When it comes to local SEO, citation consistency plays a big role.
When you (or your customers) search for dispensaries on Google, one of the first things you’ll see are the local listings. Collectively we call them the “map pack,” for obvious reasons:
Whether you search for a plumber in Dallas or a dispensary in Walla Walla, you’ll most likely see three businesses–as long as there are at least three to display. Each of these businesses is displayed with their name, address and phone number, or NAP.
Since Google hates to show fake businesses to their users, they have several tricks to make sure that those businesses are real. After all, if you visited the first dispensary in Google’s results and found an abandonned building, there’s a good chance you would switch to Weedmaps instead of checking out Google’s second result.
One of those tricks to weed out the fake businesses is to check on a business’s other citations. Citations are simply anywhere your business’s name, address and phone number appear online, from Facebook and Weedmaps to your own website and one of your customers’ personal blogs. If your name, address, and phone number are the same everywhere, your citations are extremely consistent, and Google has more faith that your local listing represents a real business.
But what if your address changes slightly between citations, or what if you have two totally different phone numbers listed?
All of a sudden, Google has reason to believe that something might be wrong about your local listing. Even if everything else about your SEO is awesome, Google is less likely to show your local listing because they don’t want to lead their users to a dead end.
How to Fix Your Citations
1. Don’t break them in the first place
If you’ve ever considered changing your dispensary’s name or phone number, don’t. Just one citaiton on one directory with your company’s old name could show up on dozens of other sites, creating a domino effect. Just check out how many websites share data with each other:
2. Keep track of your citations
Not many dispensary owners do it, but it’s important to keep a spreadsheet of everywhere your business is listed online, along with logins for each site. That way if some part of your NAP does change, you’ll have a hit list of exactly where to update it.
3. Use citation consistency tools
Yext and Moz Local are two popular platforms that let you simultaneously manage several of your local listings. The downside is that Moz Local costs about $100 a year for their basic package, while Yext costs significantly more.
Another option is to use a citation building and cleanup service like WhiteSpark and BrightLocal. Most of these platforms will let you have some control over which sites you’re targeting, but it’s easy to target a site you’re already on if you don’t keep track of your citations. They also don’t always find citations you’ve already built out, so achieving 100% citation consistency can be tough.
4. Hire us
At TrailBlazer SEO, we’ll help you claim and clean up old citations, build new ones, and push out edits if you ever make changes to your NAP. We can also help syndicate other information about your business, like changes to business hours, policies, and selling points.
All of this is included in our dispensary SEO packages at no additional cost. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.