How Local Citations Help Your Online Presence
Search engine optimization is complex and ever-changing, with hundreds of factors determining where your business appears on Search Engine Ranking pages (SERPs). Local search citations can help give your page a boost. But what exactly are local SEO citations? Put simply, a local citation is any time your business name and contact information are mentioned online. That can be in a business directory, review, social media, blogs, news, or anywhere else that lists your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). While focusing only on SEO citation building won’t improve your rankings, incorporating it as a key strategy in your overall SEO can make a difference.
- When people are looking for products or services, they often search “near me.” Increasing local citations increases the likelihood that a “near me” search from a potential customer who is “near you” will find you.
- Citations on certain websites drive traffic to your site. Some consumers rely on specialty or review websites to look for products or services before turning to a search engine.
- Citations can influence your overall search engine rankings. The number of citations, their accuracy, and the reputation of the websites they’re on all influence your rankings.
So, how do you get local citations and what are the most important elements in your local citation strategy? Accuracy is imperative. Brand loyalty is built on trust, and trust can begin with citation accuracy. Citations should be updated regularly and include consistent information. Be clear if you have multiple locations and ensure the details are always consistent (e.g., Avenue vs Ave., Suite vs #, etc.). Be sure your company name is always correct and consistent (e.g., using “Inc.” in some citations and not in others or using “&” in some and “and” in others). Using SEO citation-building experts, like Globe Runner, can give you an edge by ensuring those details are accurate and that you’re listed on highly reputable sites. Citation building is time-consuming, and Globe Runner can build your online presence with local citation expertise as part of our off-page SEO services.
What is citation building in SEO?
Citation building takes time, expertise, and incredible attention to detail. Effective citation-building services start with accuracy (making sure your “NAP,” or “name, address, phone number” is accurate and consistent and that there are no duplicate listings). After analyzing already existing citations, citation building moves on to removing citations on websites with untrustworthy reputations and adding you to trustworthy citation sites. Citation building experts also make sure that your listings are claimed, add additional information (photos, hours, etc.), and can monitor your citations to make sure they stay up to date.
How do I find local citations for free?
The great thing about local citations is that the vast majority of them are free! You just have to know where to find them. From Google business profiles to review websites like Yelp, adding (or claiming) your business is often completely free.
How many citations do I need?
Quality matters more than quantity. Local citations only help your rankings if they’re accurate and reputable. An old phone number or email address no one checks can frustrate a potential client—even leading to bad reviews. And reviews count! Many local citation sites allow reviews. An accurate citation on a reputable website won’t do you good if it’s full of substandard reviews! Monitor those review sites (and customers appreciate it when you address bad reviews). While accuracy and quality are more important, numbers do matter. There’s no ideal number—but, across industries, businesses that rank higher on SERPs generally have over 80 local citations. That may sound like a lot, but a local citation is anywhere on the internet that lists your business name, address, and phone number, including review websites, business or industry listings, and social media. But citations also occur in press releases, blogs, events, etc.
What is a local citation service?
A local citation service manages the citations you already have and increases that number by adding your company to reputable citation sites. Citation services, like Globe Runner, often include citation-building as part of their off-page SEO services. While local citations are incredibly important to help potential customers find you, they’re only one of hundreds of factors that search engines take into consideration. Comprehensive SEO that includes local citation building will boost your online presence more than solely local citation building. In fact, citation and link building can go together as part of a robust off-page SEO strategy where some backlinks also function as local citations.