The importance of citations for local SEO
You have heard this from your friends. Possibly your colleague has also mentioned that, citations are important for reaping the maximum benefit from your local SEO campaign. Indeed, the importance of citations for local SEO is hard to overrule. So what’s a citation anyway? Any page, which has been typically listed under “Web Pages” tab and is listed inside the Local Business Listing, is known as “citation”.
Prior talking more about the significance of citations in steering in more foot prints let us delve deeper to understand the concept better.
Citation and its significance
To put things simply citations can be defined as “cites” (mentions) of the contact and address of your business on specific directories. Yes, you have got that right; the concept of citations is somewhat similar to the ‘yellow pages” where business owners list their business. Take the example of the local chamber of commerce, or the local business association where you can list your business information. Yes, citations are similar in which your online business identity is listed in the local business directories.
Well the staggering aspect which makes citations a smart choice in less competitive niches is, linking your website is not mandatory in citations. Hence even if you do not have a website still you can “mention” your business address and details at the local business listings.
There is hardly any denial that Citations in local SEO stands as an indispensible component of the overall ranking algorithms in the major SERPs. The fact is written on the wall – business with a relatively higher number of citations has the chance of ranking much higher than the businesses with slimmer citations.
Typically citations from the staggering as well as well-indexed portals increase the certainly level of your business information, contacts and classifications to the search engines.
Citations also increase credibility. Well, let’s look at things from a different perspective- do you think that it’s easy to fake membership in a business index? No-did you say, by the way! Absolutely right- it is indeed difficult to fake membership in the chamber of commerce. Similarly, to get mentioned in the online local business directory plays a major role in crafting the credibility of your business thus drastically augmenting your local search engine rankings.
Just like the traditional SEO demands the dose of the concoction on on-page and off-page optimization the local SEO also requires optimized profiles with quality external signals and it goes without saying that the most significant signals are the CITATIONS.
It helps the search engines to understand more about your business and answers all the WH questions such as
- Who you are
- Where are you located
- How much popular you are
- What’s your Line of Business
Ways to build citations
The fact has been tested and proven that citations are important for local SEO so the next question that hangs in the breeze – what are the ways to build citations? Well, the fastest as well as the direct way in building citations has a direct connection with the idea of optimizing your business profiles on the local business directories.
To be honest most of the quality directory sites will generally have your location listed however you need to ensure make sure that the local data which you have keyed in is accurate. Also, check whether or not your locations have been missing from the staggering portals, and if so make sure you add it.
The sites which provides citations are –
- Facebook Local
- Yahoo Local
You need to take the first baby step by mentioning your business on these major local directories. Aside from the above mentioned sites there are other options fir mentioning your business online.
And the options include-
Regional Directories: Yes, the major regional directories pass local signals to Google.
Industry Directories: Indeed the major industries usually have a number of relevant local directories to list your business. And thus kind of categorization can help in telling Google about your business actually does and it is even more than just the information of where your business is located!
Local Blogs /News portals: Honestly crafting unstructured citations is difficult and often you won’t be simply allowed to sign up ‘just like that’. Signing up at the local blogs or newspapers for cutting your business can be an incredible start whatsoever.
Tips to improve your citation strategies
Now that you are almost ready to “mention” your business in the local business listing site get ready to tweak your citation strategy with these initial handy tips
Get listed: Certainly, that’s the keyword because as briefed earlier mentioning your business into more relevant citation sites helps in improving your overall local search rankings.
Study your competitors' citations: of course you need to check and keep a track record of your competitors’ local search optimization and citation strategies.
Consider the authoritative local directories: Try to get your business mentioned in the authoritative websites to add credibility to your business.
Ensure that you list the same address and name in each of the citations: well, in citations there is practically no need to link your business with any HTML code hence you need to be cautious when listing the business information. Yes, you need to use the same spelling, address and names in each of the citations in order to help the search engines connect your “mentions” to your location page.
Get ready to get noticed at your potential target audience’s local search result by cutting your business as an inseparable and incredible part of your local SEO campaign!