One of the most important aspects and elements of any good local search marketing strategy is citations. However, not all people know how to build them. This is exactly what we are going to explore in today’s article – what are citations, how to use them, and how to build citations when you have a brand new site. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it!
Why does your business need citations?
The easiest and most important part about local SEO citation building is stating the obvious. This means that your website needs to tell people what your business hours are, where is your business located, your phone number, etc. This is also important for local search success in general.
However, it is not immediately clear how you can state the obvious. How you can tell Google or other search engines those information and make them show that in local searches?
The other question is why should you do that? You should be communicating with customers and not Google, right? Well, it’s not that simple. People use search engines more than ever to find local businesses they are interested in.
There is a lot of research that supports that fact. For example, almost 90 percent of people search for local information on mobile devices. More than 50 percent of on-the-go searches on Google have local intent, and conversions are more likely after a local searching.
Prominence is very important
But, how can that help you, and what does all that have to do with building citations?
People use citations to build prominence. Google states that prominence is one of the most important factors for local ranking. Simply said, Google uses it to determine local ranking. Prominence is a ‘measure’ of how well-known your business is online. Google and other engines use the amount of information your business has online to assess your prominence.
Information that matters most for online prominence is links and citations. Citations are anything search engines can find about your business in online directories. The same is true for all search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and of course, Google. A whopping 13% of how engines rank businesses in local searches is due to citations. No serious business will ‘go online’ without properly building them.
Why are citations so important?
Simply said, in local search marketing, mentions of your business on other websites and pages are citations. If you have your business listed on Yellow Pages, for example, this is one citation. The same is true for any business that has an online presence, like blog posts, articles, etc.
For local businesses, citations are important too. Citations signal search engines that your business is legitimate, important, and trustworthy.
For small and relatively unknown businesses, citations are even more important. They need to make search engines trust their business if they want to have any presence online. You need to make sure that Google, Bing, and Yahoo, have all the information needed about your business so they can present that information to all your potential local customers.
Citation building – what is it exactly?
Citation building is a technique of creating and sending accurate, consistent, and of course, relevant info about your business to listing directories. After that, search engines gather that info from local directories and present them to customers. This information needs to be consistent all over the web, so search engines don’t have any doubts that your business is legitimate. Google has a strict policy when it comes to showing accurate information about local businesses. Follow those rules as it is the only way to have a successful local SEO campaign.
In a sense, citations are not that different from link building. when search engines find that links are leading to your website, they trust it. The more links from your website you have on other websites, the more trustworthy your website looks to search engines.
The same is true for citations. If search engines constantly find the same information about your business, they’ll assess it as a trustworthy local business, and they will “feel good” about showing that information to the public. So, accurate and consistent citations are a way of showing businesses if your website and business are legitimate. That is a perfect reason to hire a professional citation building company such as AZ Citation Services.
What should you pay attention to when you’re building citations for a local business?
You need to check if your address is the correct one. You can check with your country’s postal service. For the US, that would be USPS. Also, make sure to save that information somewhere like a spreadsheet or a Word document. That way you’ll easily check if any errors need to be taken out and if you have to clean up your citations.
After that, the moment everyone likes. Search your business name on a search engine. That way you’ll find citations of your business online. Make sure to clean them up before you add new ones. And don’t just add citations to any random site. Make sure that the website you want to have your citations on is important and legitimate.
Make sure to add as much detail as you can. Add photos of your business, categories, business info. It would be best if you could communicate with people directly. See what people have to say in the reviews of your business. Take that into consideration. Also, update your listings from time to time.
And keep track of your citations at all times. It is not enough to create your citations once. One NAP mistake can mean that your information is incorrect on different listings.
So, if you ever wanted to know how to build citations, here’s how!