Local citations… What are they, are they useful to your business, and do you really need them? Will they improve your search engine results? We unpick and explore what is seen by many to be a complex issue, but which is, in fact, simple once you understand the basics.
What are local citations?
Local citations are, at their most basic level, the inclusion of your business’s name, address, and phone number in online directories, other websites, and social media platforms.
Why do they matter to SEO
Local citations influence search engine optimisation, or SEO, which in practice means the rankings of your site on search engines such as Google. How do they do this? By keeping accurate and consistent data listings, on a variety of relevant sites, and choosing high quality platforms on which to do so, you will help to improve the ranking of your website.
Or, conversely, if your listings are inaccurate, they will impact negatively on how Google sees your business, potentially hurting your reputation rather than enhancing it. Keeping your local citations up to date and active can lead to more virtual as well as foot traffic to your business, in turn converting enquiries to sales and increasing revenue.
Components of local citations
The key components are name, address, and phone number. There are plenty of other things that you can include, however, to keep those SEO rankings high. They include:
Where to get citations from
There are plenty of places where you can get local citations from. The most obvious is Google. Using their My Business listing, it is invaluable when it comes to helping your local search results given Google’s long internet reach.
From here, you need to start building a network of listings across various platforms. If you have social media accounts for your business, then these are also obvious solutions. Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp… All of those, managed well, will help towards SEO optimisation.
Next should be local business listings. If you have a very specific geographic location or industry sector, look for online directories which cater for your needs. Business groups or associations, professional bodies, or even review and price comparison sites if appropriate are all great options.
How to get listed
You could do it one of two ways. Identify and manage all listings yourself, which could end up being time consuming or falling by the wayside if things get busy. Alternatively, you could use a local SEO agency who can manage it all for you, ensuring that all listings are up to date and actively managed, giving your business the best SEO optimisation possible.
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Family man, Vizsla fan, company owner and a lover of a great analogy!