Local citations play a key role for your online business which is critical to attract customers and increase sales. With billions of searches happening every day, an effective way to increase visibility and traffic is by building local citations. So, let’s learn more about this concept and how you can build citations.
What are SEO Citations?
Local citations or SEO citations are online mentions of your business. It includes your name, address, phone number (NAP), and other relevant information regarding your business. These citations can be found on websites, business directories, review sites, as well as news articles.
Citations play a major role in helping your business with local SEO. This is because they allow search engines to verify the legitimacy of your business. When your business information is easily accessible throughout the web. search engines trust your business to truly exist and the services you provide.
Benefits of Local Citations
Some of the reasons why local citations are important include:
- Ranks Higher for Local Search Queries
Local citations are a game changer for SEO. It signals search engines that your business is legit and provides your credibility with citation listings and reviews across the web. This convinces Google to rank your business higher in local searches, leading to an increase in consumer traffic to your website.
- Establishes Consumer Trust
Accurate citations are not just about SEO; they also establish trust with potential customers. This enhances your credibility and positions your business as an industry authority. Customer reviews carry significant weight and actively managing and encouraging more reviews can increase the chances of your prospective clients choosing your business.
- Increases Business Visibility
Local citations elevate your business visibility across various online platforms. Local directories are a great tool along with apps, news platforms, and online communities to broaden your reach. By strategically building local SEO citations, you increase your chances of being discovered by potential customers.
Types of Local SEO Citations
The two main categories of local citations are:
- Structured Citations
A structured citation lists the name, address, and phone number of your business. Also known as the NAP citations, they follow a specific format and are usually found in local directories and review sites. Each company information is displayed in the same way, and the page is built around the company data.
Having local citations in directories helps your business stay relevant in the industry. For instance, having your business listed in some of the biggest paid or free citation sites or directories like Yellow Pages ensures your business is listed in the appropriate category. This makes it easier for Google to understand the products or services provided by your business and helps in connecting with your potential customers.
- Unstructured Citations
An unstructured citation is the mention of your business that doesn’t follow a specific format and can appear on different websites, blogs, news articles, and social media platforms. This citation contains contextual mention of your business and is more flexible than structured citations.
Unstructured citations significantly improve your local search rankings. However, it can be difficult to track, implement, and monitor as they do not always include all your business details. For example, mentions of your business on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook, or blog posts can be considered unstructured citations.
Tips to Build SEO Citations for Your Business
Now, that you know the basics of citations and how they can help your online business, it’s time to build citations. Follow the below tips to curate your SEO local citations:
- Claim and Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Improve your local online presence by optimizing your Google Business Profile. This elevates your chance of standing out in local search results. Provide key details of your business such as your address, phone number, operating hours, and more.
To claim your Google Business Profile, navigate to the Google Business website and complete the verification steps. This will help you to claim your business and help in your optimization process. Optimize your Google presence by selecting the right business category and entering all your business details. Make sure the details remain consistent throughout your online presence.
You also need to create a compelling business description and upload high-quality photos showcasing your products or services. Additionally, encourage customer reviews as they can significantly boost your local search rankings.
- Utilize Data Aggregators
There are thousands of local citation sites list and directories on the web. Submitting the NAP to each of these sites manually would not only require time but also possess the scope to leave gaps in the data. Data aggregators resolve this issue by streamlining the process of collecting and distributing your business details to different websites, saving you time and effort.
To fast-track this process and boost your local SEO, search for your business on these aggregator sites. If you find your business, claim it. If not and you ensure there are no duplicates, submit your business listing with the correct information and maximize your online presence effortlessly.
- Submit NAP to Core Sites
The next step is to submit to core sites like Facebook, Google Business, Bing Places, and Yelp, among others. Before you submit your NAP to these sites, ensure they are relevant to your business. Visit these websites and check out what kinds of businesses are featured in their directories. List your business on the sites that are worth your time and effort.
- Submit NAP to Industry-Specific and Local Websites
Once you have taken care of the baseline citations, the next step is to identify the popular industry and geo-specific citation opportunities. For instance, if you own a restaurant, you should be on TripAdvisor. Select the industry-specific citation opportunities by searching on Google, using an industry citation list, or using online resources built for this purpose.
Ensure you input up-to-date and consistent information about your business on these sites, including your name, address, phone number, website URL, and operating hours. If you change any details of your business, remember to update it across all your citations to avoid any confusion for both your customers and search engines.
- Follow Unstructured Local Citations
Leverage the power of unstructured citations for a dynamic local SEO strategy. You can find these citations in blog posts, reviews, social media, or articles showcasing your business. This form of citation is harder to get than structured citations and is significantly impactful for your business.
You can find unstructured citations from supplier pages. Link your business to these pages by performing a site search to see if they already have mentions of your business on their website. Unstructured citations usually possess backlinks to your business page, positively influencing your SEO.
- Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Getting more customer feedback is a great way to increase your local search rankings. Positive reviews influence your search algorithms and can help your business rank higher on the search results page. Encourage your customers to leave reviews. Provide them with Google review links so that they can easily submit their reviews.
You can also ask for customers via email, social media, or in person. Make sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews, thank the customers, and show your commitment to further improvement to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Thus, local citations are integral for small businesses and service providers. They positively impact your online visibility and help in attracting new customers. Follow the tips mentioned in this blog to build your citations and build trust among your audience so that your business can gain more traffic and sales.