Local Citation 101 for Businesses
Remember when you were younger and tried browsing the Yellow pages because you were looking for your favorite fast-food chain to order your desired food. Those are old good times that are worth reminiscing!
The yesteryears’ Yellow pages have evolved to what we know as online business directories. And in every online business directories, we can find the “local citation“.
Let us define what is a local citation and why does it matter to businesses and SEO enthusiasts.
A local citation is usually found in online business directories, websites, apps, and social media platforms. And it usually contains the following:
- Company name.
- Company name and number.
- Company name, phone number, and address.
- Company name, phone number, address, and website.
- Company Details
- Company images and videos.
- The list goes on.
Citations are normally found when there are customers who found the business details they need after doing a local search. For example, a customer is looking for the nearest grocery store, normally that customer would search online, “Where is the nearest grocery store?” Then, the search engine would give the customer the list of grocery stores (with its business details: time, address, contact details, and many more) near him or her.
Citations are important because it has a direct impact on local search.
Search engines, like Google, garner data from every business. If Google finds accurate data, it would be a plus factor for the business’ chance of ranking better on Google search engine. However, if Google finds an inconsistency in the data, the lesser chances for the business’ to rank higher because trust is destroyed.
Take note of this: accurate citations are valuable because when people discover a certain business, it usually translates into web traffic resulting in successful transactions. Meanwhile, inaccurate citations can confuse customers which can lead to loss of reputation and revenue.
Types of Citations
There are two types of citations: the structured and the unstructured.
Structured citations are found in an online business directory. You always have the power to encode your business details and update them now and then.
Some can be found on:
- Maps (Google, Apple, etc.)
- Other online business directories.
Unstructured citations occur when a website (not a business directory) includes your business information. Unstructured citations can be found on blogs, social media posts, and other sites that are not a business directory.
Both are beneficial to businesses to build brand reputation, improve search engine rankings, drive more traffic, and probably generate more leads.
Regularly check and audit citations
Citations are needed to be checked and audited from time to time for the following reasons:
- Some users overwrite the correct citations. Some would try to edit it for other reasons.
- There are instances where duplicate citations happen.
- Lastly, your business information may change as time passes by.
It is important to make your local citations up to date. It is all about having a keen eye on your local citations!
Benefits of local citations
Local citations have a direct impact on how your business is doing SEO.
- Local citations can improve your search engine rankings. Why? Local SEO and citations allow search engines to validate the authenticity of your business information. They will see your business website’s authority and reputation, and when they find out that it is good, more likely, your website will be visible on the search engine results.
- Local citations can increase the traffic to your website. It allows users to click on your link and be connected to your business website. The more local citations you have; the more website traffic there will be for you.
- It is an opportunity for potential customers to patronize your products and services because of online users visiting your website.
As we come to an end, always know that local citations are vital to your SEO and it helps a lot in attracting more potential customers visiting your website. Just do not forget to provide accurate business details and update your business details on your local citations.
Photos courtesy of gettyimages.com