Citation Sources Canadians Can Use
Local Search in Canada isn’t nearly as developed as in the US, but we’re getting there at a fast pace. Due to economies of scale, carrying out a good local seo campaign in Canada isn’t particulary challenging, but isn’t necessarily easy either. There’s a couple of good reasons for this, one being a complete and utter lack of Canadian specific local citation sources.
The Local Ranking Algorithm is generally centered around the regular on-page and off-page factors attributed to traditional or organic seo, in addition to an all important factor around local business citations. David Mihm provides a great explanation about why Citation is the New Link in Local SEO, and also provides a great resource in his BCS of Local Search Engine Optimization for our friends south of the border.
As local search becomes increasingly more social, user reviews and local business citations are becoming very important in securing top local ten-pack listings. Let’s look at some of the hand-picked citation sources I’ve researched that influence Canadian Local SEO on Google Maps.
Local Citation Sources for Canadian Hotels
TripAdvisor - TripAdvisor provides unbiased hotel reviews, photos and travel advice for hotels and vacations. It’s not only a great resource for travellers, but also a significant source of all of the reviews cited by Google Maps results for local search times such as ‘Toronto Hotels‘.
Virtual Tourist- Similar to TripAdvisor, Virtual Tourist hotel reviews pop up frequently on Google Canada Map results. Sign up, and leave an honest review of businesses you’ve dealt with.
Igougo – Igougo has vacation and travel reviews, and features third in line after TripAdvisor and Virtual Tourist on Google Map reviews for Hotels.
General Citation Sources
WCities – WCities has a North American base covering businesses of all kinds from restaurants, to night life establishments, and more. You can review businesses by navigating to your respective city and clicking on the appropriate business profile.
Toronto Life -Toronto Life isn’t a UCG site, but does count as a citation source in Google Local. The best way to get featured is for your establishment to offer something sensational, whether that be a unique dining experience, or world-class service.
Where.Ca -Like Toronto Life, Where.ca is not a user generated content network, but does figure prominently as a citation source.
Frommers.com -The perennial paper-back favourite Frommer’s guide is equally popular online, and covers everything a traveller needs to know about their destination, including hotels, attractions, restaurants and more. Leaving a review for an establishment is a matter of navigating to the appropriate business and adding to the mass of exisiting reviews.
Zip Local – Zip Local was recently featured on a popular Canadian TV network, Cable Pulse 24, and is ideal for hyperlocal UCG content. Want to find reviews for a trendy bar in the posh Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto? Not a problem. From a small business standpoint, this is an ideal way to get cited as the neighbourhood go-to business for what you offer.
Yelp - Yelp was the original hybrid between Yellow Pages listings and UCG from what I can recall. While Yelp does have listings in the organic search results, they are a definite contender to be considered as a local citation source as well. Leaving reviews on Yelp is easy, and doesn’t even require a user login. That said, if you’re a small business owner, you can claim and modify your existing listings to include more information about your products or services.
Restaurant.ca – If you have a restaurant of any nature, you should have citations present on this site. Restaurant.ca covers all major Canadian cities and allows citations in the form of comments on each individual business listing.
Nota Bene: Don’t spam these listings or write nasty things about your competitors. While certain Local Search listings are taking positive or negative reviews into account, most star listings are present based on the basis of the number of reviews present for the business listings.
Photo credit: damozeljane ☼