Local citations are a comprehensive part of local SEO strategy. There are many ways to boost your site’s foot traffic using third-party sites, and local citations are one of the easiest ways. Local citations contain your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on a location tracking service. These citations can help you connect with buyers in your locality. Even without a website, you can build a small brand identity by uploading photos and details to your citations.
Local citations are business listings on the internet that help boost your visibility on regional searches. They are an effective way to lead a customer to your store or outlet. More than half of mobile users online seek local services and products. They can find local brands through local citations on Google Maps, Trip Advisor, and other location-tracking sites. If you are a business person unfamiliar with how these citations can enhance your SEO strategy, this blog is here to help. It will walk you through the importance of local citations and how they can impact your site’s SEO.
There are Two Types of Local Citations
Your business information can automatically appear on different platforms without requiring direct action since it is registered on online directories. A location tracking system with your company information can appear on another site, such as Google, Facebook, or Reddit. However, if this information is mismatched or wrong, it can result in lost sales and low rankings on Google.
Therefore, it is necessary to add only accurate information in your local citations. There are several online directories besides Google Maps where you can create your listings. Here are some of them:
- Yellow Pages
- Trip Advisor
- City Data
A citation must have the exact operating hours or the correct address to get ranked by Google. Mismatched information across different location tracking systems can also confuse a buyer, who may drop your business before purchasing anything.
There are two types of citations used on the internet: structured and unstructured.
It refers to NAP information registered on directories and high-authority websites such as Yelp or Yellow Pages. These sites have a vast database of relevant citations grouped into different categories. These are trusted resources for Google. They help Google understand the nature of your business to recommend it to the target audience.
As the name suggests, unstructured citations are ungrouped data containing additional company information besides NAP. These types of citations are found on websites and apps that do not mainly function as a directory.
6 Ways Citations Can Improve Your Local SEO
Local citations help Google grasp the user’s search intent better and provide what they are searching for. Listing a business on authoritative websites increases the chances of organic search placement. The accuracy and authenticity of the information listed on these online directories can help Google rank in local searches. Although some citations only allow for NAP information, others enable businesses to add photos, website URLs, and videos.
Adding as many supporting details as possible to these citations can help you appear on different external sites and browsers. Verifying your Google business profile is essential since it is what Google predominantly shows in the search results. It provides context about what your business offers, which helps searchers decide whether it is functional. The quality of your listing and the number of platforms you are registered with show your credibility and trustworthiness to Google.
A link profile refers to a collection of links directed to your website. A diverse link profile is essential to enhance a brand’s local presence and future visibility on search algorithms. Although it seems like a simple and limited strategy, it has several advantages. Such as getting featured on authoritative directories, local community sites, discussion forums, and review platforms. In short, local citation increases the link-building network’s quality and diversification.
Citation building also helps generate a hyperlocal consumer base for local search engine optimization. Google considers proximity as its key search metric. A food business near a consumer searching for an eatery in that area can discover you through these citations. When a user goes to Welp or Google Maps to find a service, store, or product in their vicinity, an optimized local authority will appear with the business name and logo. It can be a great way to target geographical areas to create awareness.
Registering on third-party sites can help you increase your domain authority. If the citation directory has high website authority, these citations can be a valuable asset to increase your credibility and domain score on Google. Google can use this as a rankability factor for local searches.
Local citations help to get online reviews. Location tracking apps like TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Yelp enable users to leave reviews and ratings for every store/ business they visit. Therefore, citations on these directories will encourage people to review your services online. The greater the authorities on different platforms, the more likely people will check them.
Reviews elevate consumer confidence in a brand. High-quality positive thoughts can help you convert traffic into possible sales and endorsements. A higher number of reviews gives you an edge against industry competitors and increases your visibility on the SERPs. You can ask your customers to leave reviews via post-purchase emails and reply to their studies with full attention and dedication.
You can easily change the NAP information when Refurbishing your brand or changing locations to keep your online presence up-to-date. You can change your operating hours and places and add photos, comments, promotional posts, and product listings to optimize for local searches.
Citations Are a Simple Yet Effective Way to Boost Local SEO
As simple as it seems, citations, if not entered correctly, can become a barrier to potential sales and foot traffic. Put Uniform information across all the platforms to give a credible impression to Google as well the human user. If you are revamping your Local SEO or new to building strategies, Lincoln SEO Services can help you take your business to the first page of local searches.