optimization. Brad K Russell, SEO consultant, highlights that local rankings are not impacted much by the volume and strength of the local citations.

What we should understand is that citation consistency is an important factor into getting noticed at the local level. It should not be ignored. However, citation volume or strength will not matter as much as most people thought in the past. A recent study looked at around 3000 local searches and the factors that were linked to higher local Google rankings. What was a surprise was to notice that citations were not at all as correlated as with the other factors analyzed.
People have been told for a really long time now that they have to get as many local citations in order to rank higher in Google local searches. It turns out that as with building as many links as possible (a common practice a few years ago), this was just an exaggeration. Expert surveys led to this belief. There was no empirical data correlation that appeared, until now.
So, what should you do to rank higher in local SEO rankings?

Build The Correct Backlinks
Local link building is different than the traditional way we build links. In regular SEO we go after the higher authority websites and try to avoid the links that come from a low quality domain. In local SEO the local relevance is the factor that is the most important. When getting a link from a site with a low overall authority but with high local area relevance, it is a great accomplishment that will drive local rankings up.
In the event you do not know where to get these relevant local links, here are some suggestions:

  • Look at the backlinks the competitors have.
  • Use the relationships established with the local influencers, especially in the same industry.
  • Use the local activities that you are connected with.

Tracking Proper Rankings
The local rankings will always be connected with the IP of the searcher. This is why you need to set a really specific location for monitoring purposes. There are various tools that are available at the moment but not all of them are going to offer this local search analysis feature. You can easily see huge differences between .com results and local results so you want to track the local ones to see where you are at.

If your local SEO strategy was mainly centered around building local business citations, it is time to stop. These are important but it is not volume that counts. What is important is to be featured and connected with the highest local authority resources that are available in the area where the site operates.




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