The Internet has changed the way we do business. Actually, it has changed the way people function with their everyday tasks. This has ‘forced‘ businesses to turn more to the online world and adapt their businesses to the new methods. When it comes to running a business, it is now essential to be discoverable on the internet. People use their phones and computers to find addresses, goods, and services they need. Therefore, your website needs to be easy to find, for all the potential customers out there. In this guide, we’re going to show you the best ways to build citations to increase your local website search, and therefore increase sales.
Reasons to build citations the right way
Citations have become a crucial factor for local businesses nowadays. However, they take some time and effort, and the whole process can be overwhelming unless you trust professionals such as AZ Citation Services to help you out. That’s why we wanted to point out the main benefits of building citations and the reasons why you should take care of your business’ online image:
- citations put your business on the map, and they do it accurately – this will lessen the chances of customers having trouble finding your premises.
- people trust businesses more if they look professional on the internet – when a potential customer sees that your business is present in all the top citation sources, they gain an additional level of trust and are closer to buying goods or services from you.
- citations increase the traffic – as people can reach you from more locations now, this means you can gain more traffic on your website.
- improve the ranking – a trusted business that’s present on multiple citation sources will surely rank better in searches.
Best ways to build citations to increase your local website search
Here are some of the methods you can use to build citations and make sure more local people reach your website.
Decide on your NAP
Before you start building citations, make sure you decide on the correct information you will use for structured citations. NAP (name, address, and phone number) information should be accurate and written in the same way across the websites. NAP consistency is extremely important, so make sure you decide these details first. This will help with geo-targeted searches, build the legitimacy of your brand and simply help your customers find you faster.
Start with data aggregators
Submitting the correct information to data aggregators is one of the first steps of citation building. It provides the base to all the future listings, as data aggregators provide the information about your business to other websites. Go and visit the websites of Neustar Localeze, Express Update, and Factual, and see if there’s your business’s name on them. If yes, claim it as yours, and if not, make sure you submit all the necessary details.
Cover the global citation directories
Before you go to the local level of your citations strategy, make sure you have listings on the most important, global websites. These include:
- Google My Business
- Apple Maps
- Bing Maps
- Yahoo Local
These websites have the strongest reputation in terms of citation sources, and your business should be present there as well. Just be sure that the information across these websites is consistent, and more importantly – accurate.
Discover the local listing websites to increase your local website search
Depending on your niche and your locations, you need to discover local websites to build citations. These are essential as they are important among local users, and are a way to increase your local website search. Some of the most common directories that important for local citations are:
- Trip Advisor
- Better Business Bureau
These networks share results based on the locations and are great to list your business. However, not all of these websites are suitable for every niche. That’s why you should dig deeper and see if there are any other websites relevant in your area, as well as those related to your niche. Take a closer look at your industry and do the research among the relevant websites in that niche.
Do the cleanup
One of the essential steps of every citation strategy is to do the citation cleanup. Sometimes, listings are made without the business owner’s approval. Then, when the owners make a new listing, they are creating duplicates that are something to avoid. They may offer inaccurate information, confuse potential customers and drive them away from your business. Depending on the number of duplicates, this can be a truly time-consuming task, which is why it’s best to trust a professional with it.
Ensure you are mentioned in unstructured citations, too
Providing high-quality content, goods, and services will ensure other people mention you in unstructured citations – articles, blog posts, etc. Do some guest blogging, promote your products on social media and stay connected to the local people.
Don’t lose track of your citations
Creating a listing is not the final step in the process. Tracking the status of your listings will help you update them if necessary and avoid losing them over time. That’s why you should dedicate some time and effort to maintaining a good image of your business online, as it is something that eventually pays off and brings amazing results.