Citations – or mentions of your name, address, and phone number – are a big part of the ranking signal for local businesses. It’s important that your citations are consistent, so that every time your info appears online, it’s the same info. Google expects to see consistent information, so if you’ve got mismatched or duplicate data, it can hinder your rankings in local searches.
This week’s tip video walks you through using Moz Local, a free tool that checks your listings on 15 major citation sources. Watch and learn how to check your dealership’s listings, and see how the tool helps you fix incorrect or broken data.
Welcome back to another Tuesday Tip Video Clip. We’ve talked about citations a few times in the past – they’re mentions of your NAP, your dealership’s Name, Address, and Phone number on other websites.
They’re an important signal of local relevancy in Local Search – as I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s important to be sure that your information is correct, everywhere it’s listed. In fact, you should try to have your information match character for character everywhere it’s listed.
Yes, Google is getting better at realizing that “rd” is the same thing as “road”, but it’s still safest to make everything as consistent as possible. It’s also important to be listed in the right places. In the words of David Mihm from Moz (he’s the guy that does the yearly Local Search Ranking Factors study), you need to be where Google expects you to be.
Remember – Google is just a lot of really complicated math, looking at both your website and at off-site signals. If Google expects that a typical car dealership would be listed on these 50 sites, but you’re only listed on 35 of them – then obviously that would be a negative signal.
So – for today’s tip, we’re going to show you how to check the top 15 citation sources for your dealership using a tool called Moz Local.
First, you’ll want to head over to moz.com/local/search. Type in your dealership’s name and your zip code, then click “Check my listing”. Moz Local will take a few seconds to do a search, then you’ll see a list of possible matches for your business. Don’t be alarmed if it shows results that aren’t your business – it’s simply returning possible matches. You DO need to pay attention to any listings that are your dealership’s correct name – if you see multiple options here with different addresses or phone numbers, that means you’ve got some citation problems. Ideally, there should only be one correct option on this screen. Take note of any incorrect name, address, or phone info so you can head out later to track down the offending site and get the NAP info corrected.
Once you click on a listing, you’ll see a graph with a visibility score with the 15 major citation sources listed across the bottom. Each source will have an individual score, based on how complete each site’s profile is for your dealership. If you click on any of the green bars, it will take you directly to your dealership’s listing on that site.
Pay special attention to the tabs between the two graphs. If you click the “incomplete” tab, you’ll see a list of your incomplete listings, with tips that show you what each site is missing. It also includes a button that leads directly to each listing, so you can head over and follow the tips.
Click on the Inconsistent tab next – it will show you which sites have inconsistent information, and it will highlight which pieces of your NAP are mismatched on each site. You need to head over and correct the inconsistent information as soon as possible, since this is a major detractor to local search rankings.
If you have any duplicates showing, you’ll want to go in and fix those as well.
As you get your inconsistent and duplicate information fixed, you’ll see your overall score improve in Moz Local. If you’re coming from a situation with a lot of citation problems, simply fixing the problems on these 15 sites could be enough to help your dealership jump up a few spots on local rankings. Even if you already rank number one locally, it’s important to periodically check your major citation sources so that you can stay ahead of any incorrect or duplicate information that might pop up to hurt you in the future.
Virtual high five – you just learned something new. As always, if you have questions or comments, leave them down below. Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you again next week.