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Understanding Google Map Citations for Local SEO

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As a local HVAC business owner, you must do everything you can to ensure that local customers find out about your business. Search engine optimization is a multi-faceted strategy for raising brand awareness and bringing in local customers. One facet you may not know about is Google Map citations. 

Continue reading to learn how your business should be using Google Map citations for local SEO. Then, rely on the digital marketing experts in New Orleans to make the most of your Map citations and all other SEO strategies. 

Everything You Need To Know About Google Map Citations 

If you want local customers to find your company, you need to ensure that they have access to accurate information about your business location, name, and phone number. Even one inconsistency across these citations could make it more challenging for potential customers to contact you and even harm your search engine rankings. 

Google Map citations are an excellent place to start as you build brand consistency and authority throughout the web. Here’s what you need to know as an HVAC business owner about these local citations.

What Are Google Map Citations? 

A Google Map citation is any instance of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on a website other than your own. Google looks at this data when determining whether to list your business on Google Maps when users complete a local search. 

If you’ve ever used Google Maps, you know that this platform displays the names of local businesses as you scroll through the map. You can also search for keywords like “food” or “parks,” and Google Maps will show you a list of locations that meet your criteria. 

As an HVAC business owner, you want your business to appear in the first few search results when people in your area search for “HVAC” on Google Maps. You also want them to be able to view your business on the map. The way to make this happen is to create consistent Google Map citations that include accurate NAP data about your business. 

The more citations your business has across the web, the better Google can verify the accuracy of your business information, making the algorithm more likely to display your business in the first few search results. But if your citations include slightly different NAP information — even something as simple as spelling out “Drive” in your address instead of using the abbreviation “Dr” — Google may not feel confident showing your business to users. 

How Do Google Map Citations Impact Local SEO? 

There are several benefits of using Google Map citations for local SEO.

First, they provide accurate, up-to-date information about your business. You want to leave no doubt in customers’ minds that the address they see for your business online is accurate and updated. You also don’t want them to call the wrong number and assume that your business is slacking on your communications with them. 

Google Map citations also establish credibility within search engines like Google. Search engine algorithms prioritize businesses that have E.E.A.T. qualities: experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. When your business has dozens of Google Map citations that all display accurate data about your business, Google will recognize that your HVAC business is real, improving your credibility. 

Your business will also rank higher in local search results when you have consistent Google Map citations. When users search for “HVAC” on their browser or within their Google Maps app, your business will appear in the first few search results. More customers will choose your company over competitors. 

How Do Businesses Get Google Map Citations? 

So how do you get other websites to link to your HVAC business in the first place? The easiest way is to submit your NAP information to as many directories as possible. Some of the most popular online directories include:

  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • Yellow Pages
  • Foursquare
  • Angi
  • Yahoo! Local
  • Bing Places

You should also create profiles on Facebook and Google My Business and include the same contact information on these pages. 

Next, look for niche directories in your local area. Try searching for variations of your city name with “business directory” or “local directory.” Then include search terms for the surrounding cities as well. 

Take an afternoon to submit your business information to as many online local directories as possible. You can also consider using tools like Moz Local or Yext to automate this process; these tools will add your business information to the major directories for you. But you’ll still need to submit to niche local directories yourself.  

Ensuring the Consistency of Your Google Map Citations

Having a lot of Google Map citations won’t do you much good if the information isn’t consistent across each citation. Even one small difference in your address, phone number, or business name can seriously hurt your credibility in search engines. 

Make sure that the information you submit to local directories is the exact same, including your:

  • Business name
  • Business street address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Phone number
  • Website URL 

Some businesses have a tendency to use different versions of their names; for example, you may sometimes put “LLC” at the end and leave it off at other times. But this mistake could cost you a significant amount of business. Get into the habit of using the exact same version of your business name, including the same punctuation and spelling, to improve your credibility for your map listings.  

Master Google Map Citations With ServiceHawk

If creating Google Map citations for local SEO sounds complicated or overwhelming, we’ll let you in on a secret: most businesses don’t navigate this process themselves. Instead, they turn to digital marketing experts who can ensure that they tackle Map citations and other essential SEO strategies the right way. Whether you just want to claim and verify your business on Google My Business or need help creating a comprehensive SEO strategy, our HVAC digital marketers are your go-to team. Schedule your strategy session with ServiceHawk today by calling (985) 888-0455 or filling out our online form. 

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