Managing Local Citations SEO: The Basics
The majority of people nowadays seek products and services on the Internet. About 99% of consumers have searched online to get information about a local business, and about 78% try to search for details online once a week. Before, there were yellow pages that organized phone numbers according to business names and sectors. Online profiles make it easy to search, review, and contact businesses.
But, the Internet is a massive space, and your company needs to maximize growing your customers within your immediate reach. Having a local SEO strategy and putting your brand in local listings prove crucial in reaching the right audience.
What Are Local SEO Citations?
Local citations SEO refers to all directory listings where your business details are mentioned outside your website and your ads on social media. Info includes the NAP (name, address, and phone number) of your business.
Citations: Why Do They Matter?
Having a healthy rate of local citations SEO enables a search engine, mainly Google, to verify the legitimacy of your company. It's a reality that many online businesses could be from bots or questionable individuals. Citations help eliminate doubt about your business, as your NAP will appear across many relevant and trusted websites and directories.
In a survey by Moz, results suggest that citation building is an important ranking indicator for local search queries. It benefits both small and large-scale businesses.
How Citations Strengthen Your Local SEO
Citations are only part of your overall local SEO marketing. SEO is all about ranking high on Google, which paves the way for more potential customers to reach your business.
But how do they work?
Citations function as a local link building in which the search engine allows you to show up on certain geo-targets. For example, if you are a garage door service in Austin, Texas, you can build local SEO citations for all neighborhoods in the city. This way, more potential customers will see you on search engine results when they search the query, "garage door service Austin TX.”
Types of Citations
There are two major types of citations, both of which have their benefits:
Structured Citations. Structured local citation involves the business being mentioned in industry-specific directories, platforms, and maps. These include Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business or GMB), Bing, Better Business Bureau, and Facebook Business.
Hundreds of free and premium listings showcase companies across different sectors. Having your local SEO citations shown repeatedly in structured citations can boost your reach and validity.
Unstructured Citations. This type of citation happens when your business is cited anywhere online. Blog reference, an influencer discussing it, or another website linking your business—these are considered unstructured citations. The mention does not have to include all your contact information or links, but again, repeated referencing of your company can be valuable in building legitimacy and trustworthiness.
Local SEO Citations Best Practices
Ensure that your citation-building efforts maximize your results. Keep in mind these best practices:
Give Accurate Information
Local SEO citations work two ways: they help your business rank higher on relevant search engine queries, and they can also serve as your “yellow page” that potential clients can contact. It's vital to indicate accurate information on all citations. Your business name, address, phone number, email, opening hours, website, photos, map, and business description should always be correct and consistent.
Include the Keywords in Your Citations
Remember, citation-building is part of your local SEO marketing. You have to include keywords in your business name or business description. A garage door company would want to use keywords like "garage door repair (location)," and "garage door service (location)," to name a few.
Link Your Website
Linking all your citations directly to your location page instead of the homepage ties all local SEO citations neatly to your business. Connecting users to your location page save them the trouble of searching with a few more clicks.
Follow Website Rules
Different sites require different rules. Some encourage you to verify the business, while others request more info about the company than the usual information. Make sure you fulfill what is needed in each website to keep your citation intact.
Keep a Record
Local SEO citations can be tedious. There are so many directories and listings you can join. Keeping a master list of all login credentials you have used prevents being locked out of any listing account.
Consider Citation Management Tools
Automating the long, drawn-out process of citations could save you time and prevent any human errors from affecting your company. Software and apps that can input your business information on numerous sites and directories can make the task seamless.
Maximize Your Local SEO Citations With iSearch Engine
Local SEO citations ensure that your business is highly visible and has the credibility to be chosen by potential customers. iSearch Engine can automate and make citation building effortless for your marketing team.
Help Google and people find your business. Get started today.