One of the SEO strategies that proved to be very successful is adding citations on relevant websites. Making it easy for customers to find your business proves you care about their positive customer experience. Also, it helps you get more sales and improve the rankings. However, adding citations is just the first step of this method. Another one would be managing them as your business changes and develops. In this article, we’ll go through the reasons why it’s important to keep your citations consistent and accurate. Keeping your citations updated will be an easy task with a couple of useful tips in the following text.
What are the citations?
Let’s define citations first, so we can understand the purpose and benefits that they can bring to a business. Local citations are mentions of a business – its name, email, telephone number, and address. They can appear in so many different locations – from business directories to social networks. Basically anywhere where you can promote your business, and make it easier for potential clients to find your products and series.
The two types
There are two types of citations – structured and unstructured ones. Structured citations are presenting business information in the same way, for all companies. These usually consist of the name, address, and phone number of a business – NAP. On the other hand, unstructured citations don’t have such a structure, but appear in articles, blog posts, and other mentions, usually in a special context.
There are several ways to build your citations. Firstly, you should get listed on data aggregators – Factual, Neustar Localize, and Express Update. They collect important information about your business and distribute it to other smaller websites. Next, submit your information (manually or with the help of professionals such as AZ Citation Services) to websites such as Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, Maps, Bing places, Yellow Pages, or any other websites relevant to your industry, and popular local websites. When it comes to unstructured citations, you need to pursue them by offering good-quality content and therefore making blogs mention you and help customers write reviews. This might be more difficult to do but brings many benefits once you start collecting mentions.
Reasons to keep your citations consistent and accurate
As there are many locations to post citations, you should learn about some tips on making them as efficient as possible. One of the main things to remember about posting your info online – it needs to be consistent and accurate. This means the following. Every piece of information you fill in needs to be the same on all websites. Consistency in the formatting and accuracy of the information should be the focus of your citation building. And let’s learn why it is an essential step of the process.
Any irregularities confuse the customers
If a customer looks up your business on two different websites and sees different contact information, they will be confused. Not knowing which is the correct address or phone number, may make them give up on searching for your products and services, and go to the competitors.
Your business loses trust if the information is incorrect or incomplete
One of the main factors of the growth of any business is the trust of its customers. This is especially important with the local businesses, as their qualities and flaws are easily recognized. So, inconsistencies with your online image will slowly lead to losing the trust of your customers and therefore directly hurting your business.
Google loves complete and correct online presentations of businesses
When comparing your information over several sites, Google won’t be able to tell if that’s one or more business. Therefore, some good reviews might get lost just because it looks like they were written for a different business. Furthermore, Google will prioritize businesses that have complete and consistent information, which will make it easier for customers to find you.
How to post citations correctly
When posting citations on different websites, you need to follow a certain style of formatting, and of course post accurate information. This will make sure the citations are more effective and bring more people to your page. So, to make sure your business’ info is consistent all over the internet, be sure to do the following:
- use accurate information when posting new citations – double check on your business’ NAP every time you post a citation;
- find all the mentions of your business online and fix any irregularities – there are tools you can use to find where your business is mentioned on the internet, so you can check if there is any information you need to change;
- start with the bigger directories, and then work your way towards less-important mentions;
- always use the same formatting of your business’ name, address, and phone number. Any inconsistencies can create confusion among customers;
- if any of the information changes, be sure to update it wherever you can. This often happens if a business moves to another location, changes the working hours, etc.
Building citations correctly will pay off
Even though it seems like a lot of work, building your citations correctly will surely pay off. You will be able to see results very soon and look at your business growth. Online presentation of businesses has become extremely important these days, as more and more people shop online, or look for information on their laptops or phones. So, as you improve your services and products, be sure to improve the way you present them to potential customers. A good-quality presentation is a job half done and helps people decide to choose your business over some other competitor. Therefore, be sure to keep your citations consistent and accurate, and always invest time and effort into your online promotion.