BizSugar Blog » Local SEO Ranking Factors and Citations with Darren Shaw of Whitespark

Local SEO Ranking Factors and Citations with Darren Shaw of Whitespark

BizSugar Live REPLAY Local SEO Ranking Factors with Darren Shaw of Whitespark

How many small businesses believe that Local SEO is simply getting listed in Google My Business? Many believe that their company will then be easily found on Google Maps.

But the reality is that there is much more to Local SEO. Unless your business is in a very small town with little competition, there is more to do.

We are fortunate to have Darren Shaw, Founder / President of Whitespark, to share his expertise in our second BizSugar Live Webinar.

Darren explained Local Ranking Factors. And he will share the results of the Whitespark Local Search Ranking Factors survey. The image below summarizes this study.

Local Pack Finder Ranking Factors Localized Organic Ranking FactorsDid you know there is a difference in ranking factors between those used for Local Pack and Localized Organic?

If you’re not quite sure what all of this even means, you’ll definitely want to watch the replay of this webinar!

Notice that incoming links still matter for Local SEO. But incoming links used in Local SEO are often referred to as local citations.

Local Citations

It is necessary to correctly acquire local citations in order to be visible in Google My Business and other local listings:

“A local citation is any mention of your business on the web; it is any combination of your company name, phone number, address, zip or postal code, and website address. Citations in SEO are a key factor in improving your local search results.” ~ Darren Shaw, Whitespark

Darren is the perfect person to answer all your questions about how to get citations for your business. His business, Whitespark, specializes in:

  • Local Citation building, auditing and clean-up
  • Google My Business management
  • Local SEO
  • Submitting your business to data aggregators

In our first BizSugar Live Webinar, Ann Smarty of Viral Content Buzz and Internet Marketing Ninjas shared an overview of How to Promote a Local Business.

You may wish to review the video of that webinar because it included an overview of these topics.

But you do not need to see that information to benefit from watching the replay of this webinar.

Upcoming BizSugar Live Events 2nd and 4th Wednesdays Noon CT

We invite you to join us for our series of BizSugar Live events. They take place on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. Each one expands on ways you can promote your small business.

Here is a schedule of our upcoming live events:

We look forward to seeing you at our BizSugar Live Webinars.

22 thoughts on “Local SEO Ranking Factors and Citations with Darren Shaw of Whitespark

    • Hi Nova,

      There are many factors involved, but the way most would do it is by focusing on increasing their incoming links. You don’t want to do it too quickly or you could end up penalized.

    • Hi John,

      Unless you want to be found for searches no one else has ever written about it, it won’t. You have some tough competition in the job posting space.

      So you will need to add a page or blog post for each keyword phrase you want to rank for and most likely get some incoming links to those pages.

      Start with the links under your control:

      • Social media accounts linking back to your site
      • Directory listings in good directories

      Did you register for today’s event? Even if you can’t be there live, those who register will be sent the video replay.

    • Hi Niraj,

      A site has to have a physical, local presence to qualify for local listings. But, a blog could include content and target keyword phrases for content that is most relevant to a particular area.

    • Hi Jasvir,

      Start with the ones that are easiest to get. For example, create a profile on all the social networks. In the bio of each one that permits it link to your website. Most allow that.

      You don’t have to be active on all of them. Use the bio to send them to your website and tell them where you are active. There are far more social networks than most people realize.

      It is important to use the same username everywhere. To find out if it is available on the most important networks, use Knowem.

      The other easy to get links with high authority are directories. Start with Google My Business, but watch the video replay from our recent Google My Business webinar first so you do it right. This one is critical.

      Then get all the other citations a business with a local address can acquire. See the video replay in this post to understand citations.

      Those two strategies will let your brand name fill the first page at Google and on other search engines with quality links. They provide credibility for your brand.

      And they also protect your brand from negative publicity online because most sites cannot outrank social networks or directories. (The exception is RipoffReport – that site can outrank them.)

  • hi Gail
    thanks for that reply in detail. i’ll get to work with these first. but i have a question. ideally, should the username be my name or the name of the brand, since that’s what I’m aiming for? and if i use brand name, will it not be impersonal?

    • Hi Jasvir,

      Some people choose to have one account in their own name and another in their brand name. But then you have to either use two browsers that are not synched to move between them or to log in and out to be active in both.

      I’ve noticed over time that people who originally had 2 accounts tend to end up only being active on one and use the other to send people where they’re active.

      Others, like me, use our brand name as our username. So if you look for @growmap, I use that brand everywhere. The other benefit of using it is that Gail Gardner is an extremely common name. Years ago there were already 76 Gail Gardners just on Skype.

      So by using growmap instead of my name, I am much easier to find online. And people seem to know both my name and my brand as they often address me by name.

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