A citation is a mention of your business name and address on another webpage without the necessity of a link. It is considered to be an essential component of ranking algorithms in both Bing and Google. To illustrate this further, when all other factors are equal, businesses that have a greater number of citations are almost certainly going to rank higher than the ones with fewer citations. For this reason, you want to learn the best practices for local citation building. And this article will have all the information you need regarding this process. And once you learn why you need citations, contact our experts at AZ Citation Services to help you out.
Best practices for local citation building
To start off, you will need to know where to find citations that will increase your search engine rankings. Luckily, there are thousands of different places where a citation can be acquired. And each local business ought to focus on the creation of a strong core of citations, as it will increase the visibility of the business. In addition, it will be beneficial when it comes to building a good reputation for the business. When it comes to the local search markets that are extremely competitive, high quality and authoritative citation is one of the top-ranking factors. So, if you are looking for potential sources for these local citations for your local business, make sure to read on.
1. The four main aggregators in local business data
You will find four main aggregators in local business data in the United States:
- Neustar Localeze
With combined databases, they have indexes of over 20 million businesses throughout the U.S. To compile these indexes, they had to go through a traditional phone book, membership rosters for business groups, phone and baking records, business registration entities, and other databases. In return, these aggregators either syndicate or license their data to the majority of local search engines. These include Bing and Google. It will take the search engines from two weeks to three months to update their indexes with fresh data from these aggregators.
2. The local search engines
You cannot regard local citation building without the local search engines. They will crawl the web for various citations that will help to correct or validate the business information which is present in their existing indexes. Being present on websites such as Hotfrog, Foursquare, Yelp, and others will do great to increase the search engines’ confidence when it comes to the accuracy of your business name, website, and location. Learning the best practices for local citation building will help to ensure you have an accurate listing in as many quality and relevant local business directories as possible.
3. The local blogs
A local blog is yet another great place to consider acquiring a business listing. As they vary based on geography, you will have to enter a search such as (your city) blog. That way you will likely find at least a few candidates worthy of your consideration. Keep in mind that the websites that appear for those types of searches are considered well-indexed by search engines and associated with the specific region, city, or neighborhood. Consequently, businesses who find their place on these blogs, whether through links or other mentions, also get high regard with the search engines. In other words, if your business gets a citation in some of these blogs, the search engines will recognize it as relevant and reliable.
4. The directories with a local focus
Similar to a local blog, local directories are well-indexed by search engines. They are also closely tied to a specific region or city. Keep in mind that directories that are edited by a person are much better than the ones that are “free for all”. The former is much less susceptible to spam. As such, the local search engines tend to trust them to a greater extent.
5. The industry-focused blogs or directories
Taking this route for local citation building means that you will have to do a bit of research, but it will go a long way. If you manage to find a website that has a focus on keywords and topics that are related to your services and products, it can be included in the sites that the local search engine counts as an actual citation source. Mind you, this is true even if the website or the directory is not specifically directed on a concrete region.
Why is it smart to invest time and effort in local citation building
If you are still contemplating the importance of this action, consider the following:
- Having quality citations will help both your current and potential customers to find you.
- Citations will impact the local search ranking factors. Search engines rely on your business information being consistent on all online databases.
- Even if you don’t have a website, you certainly have contact details, and thus the opportunity to get citations.
Before you create a business listing, you ought to gather all your business information. This will help you ensure you submit the exact same thing to every potential citation you attempt to acquire. The first one on your list of citations to acquire should be Google My Business listing. When it comes to ranking in the Google search engine results, this one takes first place by far.
After creating this citation, make sure to clean up any inconsistencies in citations that may be out there. You have to ensure all the information listed is accurate. This will provide your business with the best possible chance of Google acknowledging you.
Diffrent types of citation buliding
There are two types that most people focus on and they are:
- Structured Citations
- Unstructured Citations
Citations, both structured and unstructured will fall into two main categories. Local or specialized. Local citations are limited to a certain geographic area, whereas specialized citations concentrate on industry-specific directories.
More sure to understand structured and unstructured citations
Structured citations are references to your business on third-party websites. That includes your business name, contact information, and address. Typically, these take the shape of an internet business directory. Facebook Business Page, Bing, Yelp, Foursquare, Yell, and plenty of other additional high-authority directories. These are just a few examples. While the other as we know them as unstructured citations. Will be advertising on any other external sites in the form of blog entries, press releases, videos, and other media. If you have no experience then building good citations is not easy. But luckily for you, There are experts that want to help you with them. Basically do all the work for you. So, you can avoid the stress of building it by yourself.
Reviews are important in the local citation building
Customer reviews, as well as your business information, have an impact on your internet presence and importance. Google is committed to offering high-quality search results. In terms of local SEO. Good quality entails positive feedback. As a result, simply giving accurate information for local SEO is insufficient. You must also establish your reputation and manage both positive and negative reviews.
Ignoring this could have a big impact on your local internet exposure. The program collects reviews from various sites and displays them all in one view. Allowing you to manage them and filter out all the crucial ones that demand your response. It’s useful since it gathers all of the reviews in one place, so you don’t have to go into each site separately. Once you’ve been notified, you can go straight and answer.
Is it necessary to provide links in local citations?
Links are not a must in local citations. The mere mention of your company’s name has its own weight. What Google notices is that information about your company. Such as its name, address, and phone number are referenced on a page it trusts. It assists Google in verifying and trusting your company. As a result, the more reliable mentions of your business, the better your chances of improving your local ranking.
So, in local citations, links aren’t important? They are and they do a lot of things. The fact that local citations have value even without links does not negate the importance of links. Local citations with links are considerably more useful than those without.
Managing your local citations is the best practice you can do
Simply explained, uncontrolled local citations will cause customers and search engines to get confused. The latest information offers some startling findings. Imprecise information is a source of frustration for 93 percent of consumers. As a result, it’s critical to keep all information on local citations up to date and correct. You risk scaring away potential clients if you don’t.
If you don’t know where to start and how to do it correctly then you can use the help of professionals that will cleanup citations for you. So there is no misinformation about your business. This will make your life easier because you will be able to focus on your customers rather than cleaning up the false information. Of course, you will also have more clients because of the accurate description.
Don’t duplicate listings when you build local citations
Duplicate listings can have a huge negative effect on your attempts to earn local citations and overall local SEO. A duplicate business listing occurs when a company has multiple listings for the same location in the same directory. When two entries have the same business names, even though the facts supplied are different, Google My Business considers them duplicates.
Consider the following scenario: you own a restaurant that serves both dine-in and takeout. On Yelp, you establish two separate listings for your business, one for dine-in and another for takeout. It’ll be referred to as a duplicate listing. This can happen for a number of reasons. This is the reason why citation management is important they will help you out. And make sure to keep a record of your local listings to avoid this from happening.
NAP is crucial in building local citations
The precision and consistency of NAP (Name, Address, Phone) are vital. We’ll get into why it’s so crucial. According to local rating factors based on research and survey, one of the top seven ranking variables is the consistency of NAP citations. In addition to affecting your local search ranking, NAP can have a direct effect on your company’s reputation. If clients are frustrated by the false information it may result in bad internet reviews.
So, while NAP appears to be straightforward on the surface. There’s a lot going on beneath the surface that you must keep an eye out. You can get help with building citations but you need to know how much you should pay for it. It will be worth every single penny when you see what they will help you with. But in the end, it is your decision if you want their help or not.
What it comes down to
It is true that the proper local citation building will take some time and effort to acquire. However, it is well worth it in terms of search engine rankings. So, do not shy away from taking the time to get to know all the various options and efforts you can make in order to help your business rank better. Citations are powerful. You will have the opportunity to be on the top of rankings if you use them correctly. But you have to see if the information is consistent across the web. Contact AZ Citation Services to help your business prosper!