It’s not uncommon for users to underestimate the power of local citation. Sure, they help users find your business and contact you, but is there something more about them? Citations have proven to be a ranking factor – quite an important one. They help your website rank higher in the search results, which is why you should pay more attention to them. In this article, you’re going to find out why are citations such an important ranking factor, and what are ways you can use them to help your business grow.
Basics about citations
Firstly, let’s explain more about citations and the way they work. Local citations are any mentions of your business on the internet. They are commonly found in the form of NAP – name, address, and phone number, but they can also have some other forms. Local citations’ first and basic purpose is to allow the users to find your website or business. Nowadays, people use search engines and maps for almost everything – shopping for basic groceries, looking for specific services, and finding their way to the nearest business they need at the moment. That’s where citations play their role.
Where you can find local citations?
As we mentioned, citations can be found all over the internet – various directories, apps, review websites, and even social media. They are spread all around the online world, which is why their power shouldn’t be underrated.
But, even though it seems simple, there’s more about local citations users should know. Citations play an important role in ranking in Google search results. So, if your goal is the higher, the better, continue reading.
So, why are citations such an important ranking factor?
Now, let’s see the reason behind this claim. Citations play a big role in ranking higher in search results because of the factors they require to be visible to the users. Let’s see what are factors that are important for both local citations and Google.
The accuracy of information
One of the top priorities in placing citations is the accuracy of information. Apart from the name, address, and phone number, you can also add some other information such as the website, business category, and photos. It is essential that the basic information is as accurate as possible. Sometimes, even the slightest variation or spelling mistake can mislead the users and Google, and minimize the effect of the citation. Google will use this information to place your website better in search results, as it provides them according to the keywords, location, and other factors. Google advises businesses to provide complete and accurate information so they can match better to relevant searches.
The consistency and fresh updates
After you set up the main information about your business and list it in main directories, make sure this is consistent all over the web. It’s best to create a template so you would stay consistent with all the information on multiple locations. Furthermore, it’s important to update the information in case of any changes such as working hours, change of address, etc. The consistency of information on different locations will send a signal to Google that your website is reliable and present in relevant places on the web.
Another factor that will help you rank better but also get you more customers is reviews. Mentions of your business on review sites also count as local citations, and it is important to pay close attention to them. Positive reviews and careful handling of negative ones are a signal for Google to rank your business higher. These improve your reputation and therefore your ranking in search results.
Another ranking factors are the right keywords. Think about the most common search related to your business, and incorporate those keywords into your citations. Use them whenever you can – usually in the description of your business, list of services, and more. The more complete information you give Google, the better it will be able to rank your website.
Other important ranking factors aside from citations
There are several other things that will affect your rankings. The key is to cover all of them and monitor the results as you make changes. To improve your rankings, pay attention to:
- the content – it’s important to create high-quality content that will attract users, give them useful information and be practical;
- page speed – one of the main reasons people leave a website is the slow loading of its pages. Do everything to speed your website up and make sure visitors don’t have trouble using it.
- mobile-first indexing – make sure Google will primarily use the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking. Surely, a mobile-friendly website is a must these days.
- on-page optimization will surely help with the ranking, as it will ensure your content is clearly visible and easy to read. This will allow more people to visit the page and therefore create more traffic;
- links – both internal and external links are a critical factor to a higher Google ranking. You need to have a solid internal linking structure, but also do your best to earn authoritative and relevant links from external sources.
Now you can create a perfect strategy for positioning
High ranking in Google search results takes a lot of work. However, it’s about a solid strategy and considering all the major factors that will lead you to success. Now once you know why are citations such an important ranking factor you can proceed to create a perfectly efficient strategy making sure your business is visible, accessible, and attractive for the users. The key to success – making Google and users happy!