So you want your local business to prosper in 2022. After the global pandemic, many businesses are struggling to make things work. For that reason, 2022 should be the year where you do everything right. But, where to start? You’ve got everything set up on your premises and are eager to see some real growth. You’ve even got a website running and everything! But without citations, you won’t see your enterprise making any real headway. Don’t believe that? We at AZ Citation Services can prove it to you. Here’s why directory listings and citations are key for your local business in 2022.
Wait, What Are Directory Listings And Citations?
You’ve probably heard about these terms, yet you’re not sure what they actually are. Also, some of you might not be aware of the importance of listings and citations. To make things easier for you, we will break down what these terms refer to in a few sentences. Don’t worry, it’s actually pretty simple – you don’t need extensive marketing knowledge to understand what’s beneficial for running a business in 2022.
Let’s start with citations in general. Citations (or local citations) are pieces of information about your business that one can find online. These provide basic information bout a business, making it visible and more accessible to online users. When we talk about citations, people usually refer to three facts about an organization:
- Phone number
These are the pieces of info known as NAP. That doesn’t mean that’s everything about citations, though. They provide more information, but NAP is the basis of it all. You can also count working hours, photos, reviews, and more under the umbrella term that is citations. Creating them may sound easy, but there’s some skill involved. It also takes time and energy to do them right, which is often something business owners lack. But you can order citations made by professional services if you don’t feel like making them yourself.
So that leaves us with directory listings, which are, luckily, even easier to define. These are networks that contain a large number of listings. The listings therein can be randomly ordered or they can be classified by categories like niches or industries. Directory listings are essentially online phonebooks if you want to see it that way. And now that everything in our lives has moved online, these become even more important. Let’s find out what exactly you can expect from taking care of your business’ citations and listings.
How citations and listings can balloon your business
So, now that everyone is up to speed, let’s cut into the meat of it. What can you get from citations and putting them on the right listings? As it turns out, there are quite a few perks to enjoy here. This is why directory listings and citations are key for your local business.
Why directory listings and citations are key for your local business: Boost visibility
The most obvious benefit of having deftly crafted listings and putting them in reputable listings is that your information will be more accessible to people. The year 2022 has shifted our everyday tasks online, especially during the pandemic. People started using the internet for all sorts of tasks and orders. This is where listings and citations play their role – if your business is more visible online, you’ll get more new customers each day. You see, these listings usually form networks with other domains, and that means that your presence online grows exponentially. You can sit back and enjoy your reach spreading like never before. Just make sure to update any new information about your company as soon as possible.
Why directory listings and citations are key for your local business: Make discovering you easier for potential customers
A lot of people use the Internet to find the perfect service for them, and that often leads them to listings. And plenty of local citation sites list their citations according to location or kinds of services and niches. That means that anyone looking for a service in your ballpark will be more likely than ever to find your business. That’s why the word ‘local’ is probably the most important in the whole story. You want to be discovered locally in the first place, by people who need solutions or products fast.
Why directory listings and citations are key for your local business: Bolster your reputation
In a strange twist, the Internet has made people’s opinions about a business even more important than before. This is because people can now use reviews to spread the word at an unprecedented speed. Again, with more people using the internet these days, reviews gained more importance than ever. Luckily, local citation services can also accommodate reviews, as well as respond to them. In fact, they offer a great platform for you to respond to reviews, be it to show gratitude for praise or to address any due/undue criticism. This is one of the strategies to build your reputation and earn trust from the people buying goods or services from you.
There’s more to just how people feel about your business, however. Reviews also contribute to your overall SEO ranking. If your reviews create an overall good image of your company, your SEO improves. Google uses reviews to improve your search rankings and award you for all the SEO efforts.
On the other hand, a bad reputation will harm your online image. Bad reviews and inappropriate responses to them are red flags in Google’s eyes. It can show that your business can’t be trusted, reduces your authority, and pushes your website down on the And seeing that many listings also offer reviews, having your citation there allows for a convenient venue for people to review your business.
Why directory listings and citations are key for your local business: Skyrocket your SEO
SEO is a complex web of various factors that decide how far along with the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) your website ranks on. Listings seem to be quite important for your SEO, for a variety of reasons:
- increase your business visibility and make it more discoverable in the local searches;
- provide valuable information to the people who need goods/services your business offers;
- help you beat the competitors – if your business is ranked before them, you can expect more people to reach out to you instead of your competition.
Of course, the quantity of that information isn’t enough on its own. Given that search engines prioritize the accuracy of the information it presents, the consistency of your data is equally as important. One thing that can hurt your online presence is surely inaccurate information. Imagine a customer looking for your services, but not being able to contact or find you because your phone number or address is not listed correctly. That’s why getting citations from a professional is always much safer. They will minimize the chances of something like that happening.
So, we can see why listings are an essential factor to every successful SEO. They have all of the relevant data on your business clumped together in a neat chunk of SEO goodness. Once the algorithm sees all of that information, your SEO will improve dramatically.
Why directory listings and citations are key for your local business: Spread brand awareness
Another benefit of local citations in quality listings is one that people don’t often think about all that much. Namely, having your place in a directory is pretty much like having a billboard in the physical world. This is because people will still get a chance to see your brand name when they search for the services you provide. Even if they don’t actually end up choosing you, every pair of eyes on your business is more exposure. This is especially true – and beneficial – with local listings, where competition is not as packed as in the wider market.
How to manage your business listings effectively?
As we mentioned, your online presence in terms of listings and citations should not be only about quantity, but about quality. These tips will help you manage your local online presence and get maximum results.
Regular updates and accurate information
It’s essential for any information about your business to be accurate. In 2022, nobody has time or patience for inaccurate information. It can be misleading and make people give up on searching for your business. They’ll switch to the next available option immediately. And the second available option will be your competitor. That’s why you shouldn’t forget about updating those details in case of any changes. These can involve the change of working hours, which often happened during the pandemic. Also, any change of address, phone number, etc. should be updated immediately.
Know your target audience
It’s important to understand what’s the local area where your target audience exists. This will help you shape the SEO strategy much better, posting citations in all the right places. Knowing the target audience is extremely important in marketing, as it prevents wasting money, energy, and time on wrong choices. Also, it helps to select the right ideas and media that will lead you to a better ROI.
But, how to find and understand your target audience? There are some steps to it, yet it’s not too hard. Firstly, you can analyze your current customer base. people who use your products or services are the ones representing your target audience. Use social media to engage in surveys and communication.
Next, you can analyze your competitors. Having competition is healthy in business and it can be quite beneficial for your business. You can find out a lot by investigating the marketing strategies and audience of your competitors.
Finally, use the method of elimination. Try to understand what your audience certainly isn’t. It will then help you understand what your target audience is.
It is common for businesses to have duplicate listings all over the internet. However, this can harm your SEO game and mislead your target audience. That’s why cleaning up the duplicate listings should be one of the priority tasks. It can be time-consuming, though. Luckily, there are professionals that can help you with that and save you a lot of time and energy. Unless you have a great experience with such tasks, it’s always better to trust an expert and save time.
Why directory listings and citations are key for your local business: conclusion
As you can see, there are clearly tons of advantages to spreading your citations across great directory listings. They boost your SEO, they get your brand name out there, they greatly boost your online presence – the list goes on for a good while. Doing more for your local business should always be the top priority for one simple reason – every effort always pays off. It’s baffling to think about when you consider the fact that they’re such an affordable and simple tool. If they’re done properly, that is.
Now that you know why directory listings and citations are key for your local business, you probably want to implement these solutions right away. We can help you with that. Contact us today to get expertly designed listings!