Local citation is a great way to improve your local search engine results. Done in the right way, you’ll get more traffic, more customers, and more sales to your business website. It is one of the major ranking factors for local businesses that help search engine to show you online.
In case, if you’re unaware of local citation, let me tell you local citations is a process of listing your business on local directories or popular business directories across the web. These citations usually contain links to your website, which help you to gain more visibility in search engines.
What are Local Citations?
Local citations are simply mentioning your business together with its fundamental details including business name, address and contact number, known collectively as NAP. For example, listing your business on Yellow Pages.
Strong citations tell Google about the authenticity of your business and help you get traffic and attract customers. So, more the directories cite your business, higher the chances of ranking in SERPs.
Types of Local Citations
Citations are of two types – structured and unstructured
- A structured citation is a standardized business listing usually found on the business directory sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages and Better Business Bureau. They always show almost complete NAP information, so must be accurate.
- An unstructured citation is a grey area on the web that is not a standardized directory. It can be a blog, social media profile or event guides. Although these resources may or may not include complete NAP information, unstructured citations give a significant opportunity to increase branding.
Why local citations are important?
Below are some reasons to know why local citations are important for your business.
1. Help customers to find your business – Local citations act as a unique online footprint that helps customers to find information about your business.
2. Added trust in your business – Citations help a business earn trust among customers as well as search engines. The consistent local citations help search engines verify that the business information is accurate and customers gain more confidence in your business. Once you earn trust among your customers, you’ll be getting more sales of your products or services, which leads to a long-term relationship with a customer.
3. Higher website ranking – Search engine rankings are influenced by the number of citations a business has. Apart from that, there are several other factors like the accuracy of information provided online, reviews by customers, and quality of the directory websites where your business is listed. Search engines pull information from citations to determine where the business is located in order to provide accurate results.
Where to build local business citations?
There are various websites available to build local business citations but it is advisable to submit the listing to a well-known platform to build a strong presence. You should look for trusted business directories, social media sites and review sites from where you can gain good authority and trust.
Here’re a few recommended source for building citations:
1. Data Aggregators – Data aggregators are used to collecting and distributing business information online which means they act as a driving force in the business data ecosystem. For example – Infogroup, Localeze, Acxiom.
2. Local Directories – These directories are a great source to submit an identical listing and NAP information. For example – Yelp, Yellow Pages, Judy’s Book and SuperPages, etc.
3. Review Sites – You can gain massive online visibility by listing your business on review sites. Customer reviews are also an important ranking factor to get notified by search engines.
4. Social Media Platform – You can mention your business on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Make sure the information you have added is correct and updated.
Note: To take benefit of local citations, you must have to give time each month to build and update your listing. In case, if you don’t have enough time to do this, it’s better to get assistance from a trusted marketing agency like http://www.portlandseoexperts.net. In the end, you’ll gain more online visibility, more conversions, and more sales.
How to Perform Citation Audit
To perform a citation audit, follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: Make a record of all current and previous NAP details. You can update the outdated listing by any name variations, old address, and contact number.
Step 2: Now, compile a list of top 50 high authority citations to review. Alternatively, you can the business name or primary keywords to check which directories rank well in search results.
Step 3: Claim and locate the existing listing of your business. Some directories may require the phone verification to prove the ownership of your business before claiming.
Step 4: Once you claimed your business listing, update the old information and remove unnecessary and duplicate listings.
Business citation is not a one time task. In order to maintain your high online visibility, you have to keep updating NAP information every two to three months to ensure the listing is up-to-date and consistent. Inaccurate or outdated NAP can harm local SEO and business reputation by leading to less traffic and reduced trust.
We hope you understand the importance of local citations in business. If you have any queries or suggestions in your mind, let us know in the comment section below.