Google displaying the "top 3" companies associated with 'pins' on a map, in direct geographical proximity to the user, has really caused a stir in the cyber world. Of course the top 3 will vary depending on the user and their location, but it still puts the pinch on businesses to rethink their local SEO strategy. Below we offer insights on how to embrace Google 3-Pack SEO and how citations have a pivotal role in this area of search engine optimization for surgeons and other local businesses.
Local SEO Ranking Factors & CitationsConsidering Google will decide which businesses go into the 3-pack based on many ranking factors like domain authority, reviews, and geographic proximity, there are somethings that are controllable and actionable for local 3-pack SEO. This is where citations come into play. A citation is simply a reference to your business online. It can be a full citation which lists all of your business information, or a partial citation which only lists the basics.
A full citation is desirable as it lists your company name, address, web address and phone number. This will not only make you more visible but makes you easier to find than limited information. A partial citation will only list perhaps your name and web address or name and phone number. Keep this in mind when placing citations. People do not want to do the work to look you up if another business beside you is fully listed with all the pertinent information.
Building Citations for Google Local 3-Pack SEOGoogle will search for any mentions of your business name and information. If you have several mentions, such as in blogs, reviews, social media and yellow pages, Google then compares you to other like businesses in your area to find the top ranking, thereby completing the 3-pack.
If you are average with others, you will then land on the secondary, more choices page. But when it comes to local SEO, the most important thing of all to remember in your citations is consistency. In order to remain competitive, ALL your info has to be exact across the board to verify that you are even a legitimate business. This means you have to be vigilant. If, for instance, your phone number changes, visit every single place you may have a citation. Be it a partial citation or a full citation, make certain the updated information is correct in every possible area.
Citations are more important than ever before in promoting awareness of your business and improving your chances of landing in Google's "Snack Pack." Some companies hire a person just for the task of increasing their online presence. If you explore every avenue and put in the effort, you can start getting your name out there. Remember, With more citations comes more consideration from Google for the coveted local 3- pack.