Local citations can help you make big in this competitive world. If that is one of your goals, read along to know what are citations, types of citations, tips to Boost SEO Ranking and make the best use of them, and ways to manage them.
As the competition is getting fierce and trends are changing every day, it is essential to keep up with every aspect of business marketing. Maintaining an online presence has emerged as one of the most reliable ways to attract new customers every day and improve your annual revenues.
To do well online, you should have an effective SEO strategy in place. While you should be paying attention to every aspect of SEO, local search and SEO is something you should keep a priority.
Google reported that nearly 50% of its searches have local intent in them. More and more people are searching for phrases that include “near me” “here” and area names. So being a smart businessperson, you should be providing the exact details to your customers right when they are looking for it.
Let us get down to the nitty-gritty of citations and how to Boost SEO Ranking and build them for improving your local visibility.
What Is A Citation?
It is an online reference of a business that typically features the business name, address, and phone number. It is also known as NAP. This essential piece of information is like the identity of your business across various online platforms. Most citations take the form of online business directories but they can be of other types.
Components Of A Citation
The core components of a citation are NAP but it can more than that. Many platforms allow you to add a link or URL to the designated web page. The core components are
- Your business names
- Your business street address
- Your city
- Your state
- Your zip codes
- Your business phone number
- Your website URL
The citation may also include some or all of the following components.
- Working hours
- Business description
- Driving directions
- Payment forms
- Query forms
- Business categories
- Message from owner
- Social media links
- Fax numbers
- Email ids
Types Of Citations
Every citation out there can be generally placed into one of the following two categories.
1. Structured Citations
A structured citation lists the NAP in platforms such as digital directories and social media profiles. The essential information about each company is displayed in the same way and the entire page is built around such data.
Imagine a page of the directory that lists several baking businesses operating in your area. All of these listings will include the same sort of information about each company. It is more of a direct mention along with contact details.
2. Unstructured Citations
There are several ways to add a contextual mention of a business online. It could be a blog, article, guest post, or press release. Such mentions are called unstructured citations.
Types Of Local Citations
Local citations can be added on several different platforms. The following types of citations are based on the type of platforms.
Major Local Business Data Platforms
Local marketing professionals or business owners can create their business citations on major local business data platforms. Some of the best-known platforms include Google My Business, Apple Maps, Bing, Acxiom, City grid, and Infogroup. Key local listings can also be added on popular social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Core review sites like Yelp and BBB can also be used to add local listings.
The relevance and authenticity of online citations are much more important than its quantity. In order to be relevant, find the top industry-specific platforms. If there are any platforms that are uniquely popular in your geographical region, add an accurate listing of your business with all the required elements. Some examples of industry-specific platforms are the official websites of professional associations.
The Wider Web
Supplementary citations can be built around the wider web in a variety of publications. It could be blogs, articles, government databases, and more.
What Is Local SEO?
Local search is powerful for small and large businesses because 4 out of 5 customers are using search to get local information. Local SEO is all about promoting your products and services to local potential customers. Some of the local search ranking signals include local content, social media links, pages, and citations.
How Citations Help Local SEO
Local SEO citations are added across various platforms to Boost SEO Ranking and visibility of a business in SERPs.
They Impact Search Engine Rankings
If you have a basic know-how of link building and its role in SEO, it is easy to understand the impact of local citations. Although citations are not the ultimate road to success, they do help pave the path by improving the search engine rankings. The number of citations a business accrues, the accuracy of data, and the quality of the platforms they exist on all impact the search engine rankings.
The Impact Your Customers
Accurate business citations can help your customers discover your business when they are looking for products or services like yours. They are essential in terms of connecting your potential customers with you in the micro-moments.
On the other hand, if you have inaccuracies across the featured data, you will lose your customers.
They Impact Local Visibility
Search engine ranks local search results according to these three factors
If your business is good enough with these factors as compared to its competitors, it will show up in SERPs. Adding local citations with appropriate descriptions tells the search engine whether it is relevant or not. The address details and ZIP codes help identify the proximity. If your customers are reaching you through the citations listed across the web, it will also contribute to prominence.
They Impact Your Conversion Rates
Improved visibility helps you is important to build trust among your customers. Providing accurate information plays a vital role in building trustworthiness. The more trust you build, the better will be your conversion rates.
And Your Revenues
It is simple arithmetic, the more conversions you have, the more are your revenues at the end of the year.
How To Build Citations?
It is not smart to get your business listed on all of the platforms out there. It can negatively affect your budget and you may waste your time. You must narrow down the list of the platforms to the most authoritative, industry-specific, and relevant ones.
Once you have a list of the platforms you want to start with, all you need to do is to add accurate information on each of them. You can also tool like White spark, Yext, and Moz local to manage these citations.Pick any of these tools based on its cost, efficiency and tracking features.
Tips to Optimize Citations For Local SEO
- Ensure NAP consistency
- Write a good description
- Include website links
- Add business category
- Add high-quality storefront pictures and logos
And don’t forget to track your performance and make the necessary changes
Why Is Local Search Important?
Nearly half of Google searches have local intent. That alone is enough reason for you to focus on local search. During the years 2017-2019 Google reported a 900% increase in searches including the phrases “near me today/tonight”. And Google started to present its customer’s results based on proximity, relevance, and prominence. This gives a great opportunity to local businesses to appear in search results exactly when their customers are looking for services like them. Thus, it means that if you want to drive more valuable traffic to your website, you should focus on an SEO strategy that focuses on local search.
What Is A Citation SEO?
The best way to understand what a citation SEO is to break down the term. Citations are an online reference to a business that includes the business name, address, and phone number or NAP. Whereas SEO is improving the quality and quantity of website traffic. Citation SEO is adding and managing a group of business listings on various websites to drive more traffic to your business. These citations are mostly added on the business listing web directories but they can also take other forms. When set up correctly, citations can play a crucial role in local SEO.
What Is A Citation Link Building?
Link building is critical to any SEO strategy. Citation link building is all about mentioning your business’s name, phone number, physical address, and website links at various authentic websites. These essential components of information can help your customers find you. The more accurate and quality listings you add on the right platforms, they help improve the local visibility of your business. If you are serious about building your online presence, and make it easier for your customers and search engines to find you, it is essential to link your website to listing sites.
What Is The Local Search Strategy?
About 72% of the customers who perform a local search visit the store within a radius of five miles. Such high conversion rates are enticing for any business owner. And this is why you create a local search strategy. It should be an integrated approach to reach more and more local customers. When customers are searching for businesses like yours, your business name should be on the map. It is a form of search engine optimization that is specially designed to show up in local searches. In order to outperform your competitors, you need to engage your customers and give all the right signals to the search engines to Boost SEO Ranking.
Who Needs Local SEO?
Every business needs local SEO. It is especially important for small local businesses. Local SEO is a very powerful tool for small and large businesses because four out of five customers are using search engines to find local information. That means if your business is not optimized for local search, you may be missing on more than 80% of searches and potential customers. If you want your business to stay relevant, it is critical to focus on local SEO. Whether you are a painting contractor or a cake baker, local SEO is something you should be paying attention to Boost SEO Ranking.
What Is A Google Map Citation?
It is just a mention of your business name and optionally its address and phone number across the web. It typically appears in online business directories and includes a lot more than NAP. Many directories allow you to add pictures, social media links, and the working hours of your business. You can also add a website URL. Add descriptions that help Google better understand your business. In simple words, it is a concise listing of essential information about your business that your customers or search engines might find useful.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Local search results are ranked according to their relevance, proximity, and prominence to Boost SEO Ranking. If you want to get better rankings in local SERPs, it is essential to understand these three core elements of local rankings. The first step is to add local citations in authentic and relevant online web directories. Feature the company name, address, and phone number on all local citations. Make sure the citations are accurate across all platforms. Pay attention to website localization. Include city, county, or region name in your website content naturally. Claim your Google My Business listing for improved visibility.