The Importance of Citations in Local SEO
We are in an age of cutthroat competition, and every business is looking for ways to pull ahead.
SEO which provides private blog networks has become a necessity for many marketers and is now getting incorporated into many businesses.
Though a significant component in SEO, Citations should be addressed by many businesses.
While linking forms the backbone of any good local SEO strategy, citations are equally influential and a crucial component of any SEO strategy.
Citations are “mentions” of your business or online references to your business name, address, or phone number.
While many businesses often ignore citations, they can help your business by bringing in more customers.
Here’s why you should consider having your business listed.
But before then, let’s look at how citations work.
How Do Local Citations Work?
We previously mentioned that, unlike links that directly point back to your website, citations are mentions.
The purpose of any citation is to ensure that your business or information about your business is mentioned on many websites as possible.
The mentions of your business will serve more than increase your business visibility. Still, alongside other factors, it will get your business ranking on the first page.
Like any other ranking factor, citations require structuring to work optimally.
For instance, your citations must be used uniformly on all the sites.
Suppose one of the citations differs from the rest, for instance. In that case, your telephone needs to be corrected or wrong address. It might create confusion, negate its efficiency, and reduce authenticity.
Beyond uniformity, citations must include components that best describe your business. Primarily, an essential citation should have a name, email address and telephone number (NAP).
However, it’s always a good idea to incorporate other business components such as photos, services provided and more.
Knowing how the local citations work lets us see their importance in local SEO.
Gives Details of your Business
Let’s put SEO aside for a moment.
Numerous relevant citations will put all your business details to consumers looking for you.
In any case, potential customers often use local citations within the listings to find products/services.
So, having citations, in the first place, optimized or not, will allow more consumers to discover you and your business.
Regardless of the role of citations in ranking and online visibility, it makes sense to get Citations Builder to get your business listed to consumers looking for you.
Citations often help search engines verify that your business exists.
Search engines use citations to verify the accuracy of the contact details.
If your NAP is listed in many credible sources, it signals to Google that your business is legit.
This helps to create authority, establish trust, and improve your business’s ability to rank on the local search results.
Organic and Local Ranking
Regarding ranking, citations once were more influential than they are.
However, citation signals are a significant algorithm component of search engines and still significantly impact local and organic rankings.
For starters, all other factors remain constant. Businesses with a higher number of citations will rank higher than businesses with few or no citations.
Reiterating what we had mentioned in the previous point, a business with relevant and genuine citations is trustworthy and credible before the eyes of search engines.
In most cases, Google trusts business listing sites that offer accurate information.
And so, if your citation is consistent and accurate across well-established and indexed portals, Google will reciprocate by giving you more prominence to its SERPS.
Get More Links
We had mentioned earlier that citation is primarily built from NAP.
However, many online directories now include a “Website URL” feed.
What this means is that your business is going to benefit significantly from link opportunities.
Though a majority of the sites offer nofollow links, some do offer dofollow and will pass the juice to your site.
And given that most of these sites are authoritative and trusted, search engines can use the pass link equity to boost your local SEO.
Sure, while anybody can put up a website and claim they’re an expert in a particular niche, a citation will help to prove to the search engines whether your company is legitimate and whether it’s actually
something of value.
In most cases, businesses impersonating you try hard to alter the spelling of your business, which can negatively impact your business.
However, a citation keeps your business at the relevant place, ensuring that your listing is genuine and nobody can copy your NAP.
Prominence in Less Competitive Niches
Citations are increasingly becoming prominent in the less competitive niches, where many business models still need a website.
Few plumbers or electricians in the remote town bother to have a website.
Though it’s becoming less common to find businesses without a website, smaller industries in small towns are in the dark about Google.
In this case, there needs to be more information about a service, and search engines will rely heavily on whatever information they find.
And so, having a citation will, therefore, put your business at the top of the SERPs in the local searches of your industry.
Get Online Visibility Boost
One of the common listing avenues for businesses is on local online directories.
Most online directories usually have a sophisticated platform that allows users to filter the results depending on several metrics, such as services, location, and business category.
Therefore, if users are intent-specific and looking for businesses that fit their description, they will likely find your business if it’s correctly listed.
Even if they fail to choose your business and go with the competitors, they’re more than likely to consider your business the next time they see your listing.
A majority of the local citations are free.
While businesses are not to rely on citations entirety as a marketing strategy, they’re a low-cost yet effective way to bolster your marketing antics.
Compared to other marketing methods such as pay-per-click (PPC), or any other way to attract attention, you’ll realize that business listing will help achieve this goal cost-effectively.
If, for instance, you claim a citation on Google’s My Business, you’ll have the privilege of having your listing in some of the major Google searches, and this will go a long way to marketing your
Online competition is all about outdoing your competitors.
What about citations?
You rightly guessed so.
It’s all about getting listed on many sources than your competitor.
Now, your competitor is probably doing it if you’re not creating citations or doing any link-building.
Potential clients can easily find your competitor’s information easier than yours. In that case, the high odds are that they’ll leave you for the competition.
Improving your Business’ Rep
Most business directories, like Google My Business, usually allow users to post reviews of businesses.
Reviews are handy for SEO and give you an online boost and reputation, especially if you’ve plenty of positive reviews.
Sure, reviews are a double-edged sword and can create a bad rep for your business, but if the proper steps are taken, you can avoid criticism.
Further, clients always appreciate an honest review.
In the absence of a citation, however, clients may assume:
- Your business does not exist
- Question your integrity
- You’re not customer-oriented
- You don’t have the necessary experience
Citations Attract Investors
Citations are more than helpful for the business-to consume (B2B) businesses.
Suppose your citation primarily targets other businesses or investors. In that case, you are more than likely to capture the interest of others, including investors and partners.
Eliminate Customer Confusion
Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than getting their line disconnected or finding another business located in a different place.
That is why we always recommend local citation services.
Local citation services will carefully monitor all your existing citations to remove confusion.
For instance, they will eliminate outdated listings, correct NAP errors, and optimize your listing.
This way, all your listings can be up-to-date and accurate and increase the online credibility of your desired customers.
How to Build Citations
Having some basic knowledge of building citations for your business will go a long way to improving your online performance.
Remember that having a consistent citation all over the web is the key to its efficacy.
Here are a few pointers that should guide you in the citation-building process.
Consistency is Key
As we’ve mentioned before, always keep your citation’s exact and accurate details all through.
While formatting between different listing sites can be overlooked, the key to consistency has the same items or components on each listing.
Rather than using a generic email. i.e. yahoo or Gmail, use a registered business email.
For instance, use @businessname.com rather than gmail.com.
Most listing sites usually classify their listing using several metrics, such as category.
So, suppose you’re in car repair services. In that case, you need to list your business in the automotive or something closely related to what you offer.
We recommend keeping the citation category as consistent as possible. More importantly, place your citation in a category that best describes your business or what you do. This will make it
a lot easier for potential clients to identify you.
The More, The Better
When listing your business, ensure you add more details as possible.
Besides the Name, email address, and telephone, you can include photos, business logos, business descriptions, social media links, operating hours, and more.
Many businesses often need to improve the last process, which is the verification process.
Most listing sites ask you to verify your business, primarily through email.
However, some listing sites, such as Apple Maps and Google My Business, will require verification through a phone call.
Either way, ensure that your citation is verified, increasing your credibility and trust.
What to Keep in Mind
- When listing a business, ensure all the recorded details are correct.
- When creating local citations for your business, you need to perfect them.
- Always verify your citation.
- Citation is one of the components of SEO. You must also concentrate on other SEO aspects, such as content creation, link building, and generating engagement.
Having more citations is similar to earning more backlinks.
Even if you sell a great product or have an excellent service delivery, your business will still need proper promotion to attract new customers.
And this is only possible if you have enough online visibility and a business reputation.
Citations are the first place to start; the goal of citation building is to see your business visibility grow through ranking.
Try to get your business listed in many business listing portals.