More free marketing tool love – a local citation finder.
If you’re wondering what the heck that means, basically this nifty little tool allows you to enter a local keyword search (eg. yoga studio Vancouver) and it will spit out a list of sites that cite or mention relevant businesses. Now these aren’t necessarily links, per se. If a site has a phone number or address listed to do with your query (ie. the phone number of your competitor), it will show up in the results.
What it comes down to in local search is just how local your business appears to be online. There are lots of directory sites out there that look pretty god awful and like they could never be worth any weight. But if Google sees them as a local “authority”, having your business listed could actually do alot for your local search rankings.
So when you’re going for local, having a ton of relevant keyword links to your website is not necessarily the best thing. If Google doesn’t see them as a strong local reference, they’re not going to do you much good, locally speaking. David Mihm has found that citations are the more important player when it comes to local search by far.
Now this tool is not going to tell you specifics about the quality of the sites themselves, for example, or how your competitors are featured on them. But it’s a great tool for getting more ideas when you’ve used up all your stand-bys. I used it for one of my clients recently and it offered some extra listing ideas and other citation options. And one of them actually brought quite a bit of traffic!
If you want to gain an appreciation of how amazing it is that this tool is free, check out this step by step guide on doing it manually. Cheers to Darren Spark of Whitespark and Garrett French and Ben Wills of Ontolo Link Building Services for creating this tool and making it available freely.
Check it out and see if you can make some improvements to your small business local online presence. Or pass it on to your marketing team or marketing consultant and see what they can do with it.