Every Local SEO strategy is based on Google My Business and therefore on Google Maps. Online visibility and accessibility is an essential factor in getting new customers. Nowadays, people will use google on their computers or mobile phones, to find a store, product, or service they need. Naturally, they need to track it down to be able to find it in their city. This is where Google Maps do the work and show the fastest route to the solution to their problem. And if your business can offer that – you need to put it on the map. As Google’s guidelines have developed over time, people are often confused with the proper way of citation building. For that reason, we’ve created this simple, yet informative guide on what are Google Map Citations, to make it easier for users to optimize their website and add citations properly. Let’s start!
Firstly, what are Google Map Citations?
Firstly, let’s answer the most important question – how do you define Google Maps citations? Any citation you find online is a simple mention of a business on any website. These can be :
- structured – located in a directory that defines the way how a citation will look;
- unstructured – mentions of a business in articles or blog posts, without any regard to format and information mentioned.
Naturally, Google Maps provide structured citations with a clearly defined format and necessary information. These include NAP – the name of a business, address, and phone number. Furthermore, Google Maps offers additional information about a business, such as working hours, website URL, reviews, etc. This way you provide complete information about your business to customers and make it easier for them to find your physical offices/store.
Importance of accuracy and consistency
One of the most common mistakes is inaccuracy and inconsistency of information included in citations. This happens for various reasons – citations are added by different people, accidental mistakes and not being aware of the importance of citations for local SEO. If information about your business is accurate, Google and the customers will be able to find your business with ease. Moreover, the consistency of information over websites and data aggregators will help Google recognize the authority and improve the ranking of your website. If more websites have the same information about a business, Google will see it as more reliable and be confident about your reputation.
Is it possible to use citations to beat the competition?
Absolutely, citations are a way to prove you’re a more reliable option than your competitors. However, you need to be very wise about this. In the past, the success was presented in the number of citations a business has online. However, Google has developed a lot, and the search engine system has become smarter than ever. Nowadays, it’s more about quality, rather than quantity. This means you should focus on posting more high-quality citations, instead of randomly adding them on too many websites. Invest time in adding complete and accurate citations that will only add value to your Google ranking and improve your online visibility.
What’s a good citation for your business?
As it was previously mentioned in the article, the basic information included in a citation is the name, address, and phone number. Now let’s tell you more about it.
It is essential to decide on the format of your business’ name you’ll use online. This should be consistent all across the internet, including all the citations and your website. That being said, be sure to use the full name of your company, without any nicknames or variations.
Writing address seems to be the most typical mistake when adding citations. As variations and abbreviations are common when writing an address, this leads to inconsistency in adding citations. That’s why it’s important to pick an address format and stick to it whenever you can.
Writing a phone number is a simple task, yet it often causes problems in citations making. Choose the format you like – with or without hyphens/ brackets, and use it in all citations you add in the future.
What’s the additional information you should add to Google Maps citations?
Apart from NAP, there are other things to add to a citation and make it more complete and presentable for the visitors. This includes:
- website address
- working hours
- description of your business.
When adding this info to your citations, it important to remember that quality beats quantity. This means that high-quality photos will make your business look more professional and reliable, and therefore more attractive to potential customers. Furthermore, updated working hours ensure less confusion among customers, especially during holidays, when working hours tend to change.
Creating Google Map Citations
Depending on the size of your business and target market, adding enough citation can be a lot of work. However, all the time and effort you invest surely pays off. Nevertheless, some business owners are way too busy and don’t have time for adding and maintenance of their citations, as this can be a very time-consuming task. In this case, trusting an SEO specialist such as AZ Citation Services seems like a perfect solution and money well spent. This way you will make sure the information about your business is accurate, updated, and posted to the right online locations.
Finding out what are Google Map citations was easy
The online presence of a business has become equally important as the presentation of the physical space. As times have changed and technology improved, local SEO became one of the key factors in doing business and approaching your services to target customers. That’s why focusing on what are Google Map citations and properly adding them is an effort that will show positive results in no time.