SEO is an essential segment of marketing for every company today. As a part of it, local SEO helps to increase visibility and to promote your brand to the local market. Both service and product-based companies experience real benefits from implementing the right SEO strategies. And within, citations become a crucial element to spread the information on various platforms. If you know the right places to get business citations, it will significantly boost your ranking on search engines.
How to get business citations
When you look at search engine result pages (SERPs) today, you will notice a few things. There are no more traditional organic results per query. As the media evolves, videos, images, snippets, and local listings are occupying SERPs. And, it becomes harder to get and stay among the top results. But, this is where citations are coming into the game. They are for local listings the same thing links are for organic listings.
While managing them in different places can get quite complicated, you can always get help to promote your brand and improve your rankings. The more places you use for listing your business information, the better your local ranking will be. Before we explain where you can get business citations, let’s deal with some basics.
What exactly are citations?
Citations are your best way to increase your rank in local searches. They are references on the web that provide information about your business name, address, and phone. This group of information is popularly referred to as NAP.
Why do you need to get business citations?
Simply put, you need them to establish the credibility and legitimacy of your business online. Google uses them for this purpose when decides who will rank among the top results. Overall, citations have a double purpose:
- they provide potential consumers with accurate information about your company
- serve as a beacon for search engines to easily find your business across the web and appropriately rank you.
A common mistake many business owners make when claiming listings and citations is that they don’t hire help. If you want the consistency of information, and you do, then you should get experts to handle citations.
Various places to get business citations
There are many places where you can get business citations. To be more precise, locations on the web where you can “place” your business citations. From different web directories like Yelp, to search engines like Google through GMB (Google My Business). Even some “ordinary” websites can be of use. However, not all citations will have the same value. Since that value will depend on the platform you are placing them on, you will need to balance your overall citation portfolio.
Good balance of local business listings includes links from these various types of platforms:
- Data aggregators
- Local directories and newspapers
- Social media and local blogs
- Your own website
- Various mobile apps
- Review websites
You should start with Google
Since more than 40% of all searches on Google are local searches, this is a good place to start. Google offers you the opportunity to list your business on Google My Business. When someone is searching for localized service or products nearby, GMB listings are really hard to miss. There, potential customers can easily acquire NAP data and plenty of other useful information.
Find data aggregators
Search engines are not only places where people are looking for local businesses. There are many directories you can put to good use. Placing citations there will allow an alternate way for people to find you. All they have to do is to type the city and the type of industry. Some of the largest aggregators are:
- City Search
- Yellow Pages
- Yahoo Local
- Trip Advisor
- Shop City
- Insider Pages
- Yellow Bot
- and many more
Local business directories and newspapers
Local business directories and newspapers are another great way for people to find your business. Overall, because they focus on one area, they have a larger value. There are a great number of popular and authoritative business directories where you want to claim your listing. Next, submit your listing on local newspapers, and don’t forget the consistency. They can also be an interesting option if you host events and want to share your calendar listings.
Social media and local blogs are great places to get business citations
Today, almost everyone is familiar with at least one of the major social media networks. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others are heavily integrated into people’s lives. They also provide a great place for advertising. As such, having citations and properly managing them on each of these networks becomes a necessity. Local blogs are also a good opportunity for citations. Many of them have a vendor page with a list of local places.
Don’t forget your own website
The most obvious place for your citations will be your website. However, many business owners don’t completely utilize this. Since your website is the starting point of your brand appearance online, it should be managed properly. It’s the most authoritative representation of your services online. Previously mentioned NAP needs to be consistent and smartly placed deep within pages. In case some of the data changes, don’t forget to update it across the entire website.
Various mobile apps
Literally, there are thousands of mobile applications that list local businesses. GPS apps, different map apps, tourist guide apps, and many others allow people to easily find what they are looking for in the area. With this in mind, they provide a great place for your citations.
Review websites are also a popular place for those who are looking for certain types of services or products. Thus, they can be a valuable location for your citations. In general, it’s shouldn’t be hard to submit your data to one of those sites and provide accessible, accurate, and much-needed information. Also, if you have plenty of good customer reviews, it will definitely boost your rankings.
Finally, while searching for the best places to get business citations, always check what your competition is doing. If they have better results than you, they must be doing something right. Simply, enter their name and location and follow them everywhere. Chances are, you will discover some new and unused opportunities.