Even the most experienced business owners sometimes have trouble when it comes to the online part of running their brand. There’s so much to learn, and new things add up almost every day. However, one thing hasn’t changed for a while – and that’s the importance of local citations. They are said to help reach the right audience and make your brand more accessible. But, what’s really true? Let’s find out everything on local citations and see if they are important for your brand.
Local citations described simply
Let’s start by explaining the term local citations and what they represent. To put it simply, local citations are mentions of your brand anywhere on the net. These mentions often include basic information about a business – name, location, contact details, working hours, etc. The most important part of them is surely NAP – name, address, and phone number. This is the basic, most important information that should be accurate and clear wherever possible. On top of NAP, business owners can add some additional information such as website address, images, business category, etc. The more the merrier! However, NAP information should be present at all costs.
Local citations are therefore an important factor in every SEO strategy. Search engines use them to rank businesses according to their accuracy, reliability, and presence in relevant directories. Using this information wisely can give you better results, so let’s see why are local citations important for your brand.
Local citations help your brand to be discovered
If you’re trying to sell services or products to people in a specific area, local citations are the way to do it. By placing the information about your brand on relevant online locations, you make it easy for people to discover your business. This leads to more people reaching out and therefore more revenue.
However, it is important to place your citations in directories that are relevant to your target audience. These could be global directories such as Google Maps, Yellow Pages, or Yelp, but also some locally recognized directories.
The more websites mention your business on their pages, the more trust you’ll gain from Google and other search engines. These mentions are signals to the search engines that your website is a trustworthy one. That’s why you’ll get more recognition from the search engine which surely leads to a higher ranking. Using these mentions as evidence of trustworthiness, Google is more eager to ‘recommend’ your page in relevant searches.
You spend less to attract the target audience
One of the reasons why local citations are beneficial to your brand is the fact you can reach a target audience by spending less or no money. Most of the important directories allow submissions for free, which makes this type of promotion very cost-effective. Surely, not everything related to citations is free of charge. Some directories will charge you for adding some more details such as photos or videos, maps, or business categories.
Local citations help you win over the competition
Competition is a healthy thing in business. It always keeps you doing more and getting over new challenges towards success. Local citations may be that very step you’ll be ahead of your competition. By posting your listings in the right places, you can ensure customers discover your brand before anyone else’s. Also, by analyzing the citations of your successful competitors, you can learn the best SEO practices. It’s surely one of the reasons why are local citations important for your brand.
Get in touch with new partners or investors
It’s not only about reaching new customers. Building citations is also about reaching potential investors and partners. If your goal is to expand your business and partner up with some other successful brands, citations can help you reach it. However, this means you shouldn’t leave your citations with only basic contact information. Include some other details such as your social media, contact details of relevant people from your team, and references to your main services or products.
Tips for building and maintaining your local citations
After making sure you understand the importance of local citations for your brand, we want to share the main tips on building citations.
Understand the types of citations
There are two types of citations in the SEO world. The first ones are structured citations – found in directories with a predetermined format, listing the NAP along with some other information. Next are unstructured citations – more casual mentions of your brand. Usually, you can find these in blog or social media posts, where mention of your brand comes with a context.
Don’t forget data aggregators
Data aggregators collect data about your business, sort it out and supply it to other relevant directories. Submitting your info to the main data aggregator can save you a lot of time.
Focus on relevant directories
Depending on the type of your business, location and target audience, you should pick the relevant directories that will give the best results. Choose the relevant industry directories or general websites where local people can easily find you.
Claim listings that already exist
Sometimes you can find a listing of your business you didn’t create. If it is on a relevant website, make sure you claim it, so you can edit necessary information if possible.
Maintaining your citations can take energy and time, but you need to focus on consistency and accuracy. Hire a professional to have your back at this, so you can focus on other aspects of building a successful brand. Building citations requires focus and attention to detail, so ensure this task is done by someone who really understands why local citations are important for your brand.