In today’s market, you must get noticed online to be successful. Your business must have an SEO strategy that grabs attention on local Google searches and makes them visible on the internet. One of the most important elements of this kind of online visibility is local citations for online searches.
Local citations mean your business is being mentioned online and this becomes something that builds. That said, you need to ensure that your local citations are in your favor. Positive reviews, for example, make for powerful local citations.
The process of making your business stand out in the online business market can be complex. There are a great many factors at work and learning to manage these factors is essential to your success. You do not need to take a passive role in local citations. There are important steps you can take to manage your business visibility and build local citations.
What are local citations? How can local citations help your business? And what steps can you take to manage and build local citations? This guide will give the basics on local citations.
What Are Local SEO Citations?
A local citation is simply any mention of your business anywhere on the internet. Local citations can consist of any combination or aspect of your business name. For example:
- Business name
- Business name and phone number
- Business name, phone number, and address
- Business name, phone number, address, and website URL
- Business name and address
- Business name and website URL
Any time your business is mentioned in an internet search it boosts your visibility. That said, some key pieces must be included in a local citation. Local citations that work for you contain your business name, address, and phone number. The presence of any of these three items helps Google to verify your business and this boosts your rankings in local SEO searches.
Some citations can include your business website. This is commonly called NAPW, in which the “W” stands for the website. Others are called UNAP. The “U” means URL. If this happens you will earn what is called a backlink.
Backlinks can be the result of things like a guest blog or local social media post that profiles your business. Local backlinks differ from standard backlinks because they come from your location. Local backlinks can come from other local business directories, newspapers, and blogs, among other things.
Aside from the obvious exposure that comes with local citations in the form of backlinks, these things also establish your business as the one to look for when people are searching for a product or service. Your business emerges as the gold standard when it comes to what you do.
There is a difference between a local citation proper and a backlink. SEO people will often use these terms interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. A local citation is when a directory of one kind or another features the name, address, and phone number of your business. A backlink, on the other hand, is when another online link anchors a link to your website or a page on your website. When you garner local citations and backlinks, your business becomes sutured into the online image of this type of business.
How Can Local Search Citations Help My Business?
The main reason you need to concern yourself with local SEO citations is they are key factors in local Google search rankings. Several factors elevate your ranking in a local Google search, and local citations are one important factor.
Google algorithms see citations as an indication of relevance when sorting and ranking local business listings. From the perspective of the Google algorithm, local citations make your business appear more legitimate and verifiable. The more frequently your listing is cited, the more the Google algorithm links your listing with relevant businesses in a geographical area that is associated with specific key terms.
The more local citations that appear, the higher your rankings in the Google system. For example, Yelp consistently appears at the top of business ranking searches. If your business appears on Yelp with positive reviews and feedback, and your local address is verified, your business will begin to appear more frequently in searches of the type of product or service you offer. You may not get clicks the right way, but potential customers will see your business listing and know that it is among their top choices.
Google uses local search engine optimization for relevant location-based results for people searching for businesses in a specific geographical location. This is especially helpful for local businesses like restaurants, medical offices, auto shops, or other businesses that require a physical location to do their work.
With a Google My Business account and local citations that reference this, you can boost your ratings to the point where you get the Google 3-pack. These is the benefits Google offers to businesses to appear in the top three businesses in a local Google search. This can put you at the top of the line for your specific business.
Something you should bear in mind is that if you do not have and manage local citations, you can be sure your competitors do. This is not something you can afford to ignore in today’s business market. Local listings, local SEO rankings, and local citations are some of the driving forces behind success for local businesses.
More than 60 percent of your potential customers are searching for things like online reviews before buying a product or service. This means potential customers are seeing things like local citations, or they are seeing reviews that pop up as the result of rankings driven by local citations. The visibility of your business depends in large part on local citations.
Types of citations
Once you begin to manage your local citations, you will notice that there are two types of local citations.
A structured citation is one in which your company or product is mentioned in a directory or search. Good examples include A structured local citation is when your company is mentioned in a directory or search. For example, this includes Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business), Facebook, Bing, the Better Business Bureau, and Apple Maps. These also include industry-specific citations. Structured citations are the ones over which you have the most control. They are also the easiest to manage.
An unstructured citation is when your company or business is mentioned or referenced somewhere online. These citations may or may not include your address and phone number. Examples of this kind would be blog posts that mention your business or social media posts that mention your business. Many of these will include a backlink.
Unstructured citations are more valuable if they come from a local source. Sure, it is great to get mentioned in a national medium, but local exposure is what works for local Google search rankings. Local unstructured citations are also more valuable for building a strong reputation for your business.
Citations are like a vote of trust for a business, and as such the accuracy of the details in those citations makes a huge difference. This is where NAP comes in. NAP stands for Name. Address. Phone number. When your business has different details on different business directories, it will confuse search engines. When NAP is consistent, this enables search engines to confirm your law firm is a single entity. Consistency and accuracy are of the utmost importance.
What to include in your Local Citations?
Keep in mind that local SEO citations do more than just boost your rankings in a Google algorithm. They also provide crucial information to customers. Accurate and verified information is key to local citations, Google search rankings, and customer satisfaction. Information that should be included in your local citations:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Opening hours
- Description of business
You should always include a link to your website on your local citation. It is tempting to link your citation to your homepage, but this may not be the best step for potential searchers. Take users to your location page instead and save them time and the chance to skip onto another page.
Make certain your information is correct
Proofread your citation. Incorrect information will hurt your rankings in a local Google search.
Claim or verify your business
There are many directories online that do not gather information directly from business owners. They gather information from Google and other online sources. Make sure to visit these pages to make sure your listing and information are correct and accurate.
Verifying your business on these business directory pages will increase your legitimacy
It also gives you a more active voice in what these listings and directories are saying about you. If you find listings that are inaccurate or out of date, you can work with these directories directly to correct and update any inaccurate information.
How to Choose the Right Citation Websites
You have many options for building local citations. The best place to start is with social media pages. From this, you can add your business to other directories and listings.
Some of the sources of the most common citations include:
- Google My Business
- Apple Maps
- Bing Maps
- Local directories, such as your town’s website
- Industry-specific directories
- Review websites (Encourage online reviews from customers)
This should be overwhelming. Start simple by adding your address and phone number to just a few local searches and directories. Focus on the quality that provides all the necessary information and makes your locations clear and verifiable.
Popular Local Citations Sites
The top ten local citations sites include:
There are online listings of all citation sites and indexes. These are extensive.
Local SEO Citations FAQS
What Are Local SEO Citations? A local citation is simply any mention of your business anywhere on the internet. Local citations can consist of any combination or aspect of your business name.
What could be included in a local citation? Business name; Business name and phone number; Business name, phone number, and address; Business name, phone number, address, and website URL; Business name and address; Business name and website URL.
How Can Local Search Citations Help My Business? The main reason you need to concern yourself with local SEO citations is they are key factors in local Google search rankings. Several factors elevate your ranking in a local Google search, and local citations are one important factor.
What is some top local citation site? Google, maps.apple.com, facbook.com, bing.com, yelp.com
Wrapping things up
Local citations are not just good feedback for your business. Local citations are part of the formula for online visibility for the success of your business. Gaining local citations will figure into the calculus sued by Google algorithms to boost the visibility of your product or service.
One of the features that you have in your favor is that you do not need to remain in a passive position where local citations are concerned. There are steps you can take to increase local citations, and this means you will get ahead of your competition in local online business searches.
Local citations are one of the important factors sued by Google algorithms to place a business at the top of an online search. The more your local business is referenced in local citations, the more likely your business will come at the top of the list of options when a customer searches.
This guide gives you some of the key things you need to know about optimizing your local citations. To get ahead with things like local citations, check-in with HeyDay Marketing Services, and we can help you optimize this for the success of your business.
HeyDay Marketing Services can help you negotiate and manage things like local citations and getting your business ranked in a local SEO Google search. We are a full-service marketing agency based in Miami, and it is our business to get your business at the top of local online searches.
While all the sites that offer online local listings make it relatively easy to get your business online, covering all the potential sites for elevating your business visibility can be challenging. As you can see from this guide, there is a lot to cover where local citations are concerned, and making sure you take full advantage of the ways of managing local citations can be distracting from actually running your business.
HeyDay Marketing Services will take the guesswork and anxiety out of these processes for your local business. For example, our SEO services can map out the best strategies for putting your business at the top of local online searches. Website traffic from SEO is more valuable than traffic that comes from social media because it is more targeted. Your visitors from Google search will be more likely to convert to paying customers. more likely to convert into paying customers.
You are in business to succeed at what you do. HeyDay Marketing Services is the business of helping you succeed with online strategies that maximize your success.