When it comes to local SEO, reviews and citations are absolutely vital. Read on to learn more about how these affect not only your search rankings, but also your cost to acquire a new customer.
The Basics of Reviews and Citations
Reviews are opinions about your business posted by consumers who had some form of contact with your cleaning company’s services. The reviews may be about your employees, customer service, products, or services.
Some popular review sites are Yelp, Foursquare, Angie’s List, City Search, and local search sites, like Yahoo Local and Google + Local.
Citations are any online mention of your business, with or without a link, made on other websites. They could be your company name, phone number, or any combination of a company name, address, phone number, and link.
Citations can be found on just about any site. For example, if your business is listed on the online directory Yellow Pages, that’s a citation. Sites like Yelp and Foursquare list your company’s name, address, and phone number and are considered citations.
You can ensure the information is correct by updating your business profile on the big data providers, like InfoGroup, Acxiom, Localeze, and Factual. Consistency is key because these data brokers provide information to the major search engines for their local business listings.
When it comes to local SEO factors that impact traffic to your site, reviews and citations should count as 20 percent of your SEO strategy. (You may recall in Part 2
of our series, backlinks contribute another 20 percent to a local SEO strategy.)
Why Reviews and Citations Matter
Reviews and citations impact local SEO and your customer acquisition costs. Here’s why:
- Impact purchasing decisions at the critical point when consumers are ready to buy. According to a 2013 Dimensional Research survey, 90% of respondents said positive online reviews influenced their buying decision.
- Push your local website up in local search engine results page rankings.
- Influence which search results searchers will click on.
- A major factor in local search rankings.
- Used by search engines to verify a local business exists. The more quality citations that search engines can cross-reference, the more relevant and trustworthy your business becomes to them.
3 Ways to Awesome Reviews and Citations
Create a review acquisition strategy
Decide which review platforms are best for your cleaning business. Keep in mind that customer reviews written on one review site could turn up on other sites. Part of this strategy should be developing marketing materials to encourage customers to review your business, and linking your review profiles to your website.
Find structured and unstructured citation opportunities
Structured citations are those found on business listings, such as Superpages.com and Yellowpages.com, and typically include business name, address, phone number, and website URL. Make sure your company’s information is up-to-date and accurate on these types of citations. Unstructured citations are mentions found on blogs, event listing websites, media sites, job websites, etc.
Manage your online reputation
Keep an eye on your reviews and respond to them, especially the negative ones.
Catch up on the series:
Part 1: The #1 Local SEO Rule: Does Your Website Have What Search Engines Want?
Part 2: How to Build Backlinks to Boost Local Web Traffic to Your site
Up next in Part 4 of our Local SEO series, get ready for tips on creating great content for your website.
John Crenshaw is Director of Search, Content & Media at Oodle.io.