The information technology industry, now often called information and communications technology (ICT), is always evolving.
In fact, according to the Brookings Institute, growth in the IT industry is driven by new technologies like the cloud, big data, and analytics as spending on legacy IT falls.
This constant push towards new tech means smaller IT companies need to do more than ever to capture market share from innovating industry giants.
So if your IT company relies on local clients to drive revenue, consider this:
Local Google traffic is a vast, untapped marketing channel that many IT companies are missing out on. Local SEO can help your business capture it.
Local SEO increases the visibility of businesses in Google’s local search results. Considering 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a business within five miles afterward, local SEO can be very valuable for the bottom line.
It all starts with a properly optimized Google My Business (GMB) profile. GMB profiles help IT companies appear in Google’s ‘local pack,’ which includes a local results box below paid ads, but above organic results…
…as well as a spot in Google Maps.
A properly optimized GMB profile can help smaller IT companies compete with the industry giants.
When a local prospective client looks on Google for IT support, they won’t only be seeing the ads from industry leaders. With local SEO and a GMB profile both smaller and corporate sized IT companies appear side-by-side.
However, you may have noticed there are pages of results in both of the examples above. Getting to the top spots of Google’s ‘local pack’ for a wider geographic search range, and more often, is where local SEO comes in.
There are three factors that Google says determine local search results: relevance, distance, and prominence. Local SEO works to improve all three of these factors so your IT company can improve its rank in Google’s ‘local pack.’
Distance is how far away your IT company is from a given location in a search query. There’s no way to improve your site’s proximity to search results, but keeping your address consistent across all references to your company on the internet will help Google correctly determine the distance between your business and a search query.
Relevance is how well the service information on your IT local listing matches a search query. Again, the only way to improve your company’s relevance is by adding complete and detailed business information to help Google better understand your IT services, such as network setup or database management, and match your listing to relevant searches.
Prominence refers to how well-known your IT company is in a given area. Your company’s Google review count and average rating are factored into local search rankings, and so is your position in web results, so following SEO best practice is a must. And finally, links, articles, and directories all help improve your prominence.
With that in mind, let’s discuss how IT companies can gain prominence with citations in directories.
Citations are online references to your IT business. They usually include your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) but may also contain other business information and even links back to your site.
Citations come in two forms, unstructured and structured. Unstructured citations include any citation that isn’t specifically meant for publication as a local business listing. These could be at the bottom of articles you write, or in news content about your newest technologies in cloud computing, for example.
Then, there are structured citations. These are found in both general business directories and IT-specific business directories.
General directories include sites like:
- White Pages
- Super Pages
- Better Business Bureau
Here’s an example of a general citation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for a company called IT Eagle Eye, out of Durham, North Carolina.
General directory sites have strong organic traffic and authority in the eyes of Google, which can help prominence, but they aren’t as relevant as industry-specific directories.
Still, industry-specific directories are more common in some industries than others, with limited options for IT companies.
Your choices for IT-specific company directories may be limited, but there are still a few worthy options out there. Plus, there are a number of general directories with IT-specific sections that can help improve your prominence and increase local inbound lead generation just as well.
Kompass is a leading international online business directory that has an independent section for IT companies to be listed. Citations from Kompass are thorough, including NAP, a backlink, a contact form, business information, and more. Plus, the business directory contains almost 120,000 businesses worldwide and gets strong organic web traffic, which can help your IT business’ prominence and improve local lead generation.
GetCompanyInfo is known for its machine-learning powered data and analytics platform that helps companies deal with everything from financial to market intelligence. However, they also have an IT directory that has thousands of listings and is well worth the cost. Even some of the biggest IT companies in the world are featured in the directory, including Accenture.
PR.com offers a variety of services from its directory of businesses and press release distribution service to its job search websites and online publication of articles. This means the site gets steady organic traffic, which is good for your citation. However, PR.com citations are brief and include only the business name and information, as well as a backlink.
Directory.ac operates business directories for every industry you could imagine, from IT to finance. Its listings are always free, and the site receives heavy traffic. Plus, its citations are detailed, and it usually includes a backlink to your website, links to social media pages, reviews, and more.
Just like the name says, ITbusinessdirectory.com is dedicated to its mission as a business directory for only the IT industry. There are hundreds of listings on the site, and citations are very thorough. Additionally, the relevance couldn’t be more spot-on for this one.
B2B Listings, again, operates a number of business directories for different industries. Their IT directory is one of their largest featuring thousands of companies. One of the best features of the B2B Listing’s Directory is the sub-categories feature, which allows you to secure a citation for your specific IT specialty, like IT support.
If you’re a veteran and run an IT company, the Veteran Owned Business directory is perfect for your company. Citations are thorough and include NAP, a backlink, business information, a map, and more.
Since relevant backlinks are important to Google, securing a citation in a local information technology directory can be great for your business. The perfect example of this is Built-in-NYC’s IT directory. There are only a few hundred NYC-based IT firms on the site, but it gets steady organic traffic, which means more eyes on your listing. Citations are detailed, too, so don’t miss out on local, IT-specific directories like this one.
The classic Yellow Pages business directory, called the White Pages, has data for over 25 million businesses. The White Pages can make up for the lack of direct relevance to the IT industry with its authority and strong web traffic.
CrunchBase is a tool used to track competitors and industry trends, raise capital, and do sales prospecting. If your business is well-known or has received any sort of public funding, you may already have a listing on CrunchBase. Whether you are or you aren’t, it can be useful to claim your profile and add relevant business information. It’s all free and is a useful citation for local SEO.
Boogar Lists is another business directory company that operates multiple directories in every industry you could imagine. Still, the company’s IT directory is one of its largest, and because of the thousands of listings from multiple sectors, Boogar Lists gets strong organic traffic every month.
If you’re looking to get more local customers and you’ve already secured citations in directories, there are many more tactics you can use to boost local SEO.
From managing reviews to securing citations, local SEO isn’t always easy, and many IT companies may not have the time or resources. If that’s the case, working with a digital marketing agency can help you capture that missed marketing opportunity and save you money on those expensive paid ads.
Markitors is an SEO digital marketing company. We work with small businesses to rank their websites higher on Google, resulting in more traffic and leads. Explore what’s in our SEO toolbox: audits and keyword research, digital PR, technical SEO, and local SEO.