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As part of my Local SEO blogs I have covered optimising your site, creating your Google Places profile, the importance of gaining reviews, how to respond to bad reviews and the benefits of creating a well maintained blog to accompany your local campaign.
But what else should you be doing to help improve your local rankings?
Another area you should be looking into is creating citations.
What are Citations?
Well a Citation isn’t a link but a reference to your business and these play a big a part in improving your local profile.
So where should you start looking?
There are a number of general niche sites where you should start and if you aren’t already listed on these sites then get submitting straight away:
These are sites that the search engines, especially Google crawl and use the information included.
Two sites that you would usually expect to see on a list like this are:
These are two sites that have recently been reported as having been heavily affected by the Panda update on Google.
Does this mean they aren’t worth submitting your company to?
Well, personally I would still add them. This isn’t going to harm you in any way and what we are looking for here is citations and that is exactly what you will gain. Will they have the same authority they used to? Possibly not; however it’s a quick process and should deliver benefit, so it’s never going to be a waste of time.
But something that shouldn’t be other looked is the community on Qype and just because Google no longer wants to play with them doesn’t mean their community will disappear too.
So once you’re listed on these sites is that the end of it?
No it shouldn’t be.
You can also do some research and see where your competitors are gaining links and a good place to start is Google Maps.
If we use Restaurants in London as an example, carry out a search in Google Maps and you are faced with a huge number of results.
To review where they are receiving their citations click on the “more info” links assigned to one of the returned restaurants.
Once on their profile page scroll down to the section titled “more about this place”.
Here you will find all the sites that include a citation to that restaurant.
From here you can review and where possible also add your site.