Running a local business is more than just a smile to your new and returning customers. There’s so much more behind the scenes. Every local business includes some hard work, both offline and online. And when it comes to your online presence, citations are the first thing on the list. However, many business owners are new at building citations, and they are not sure how to that properly. Luckily, you can learn everything in this article. We want to help you build citations properly, and give you some useful tips on increasing the local ranking of your website.
Local SEO and citations
Nowadays, when a person wants to discover a business, or find a product or service, they head over to Google. The first one or two results are probably going to answer the request. That’s why you need to make sure your business is in these first couple of spots. Furthermore, you want people to find your business in the most important listings. And to increase your Google rating, you’ll need citations, one of the main factors for a successful local ranking.
Citations define as…
…mentions of a business on some other website. They can be structured and unstructured, depending on the format. The structured format of citations is usually found in directories that mention many other businesses in the same way. There we can see the name, address, phone number, website, or some other contact details. On the other hand, unstructured citations are more limited in information and appear in articles, blog posts, etc.
Why you should build citations?
As previously mentioned, citations are a way for your customers to find your business online. Furthermore, citations in the right spots give your business more authenticity, as well as credibility, which helps gain more trust with the customers.
Best tips on building citations for a local business
Now, it’s time for some polishing of your business’ online presence. Here are some tips you should follow to create citations in the most efficient way.
Start with the basics
The base of structured citations is surely being mentioned in data aggregators. They can save you a lot of time, as you don’t need to submit your information to hundreds of different websites. Data aggregators collect your NAP (name, address, and phone number) and share it with other websites. That’s why submitting your info on Factual, Neustar Localeze or Express Update should be the first step of citation building strategy. This service is free of charge, so be sure to visit these websites and add your info.
However, if there’s already your business’ name on the websites, just claim it as yours. This is an important step to do before adding a new citation, as you can avoid duplicates, and correct potentially incorrect info that’s already on these sites.
Remember: the way you add info about your business is extremely important for building citations. It is necessary for your NAP to be consistent and accurate on all the websites. Be sure to add your info always in the same way, writing the full, correct name of the business and always double-checking if the address and phone number are correct.
Add your info on other important websites that are important for customers
As people will search for a business on websites like Maps, Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, and others, it is essential your business is listed there. This way, new potential customers can find you faster, and returning customers can leave a positive review or a comment. There are two ways you can do this – manually, or with the help of a professional. Adding info to all of this website is time-consuming, and not suitable for busy business owners. AZ Citation Services will submit your info to all the relevant websites, focusing on the industry and consumers’ needs. This is an easy way to improve your brand’s rankings without trying too hard, wasting a lot of time and nerves if you’re a beginner.
When offering services and products from a specific industry, it is necessary to narrow your target audience. Investing some time into specific, local search will bring your business closer to the people looking for these services. Be sure to do research on what websites are relevant and authoritative in your specific industry, and also the ones that specify the location. If you’re selling amazing cakes, your citations will not be worth much on a website related to the beauty industry or traveling. Think about your target audience and try to find out where they would search for a company like yours.
Do some guest blogging
Writing a post on authoritative blogs related to your niche is a great way you increase your rankings and boost the authority of your own website. With informative, high-quality content you’ll get more attention to your business and prove your knowledge.
Show why you’re the best
When all the good steps bring new people to your website, this is the most important moment. There are several factors that will make a customer stay or leave and visit a competitor’s website. You need to provide your visitors with a great website user experience, publish some high-quality, interesting content, and of course, sell great products or services. Always pick quality over quantity and you’ll see the results in no time.
As you could see from the text, it takes time and energy to build citations and attract customers. However, every hard work and investment pay off if you play your cards right. Ever feel insecure about SEO, look for help from a professional. This will ensure the quality, and also provide you with more time to focus on the other aspects of running your business.