What are Citations and are they good for Local SEO?
Your SEO is so important when it comes to your search rankings. If you want people to find you online, and have accurate details about you, you’re going to need to use local citations. Here’s everything you need to know about them, from what they are to how they work for your business.
What Is A Local Citation?
Firstly, let’s find out what a citation is. Put simply, it’s any online mention of the name, address or phone number of your business. In some cases, you’ll see this referred to as your business’s NAP. These can be anywhere online, and they’re designed to help people find your business. As a business, you’re able to manage these citations in order to improve your SEO and bring in more leads.
What Makes Up A Local Citation?
There are many things that make up a local citation for your business. The very basic citation contains the NAP, or the name, address, and phone number of the business.
However, there’s a lot more data that can be included. What you choose to include will depend on your business, but it could be your opening hours, accepted payment methods, reviews, email addresses, driving directions, and so much more.
These are all attributes that help give someone more information about your business, before they even get in touch with you directly.
Why Create Local Citations?
It’s important to have build citations for your business, as they affect your search rankings. The more citations you have online, the easier it will be to find you. It’s not just the amount of citations that matter, either. You’ll also need to use citations that have accurate information.
Search engine aim to collect data about businesses, and so they rank sites with accurate information higher than those that don’t. Having those citations means you’re more likely to generate new leads than sites that don’t have them.
How To Create Local Citations
There are several different ways you can create citations for your business. You’ll know that data about your business can be in many different places online, so let’s see how you can use that.
Business directories: There are plenty of directories online that let you list your data to help customers find you. The biggest one is Google My Business, one that you should be using if you want to get ahead online. There are other directories too, such as Acxiom, Infogroup, and Localeze. Listing your business on these sites is a good start.
Industry specific sites: As well as general business directories, it’s a good idea to list your business with industry specific sites. For example, if you work in home improvement you can list yourself on contractor search sites.
General sites: You can get citations on websites in a variety of other ways. For example, having a blog posted on another site, adding your data to maps, or being included on government databases all work too.
IS MANAGING CITATIONS IMPORTANT?
It’s important to create and manage these citations, in order to bring in those new leads. As you’ll be managing them directly, you’ll know just where your citations are. That makes it easy to manage them, as you can change them if any data changes and keep them accurate. This is especially important in the event of a merger or other business change. It also helps you manage and discover reviews of your business, something that’s incredibly important when it comes to creating social proof. Mostly though, it helps you maintain control of your business’s image online, so you know how you’re being represented.
Those that don’t manage their data may find they have duplicate listings of their business, or inaccurate data being spread around. It doesn’t help them manage their leads, as they don’t know where they’re coming from. As you can see, it’s important that you watch where leads are coming from, and see how that information is being used.
Now you know what a local citation is, and how important it is to your business. Keep on top of your citations and ensure that all the data out there is accurate. It makes it easier for new leads to reach you, and help grow your business.