Building Local SEO Citations – Why and How?
SEO is a vast concept – and even when you have learned about one category, you will find that there are sub-categories to it.
When you use citations, you contribute a lot to your local SEO. Many marketers invest effort in building citations as well as managing them as a part of the local SEO process.
What is Local citation?
Local citations are online listings that have complete names, addresses, and contact numbers of your business. These citations may occur in various digital spaces like business directories, websites, social platforms, apps, etc. The more optimized your local citation is, the more people will find it easy to discover your business, and the higher ranking you have on the Google SERPs.
What are the types of local citations?
There are various ways you can bring up your business online, and hence there are various citations available. Here are some types of local citations.
- Search engines like Google, Bing, etc
- Major directories like local business listings are available or based on social media sites or reviews like Yelp.
- Geo/industry-specific platforms like lists on websites that are highly relevant to the industry or location.
- Primary data aggregators like Foursquare, Data Axle, etc.
- Unstructured citations can include supplementary citations found in blogs, news sites, apps, maps, etc.
Why do you need to build local citations?
- Build credibility
Citations help your business build credibility. It tells the search engine that your business is reliable and genuine.
- Easy visibility
Many consumers look for local businesses in the listing directories. Whether they are looking for a service or product, they go for relevant directories to find businesses easily, as they help with updated details. Google algorithm also scores your business based on your overall citation profile. The better score you have, the better your profile ranks.
- Provides accurate details
Citations help consumers with accurate and updated details about the business, like addresses, phone numbers, and additional details you should know about. A lot of consumers look up business information and visit it the same day.
Sometimes your business details are already there in the directories without your entering or listing in them. But maybe those details aren’t exactly accurate – either there is a phone number missing or an old other. Or an old location.
How do you build local citations?
Having your business citations on various websites is not uncommon, even when you haven’t manually listed them. Many relevant local directories accept data feeds from various sources, and chances are your business details are included too. But if your business is not on the listing, or you are looking for building citations, here’s how you can do them.
- Manual Submission
Manual submissions might be time-consuming, but it gets the job done. By ensuring that you or any one of your team feeds data into the listing sites one by one, you also ensure that the information is entirely correct and updated.
- Hire marketers
This is similar to manual submissions, but instead of you or your team, you hire someone to do this for you. Again, you will find many services that handle business citation submissions that can complete the whole process without any hassle.
- Aggregator submission
Services like White spark help businesses in the submission of NAP data to primary data aggregators. This ensures that your details get listed on various sites – hundreds of them.
Prerequisites for citation building
- Gather all the information/details about your business, and check with USPS to check the way your address is listed.
- Enter all the details into a spreadsheet, and check if there are any errors. Then, you can copy these details and paste them into the directories.
- Look for Google businesses to see if you have existing citations
- Clean up existing ones and then work on building the new ones.
- Make sure you are not blindly adding to various directories and adding to the relevant or important ones.
- Don’t forget to optimize – add photos and categories, and try to provide as much information as possible.
- Share review forms with your customers, and respond to reviews to show that you are an equally active business in the digital space.
Citations work better when you are providing extra details about your business – like operating hours, mailing address, or whether your business is LGBTQ+ friendly. Such details, which might not always be necessary – help a consumer’s conversion journey.
Also, your details need to be the same in every directory, and you make an effort to remove the incorrect ones.