Aug 16, 2013
Reaction score
Is there anything I am missing in my to-do list when trying to rank a new business on the local results? Here is my list below:

1) Optimize the website for local SEO using every SEO checklist I can find on the Internet and making sure I do everything. For Wordpress websites I also download the Yoast plugin and confgure that.

2) Optimize the Google+ page as best as I can. I fill it out until it's at 100%, add pictures, add keywords in the description, etc.

3) Order a large number (250+) of citations/local directories from someone who uses Whitespark to get a list of the best ones. He creates all of those online directory profiles and fills them out with all of the business information and keeps them consistent.

4) Look up all of the already existing citations / local directories and make corrections to any inconsistencies I see with the business's name, address, and phone number and any other information as best as I can.

5) Create backlinks for a) the website, b) the Google+ page, and c) the top 20-30 of the best current citations for the business which I find by Googling the business phone number and use the ones that show up within pages 1 - 10 of the search engine results pages.

6) Add user generated reviews to both the Google+ page as well as some of the top online directories / review websites.

Sometimes after doing all of these steps, I still don't wind up ranking. Is there something I'm missing? Which if these steps is most important? What can I do different or better to improve my rankings?


LocalU Faculty
Jul 18, 2012
Reaction score
A lot of it has to do with the history of the business, if they have NAP issues, if they have duplicates, if they have a website that's been around for a long time, what you're trying to get them ranked for etc.

It's really hard to say what you're missing without knowing specifics.


Dec 8, 2014
Reaction score
It takes time... I have done the same thing - we are working on getting more reviews than the competion; more citations and more linking domains. I am finding that you can build 250 citations but they don't all "kick in" - reporting tools will report fewer links than you have built as it takes time for those pages/sites to be recognized.

As I say this though, I can't count how many times client's complain about a new competitor showing up that does not have as many links, citations or reviews!
Oct 25, 2013
Reaction score
Have you seen Local SEO Guide's local ranking factor study from last Summer? 250 citations is extreme, and likely won't help you any more than just hitting the top 40~50.

What will cause problems though, is having citation consistency issues. Sounds to me like you're hiring someone on upwork to go through and do a bunch of citations. In theory there's nothing wrong with hiring someone there vs anywhere else, but you need to make sure they're not just creating duplicate listings, or making any of the other mistakes that someone not up to speed could make. Given how accuracy is more important than volume, having too many citations is opening the door for future problems, even if they're all made correctly the first time around.

For my two cents, backlinks are the main point of differentiation on competitive keywords. All the local work, onsite work, citations, and so on are the price for entry. Working on getting high quality backlinks are where you're going to turn the dial from 7 to 10. Good luck!


Jul 22, 2012
Reaction score
On top of all that make sure that you have content that addresses as many of your customer's needs as possible. Users finding your site useful will help you move upward and not doing so will negatively impact rankings.


Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
Reaction score
Read this today and thought it was relevant:

Almost 95% of newly published pages don?t get to the Top10 within a year.

I think this is true in general but Local SEO, of course, is a different animal. Less competition.

Would love to see a study about this on Local SEO!
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Stef Kiley Temp closed business ranking higher in local pack Help & Support for Google Local 2
Y Whenever I publish update for my local business, my local rankings drop for 3-4 days Local Search 1
Linda Buquet Dear Google, Stop Using Business Name as a Local Ranking Factor- Darren Shaw Google My Business & Google Maps 6
JoshuaMackens FREE Weekly Google Ranking Reports (Local Businesses Only) Recycle Bin 0
3 Google Business Photos May Correlate With Higher Local Search Ranking Google Business View 5
360 Spin Google Business Photos May Correlate With Higher Local Search Ranking Google My Business & Google Maps 5
M Cannot rank Local UK service business site Help & Support for Google Local 9
JoyHawkins Does Merging your G+ Local and Business Page Result in Increased Ranking Local Search 6
Linda Buquet Top Ranking Local Business Directories in the US Citations 0
djbaxter 4 Google My Business Fields That Impact Ranking (and 3 That Don't) Google My Business & Google Maps 16
RattlingTram Issues with ranking clent's business CONSISTENTLY Help & Support for Google Local 2
A Business No Longer Ranks for Category After Merger Google Duplicates & Merges 2
N Would changing the main business category drop a GMB rankings significantly or at all if it's in the same industry? Local Content 7
P Business ranks 4th in organic search but 13th in GMB, way behind rubbish competitors. Google My Business & Google Maps 6
Y Will small change of google business name hurt my google business rankings? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
W Do keywords in Google My Business (GMB) reviews help ranking Local Reviews 3
C Ranking for Two Business Locations in the US: East Coast & West Coast Local Search 3
P Ranking Business in a Nearby City Help & Support for Google Local 7
Durandl Should I spam my Business name in GMB to rank higher? Google My Business & Google Maps 8
R Free Webinar: 15 Things You Must Do to Improve Your Google My Business Rank in 2019 Events 2
NinjaNonsense Choosing Google My Business Categories To Help With Rankings Local Search 2
F Why am I seeing more and more no website businesses rank in 3 pack Local Search 12
Z Google Ranks Fake Business Listings Local Search 7
cmwetherell Ranking well only near geographic location of business despite using service area Local Search 1
M How does this business meeting 0 of the ranking signals rank #2? Ranking Puzzles 9
M How does this business meeting 0 of the ranking signals rank #2? Ranking Puzzles 9
R State-level Business Registrations - Good for Rankings? Local Search 27
Linda Buquet Cray Cray Pigeon is Ranking Plain G+ Business Page in the Pack! Google My Business & Google Maps 16
Colan Nielsen Creating and Ranking an Online Business Directory Local Search 5
Erim Foster Business ranking in both organic and maps with two different domains Local Search 4
C Relocated my business, was near the top of SERPS now stuck in ranking hell Moving or Name Changes 4
Chris_Cummins Relocated my business, was near the top of SERPS now stuck in ranking hell Moving or Name Changes 4
R Will I be able to rank on page one Google without a physical address for my business? Local Search 2
harmony Another Google Local Ranking update? Google Algorithm Discussions 11
R Rankings really low after suspension and delete/recreate of GMB Listing Google My Business & Google Maps 8
M Google Maps Rankings are not Stable Google My Business & Google Maps 6
S Ranking high organically but invisible on maps Ranking Puzzles 1
C Franchise hub site ranking higher then local franchise sites for the brand? Organic SEO 1
L Google ranking in Legal Field Organic SEO 1
andykuiper GMB Rankings tanked... Help & Support for Google Local 13
F GMB ranking timeframe after building backlinks Local Search 1
rustybrick Google Local ranking update? Google Algorithm Discussions 12
Matt Chauhan Serious Problem With A Dentist's Local Rankings. NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 1
JoshuaMackens Google Posts & Ranking Local Search 10
djbaxter Passage based rankings, core web vitals, responsive search ads: A rant Google Algorithm Discussions 0
dateinadash Will changing https:// to https://www cause an issue with rankings? Organic SEO 3
ChristianRdz Redirecting a ranking page to another site Organic SEO 4
Imperialpest Page Speed and Local / Ranking Question Ask a LocalU Expert [PRIVATE] (LocalU) 5
A Pointing SEO friendly domain to old domain and its effect on GMB ranking? Local Search 4
djbaxter Google Page Experience Signals for Ranking Apply Only to Mobile Organic SEO 0

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert

Top Bottom