‘Local search’ directory listings are a powerful tool for getting a company site on page 1 of Google or Yahoo! When these listings show in search engine rankings for a particular business, they are frequently referred to as ‘citations’.
To see an example, consider the following:
Search Google (in san diego) for ‘laptop repair san diego’. ‘LaptopsPlusWest.com’ doesn’t show in the top 10 for organic listings (below the map results). However, Laptops Plus’s MerchantCircle directory listing ranks #9.
What’s happening is that, in many cases, a company site’s directory listing will have a better chance of ranking for the target keyword (or name) than the site itself. This is because sites like Yelp, Kudzu, MerchantCircle, etc. have more powerful search engine rankings than the company site.
Bonus Tip – The MerchantCircle page that ranks #9 is the coupon on the company’s listing. The coupon is titled ‘Laptop Repair San Diego Coupon $33 Off Repair San Diego’ and this term is the anchor text that links back to the coupon listing. This is an internal link on MerchantCircle.com and does not have a nofollow tag. Therefore, it’s not surprising that this internal link (with target keywords in the anchor text) is helping the coupon page rank for the search ‘laptop repair san diego’. See image below for MerchantCircle coupon page and highlighted link (coupon title).
Another way to boost a company’s directory listings is to place outbound links on the company website to that site’s directory listings on prominent directories (such as Yelp, Kudzu, Yahoo!Local, InsiderPages, etc.). Give the outbound links the alt/title tags for either the company name or target keyword (depends on which term you want to rank for). See image below for an example using the directory icons.
Next post we’ll review how to leverage (i) local search (via directories), (ii) online press releases and (iii) seo to dominate page 1 rankings for target keywords.