What Are Local Citations ?
Local business citations are simply referring to your local business listings in multiple places. listings in such places as directories and websites and industry listings across the internet. For example your listing in the Yellow Pages and 411.ca are local citations. It does get a bit more complicated than that, but that gives you the idea. They act as sources of data for the search engines and bigger web based business directories. The whole internet is based on information. Think of these citations as road maps for clients and search engines. Road maps and clues to help direct people back to your main business website or store front.
Why Are Local Citations So Important ?
The more legitimate high quality information you put online about your business, the better. Local and mobile searches are higher now than ever before. Search engines are now using these national and local citations as a measuring tool for your business. Having a great local citation profile can actually help your search engine rankings online. At the same having a poor local citation profile can hurt your website score and reduce your rankings. This results in a loss of potential business and income from online sources. Many people are searching for a local business to buy products and services just like yours. Those potential customers have more choices of directories and more platforms than ever before to search for products. Your business needs to show up in these searches at that time. If your business does not show up on the first page, you are losing approx. 94% of the potential traffic/sales.
If YOU are not on page one – YOU are not getting your fair share of the possible business, period.
Most seo experts will agree that the importance of citations has grown more and more over the years. Local citations will most likely be more important next year than this year. Building a great local citations profile will prepare your business better for current and future rankings.
As with everything there are a few rules you must follow for best practices and the best results.
Local search engines use citations as a part of their overall ranking algorithm. It’s not the biggest thing they use, however it is a big thing. It is important enough that you cannot neglect it if you are serious about your business. Your website will do much better when you have more, high quality, complete and consistent local citations. Search engines look at a few different factors surrounding your citations in this order of importance.
#1 – The quality of your local citations sources
Citation sources are ranked like any other website or web page online. There are local citations that would be great to get. Some citations good to get. And some local citations that are just O.K. Some that are not so good to get. Building a bunch of the wrong citations will only serve to reverse your desired marketing efforts. Citations will be ranked in levels of importance and quality.
#2 – The accuracy of your citation information
It is extremely important to make sure all your citations are accurate across the web, you do not want people going to the wrong address, wrong website, or calling the wrong phone number. You want to go back and verify all your current local citations are up to date and accurate across the web.
#3 – The completeness of your citations
Make sure to always go the extra step to completely fill out all the required information in your local citation listings. Don’t stop at just the basics, input as much information as possible. Add some photos, descriptions and a link to your website or social media profiles as well. Search engines can read all the info and the more the better for your overall score. Plus as well your potential customers needs to feel that you care about your business and are not neglecting it with incomplete profiles and listings online. Write a great description but do not copy and paste the exact description on every citation source.
#4 – The cumulative number of all your citations.
Of course the more local citations you have the better, within reason. You want to make sure you have high quality citations. A bunch of low quality of anything will not be good for your business website. You do not want to go out and build 25 citations in one week either. With the search engines, a slow and more steady pace over 6 months will be more natural looking and please the search engines better. Constant small improvements over time wins a steady race to long term online successful rankings.
#5 – Inconsistent and wrong information on citations.
O.K. now this is a negative local citation ranking factor than can hurt all the good work you are trying to do. You want to search thoroughly across the web to find any and all inconsistent or wrong citations and profiles you have for your business online. You want to make sure to clean them up and get them all updated with the right info. If there is information that you can not update yourself, make sure you send an email to the administrator of the website to update your information, then check back to make sure it was completed correctly.
One negative factor is the quality of the local citations, incomplete information, conflicting information, duplicate listings on the same citation source. All these conditions will negatively affect your website score and rankings online.
Our Formula For Local Citation Building Success
Step #1 – Collect all the relevant data for your business. We want to make sure we do a great job to get you the best results. We want the correct business name, address, phone number, business category, description, website address, social media profiles and every other possible piece of information needed for a complete, full and awesome citation.
Step #2 – Next we want to discover all your existing citations currently online. We want to see what is out there on the web about your business. We then will go to work and check the results against our list of proven high quality minimum citation sources you should own. We have a list for Canadian companies and a different list for USA companies. We see what you do and don’t have so we can get to work on building you the very best local citation profile possible for your company.
Step #3 – The next step is to fix, change and update any existing bad information on your current citations. We claim any unclaimed citations for you and make sure the information is updated and accurate.
Step #4 – In this step we go to work and get you listed in our exclusive list of top quality local citation resources. This comes from our experience and associations with leading seo experts and took a while to put together and test. We get to work on building your business an awesome local and national citation profile. We the very best local citations to boost your website and business presence online.
Step #5 – The final step is the follow up to all our work. Here is where we check back over and over again to make sure our listings, corrections, submissions are all done correctly. And that our awesome list of local and national citations are live and working for your business.
If you feel up to it and have some free time on your hands you can go ahead and start building some citations for your business. I caution you to take your time and learn how to do it right.
If you want the best results you probably want to hire a professional seo company like Search Boost Marketing to start your local citation building campaign. We have seo programs that run for 6 months starting at $299/ month.
If you would like a quote or have any questions please feel free to contact us here.