When it comes to marketing a local business online, local citations play an important role in improving SEO and boosting visibility in local search results. This is especially true in mobile search results. Most likely, this isn’t anything you haven’t read about before, but in 2017 this is even more significant.
As search engine algorithms continue to evolve and get smarter, we have to get smarter and more focused on where we build citations for our local businesses.
A local citation is any mention of a business online that includes the business name, address, and phone number with a description centered around keyword phrases corresponding to website content (often referred to as NAP).
Common citation sources include directory sites, data aggregators (i.e. Factual, Acxiom, Localeze, and Infogroup), Chamber of Commerce websites, social media, review sites such a Yelp, plus Google My Business and Bing Places. It’s important to note that a mention of the business on its own website doesn’t count as a citation.
A majority of citations include a link to the business’ website or additional information. Local citations are a valuable component of local SEO optimization regardless of whether they provide the business with a direct link. The benefits of citations go way beyond getting backlinks.
Why Citations Are Important for Your Local Businesses
Search engines use citations (among many other SEO factors) as a primary gauge of a business’ online reputation. So the more quality citations a business has online, the higher the business’ placement will be in local search engine result pages.
The prevailing mindset over the past decade has been that having more citations is always better, but this is no longer valid. In fact, low-quality citations, particularly those that link to your website, can negatively impact Google’s trust in the business. Rather than trying to improve a business’ online reputation through sheer volume, we focuses on identifying and targeting specific high-quality directories. We only submit local businesses to directories that meet the strictest of qualifications, which we determine based on 23 different metrics, including domain authority.
Another important characteristic of valuable ethical directory sources is that they distribute their data across other directories and networks, thus acting as a data amplifier for local business citations.
The process of optimizing a business listing on these sites requires time, attention and understanding and CAN NOT BE AUTOMATED.
For example, ensuring the business citation is 100% accurate is extremely important. And once a business is listed on a directory, ensuring the listing remains accurate and maintains a consistent NAP can be tedious. Oftentimes, businesses are listed on directories without even being aware of it. Having duplicate citations confuses customers, impacts trust among search engines, such as Google, and hurts the business more than it helps. Bad data is a real problem for local businesses.
We create, submit and monitor all elements and provide you with a dedicated dashboard in order to monitor all activities in real time.