Whether you’re just starting a business or have been running a company for a while, local citations should matter a lot. They represent mentions of your business all across the internet. There are various places where one could get information about a business. There are general directories, industry-related websites, blog posts, etc. However, if your name appears at the right time and in the right place, potential customers will be able to find it and buy products or services for you. Moreover, local citations help your search ranking and improve the overall popularity of your website and business. That’s why we want to narrow your search and present the most popular citation sites among local businesses. Make sure you consider them all in your building citations strategy and you will see that in a short period of time all your effort will pay off.
The importance of citation building
Running a local business is all about attracting customers from the area. Nowadays, the internet has become the main source of information, for those who need a product or service. Especially since the pandemic hit and everybody switched to doing their business and buying online. As a result, people use their computers or mobile phones to search for local businesses that can provide them with those solutions. Therefore, if they can’t find your business online, you lose a huge number of potential customers. The easiest way to build citations is to have your business professionally listed by experts such as AZ Citation Services. Targeting the most popular and the most important directories, your business will appear in the essential locations. That’s why we should go through the list of the essential spots in the citation world. Now that we covered the basics we can start checking out popular citation sites.
Before we start
Now that we showed you the importance of citation building we will leave you with resources to see all the best practices for local citation businesses. We need to tell you that this changes a lot. For example, just a few years ago Foursquare was so relevant and important and nowadays it’s just part of the past. That’s why reading this is not enough – it’s just a start.
You need to find a reputable source like AZ Citations and keep up with the news in this field. Things are changing quickly and you need to be on top of your game. If you plan to do this part of your business on your own you will often need to research this and see how things changed and what site is better for you. Of course, you can always research predictions and plan for the future. All experts like to do that.
The most popular citation sites local businesses should know about
- Facebook/Instagram (this is basically the same platform but for different purposes)
- Google Maps and Apple Maps
- Trip Advisor
This is a list of the general sites that your local business will benefit from but there is so much more than the seven we just mentioned and there are some that will work only in your area but we will talk about that a little bit later now let’s cover these and see how relevant they are nowadays.
Facebook and Instagram
These platforms are personal social networks but pretty much every business is here. It’s important that your business is here too. In fact, they are the most popular citation sites and almost 85% of local businesses have a listing here. Naturally, you want to be one of them. Some people (Gen Z mostly) will research your business on Instagram before they do it on Google. For us that is unimaginable but younger generations have different views.
Yelp has been around for quite some time but it is still relevant. About 80% of local businesses have their listings here so as you can see this should be your next stop. This is a great tool to confirm your quality and authority. You can do it by getting positive reviews on Yelp.
Oldie but goldie as some would say. This one is important for older generations but they are still your target group since they have the capital. Over 70% of local businesses are listed in YellowPages.
This is a very important platform if you own a restaurant, coffee shop, bakery, and any similar business. This is a platform where people go and type what to do or where to eat in this area and it is a very reliable one. Over 60% of local businesses are listed here and maybe you should be too.
Google Maps and Apple Maps
This one is pretty obvious. We are all using those apps to navigate. No one is using old-fashioned maps anymore. Whichever search engine your customers use, they should be able to find a way to your store in a matter of seconds. Google, Safari, Bing, and Yahoo are among the most used search engines that every local business should utilize in the best way possible.
Manta is one of the largest online resources dedicated to helping small businesses grow and about 70% of local businesses are listed there. That only means that you should be there as well.
These are some of the most popular local directories, which should be the first step of your citation-building journey. However, be sure to remember to do the citation cleanup first, to avoid double, misleading information on these websites. You want to provide relevant, consistent, and accurate information to potential clients. That is the only way to establish trust and that is very important for your clientele (because they will have all accurate information on you), Google (you want to show that your site is trustworthy), and you of course. If you are having any problems with your citation cleanup there are professionals who can do it for you. Engaging skilled teams is always a smart choice.
After covering all the important general business directories, it is essential to narrow your search to a specific area. There are directories relevant to your area that you can find by doing a simple search on Google or another search engine. As you can see taking the time and doing some research is very important here so you need to spend some time and track local sites that you can benefit from. There are also tools that can help you out with localizing your search ( Try Moz Local) for directories and making sure you’re listing your business in the right place.
Directories related to your niche
Again, the places where you place citations depend on more than one factor. Apart from the location, you should also consider the industry to which your business belongs. This is important because people are looking for specific services or products. That’s why your business should appear on websites dedicated to those services.
Tips for more efficient citations
It really matters where you post citations. However, don’t forget the way you post them. Formatting local citations is also a crucial factor for a successful strategy. Here are the best tips to help you out:
- be consistent with your NAP – correct and consistent information across all directories is the key to SEO success. Make sure the information about your business is accurate on all websites, and use a unique way of formatting
- carefully choose your keywords
- set up a GMB account – an essential step to improve the rankings and use the benefits of all Google services
- add photos – add professionally taken photos on all directories that allow you to do so. This completes the presentation of
- your business and makes a better impression on potential customers
- write descriptions – even though this might seem like a secondary, less important step, business descriptions help engines understand the business better and rank them properly in the search results
Using social media is as we mentioned earlier very important and it is the best way to promote your work.
Track your citations
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for businesses to lose citations. That’s why constant tracking of your local citations’ status is necessary to maintain a good image of your business online. There are tools that can help you to do this without spending a lot of time and energy.
When it comes to tracking your citations you have three options:
- Google Scholar
- Web of Science
Google Scholar is the easiest to use and that’s why it’s the most popular way of tracking your citations.
How many citations do local businesses need?
There are a lot of studies on this. They found that the businesses that are ranked number 1 on Google are listed on about 86 citation sites and the ones that are still performing great but are a bit lower (10) are listed on about 76 sites. So if you thought that just being on a few of the general ones is enough – it is not. You need to be everywhere if you want to be at the top. Being omnipresent is the only way for everyone to notice you. Hotels, Bars and Pubs, and Restaurants just like B&Bs will need to be on more citation sites than dentists. So as you can see it is also important to research your line of work or niche and see how many you need. While researching you will surely encounter some relevant sites in your area.
Outsourcing any part of your business is a pretty reasonable thing to do. The bigger your business or website gets the more you will have to outsource. You can not stay on top of everything alone – it’s too hard and you will start to run out of time. There are some pretty amazing Citation Companies that can help you with everything we just told you today because citations are a very important ranking factor. If you are having trouble with your SEO you can find some great SEO experts or hire an in-house one to be there always and to manage your SEO strategies. For the legal part, you can easily find a lawyer. As you can see there is always someone who can cover you and work with you on improving your business and your website.
Use one of the popular citation sites among local businesses
We showed you general popular citation sites and we showed you how to find the ones that are only relevant in your area. Now you need to focus on the real work – building citations. It’s true that building citations take effort. However, it always pays off. With the list of the most popular citation sites among local businesses and the help of professionals, the process will be much easier. And what’s most important is that your local business will finally be recognized by customers, and loved by search engines. Start making your strategy and build your citations – the right way. Of course, if you see that this is all getting to be a bit too much for you we showed you how to outsource this part of your business and who can do it for you. Finding adequate help can be a real game-changer.