Many of our customers ask us how they can make their local small business marketing start working a lot faster. It’s natural that you’d want results yesterday, since you need new customers to keep your business going.
Hearing us tell you that “SEO is a slow, steady process” is probably not something you enjoy hearing. It’s true, but there are ways to make the process faster.
As Phil Rozek mentioned in one of his recent “Lightening Round Q&A on Local SEO” posts, your first concern should be to clean up your citations.
As you may have spotted in other posts, a citation occurs any time your business name, address, and phone number appear somewhere on the internet.
In order for a citation to count for you instead of against you, it has to be accurate. It also has to match your Google+ Local address exactly.
How exact is “exact?”
Let’s put it this way. If your legal address spells out the word “Street” and someone else’s uses “St.,” there’s a problem. And when someone uses “Road” or “Rd.” by mistake, Google questions it and trusts your business listing that much less.
Maybe someday Google will change this up, setting their algorithm to understand that Street and St. are the same thing. For now, it’s the way that Google discourages fraudulent, fake businesses from littering up a tool that’s currently working reasonably well for end-users.
The task that’s ahead is time-consuming. You need to check you citations and claim listings across multiple sources. Each of these tools will basically help you build a list of sites to tackle:
There really isn’t a good way to automate this process. You’ll just have to get in there and do it (or have it done for you).
The process can take hours, and there are lots of subtle ways to make mistakes. That’s why many people do opt to get professional help.
It’s kind of like being a contractor. Sure, there are resources that will show someone how to do their own roofing, but mistakes are costly and there are a whole lot of nuances that the DIY guy doesn’t know. In the end, the DIY guy knows he’ll probably actually save money (and time) by letting a pro handle the job.
It’s worth considering if speed is your concern. It’s also important to remember that the Top 7 local listings are all that Google is showing anymore, so if you don’t handle this issue then you might soon find yourself invisible online.