An online reference to a business’s name, phone, and address is called a citation. Sometimes, it includes a link to the business’s website. You often find companies that are mentioned in blogs, news articles, and press releases. In fact, citations can help your business. But how do they get these references? How can this have a positive impact on your business?
Learn more about local citations for SEO below
1. Improve Local SEO Rankings
Google uses local search engine optimization (SEO) to deliver location-based results. This was seen by online shoppers looking for similar products or services in the area. This can be quite useful if you have medical offices, restaurants, auto repair shops, cafes, and other businesses with physical locations.
With Google’s My Business listing, you can increase your ranking and increase your online presence. This is another benefit to your SEO efforts.
Apart from rankings, Google considers NAP information, name, address, and phone number as part of their SEO algorithms. Crawlers will compare the information you have with your business based on your website to confirm if the business that you have is authentic.
Even with small discrepancies, it can cause Google to consider the two as separate businesses. If this continues to happen, it can impact your ranking negatively.
This is why you should continue to optimize your directory listings through the following tips:
- Verifying and claiming listings
- Remove the listings on the directories that are not related to your industry.
- Add more details. For example, add your hours of business and a short description of the products or services that you offer.
- Include a backlink to your site’s homepage. Add a link to any relevant link on your site.
2. Increase Verification and Trust
Citations are an important element of online presence verification. They show the search engine that the business does exist. This is through accumulated mentions coming from different sources which all provide the same information about your business. If your business is listed on local and national sites, it can give your business a sense of authority.
3. Give Your Business a Visibility Boost
Always assume that your competitors are paying attention to their local business listings and so you must do it too. If the clients can find your competitor’s information much easier than your business, then there’s a big chance that they will go there. So make sure you invest in local citations to improve your local SEO rankings.
Online directories such as Yelp recommend user filter results with the use of categories and location. This makes citations worth investing in.
With local citations on directories that customers use, you can instantly get a visibility boost. Even if the customers end up selecting a competitor, they will consider your business the next time whenever they see your listings.
4. Improve the Reputation of the Business
There are lots of business directories that allow users to put their reviews like Google My Business. Utilizing these types of platforms can boost your online reputation with your customers.
Criticisms are everywhere on the internet, they can be crippling for your business. Taking the right steps to respond to criticism can increase your reputation.
Instead of reading negative comments from previous customers, you can utilize these directories to respond to these comments. If the customer is unhappy because your business offers bad service, apologize, and then offer something to make it up to the customer.
Business directories are accessible at the tip of your finger, and using these platforms to respond to queries or address concerns can surely make your business stand out. Customers – regardless if it’s the one venting out or the ones who are only reading the comments. They would appreciate a business making an honest effort to address issues.
5. Cost-Effective Business Directories
Unlike using pay-per-click ads to attract clients outside of your website, local citations are one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business. There are lots of directories that allow local businesses to submit their listings without any payment.
Some great local listings every business should be using are Yelp, Google My Business, Yellowpages and your local Chamber of Commerence.
In summary, getting citations and keeping track of them can be time-consuming. However, it can be beneficial for SEO ranking and your business outreach. Using citations on local sites can help your business establish authority and trust. Thus, you must take advantage of this easy SEO solution now.
I hope that you now feel ready to take on the new year! With a strategic approach and some prior organisation, you have the opportunity to significantly boost sales and grow your brand. If you need help implementing any of the above suggestions, please contact me! You know I am always happy to help.
Ethan is a Full Stack Web Developer and SEO Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. In his free time, Ethan enjoys working on various projects involving Ruby, Vue and AWS applications.
Ethan graduated from The Firehose Project coding bootcamp in 2016 with a focus on Ruby on Rail and Computer Software engineering.