What are Local Citations, Anyway?
In the world of online marketing, local citations are simply online listings of business information.
These listings are designed to help local searchers find relevant details about a business within their geographic area.
Local business listings typically contain the name of your business, your address, and your phone number.
A link to your business’ website can also be included for added SEO power in Google’s search engine.
Taking advantage of our local citation service can help you attract the right kind of attention with your business listings.
Keep reading to learn more about how local citations can benefit your business.
Business Directories are Cost Effective
Compared to pay-per-click (PPC) ads and other ways to attract attention online outside of your website, using a business directory to achieve this goal is extremely cost-effective.
In fact, many directories allow local businesses to submit listings for free.
Other have fees for special features such as:
• Additional business location listings
• Uploading photos or videos related to your business
• Adding maps, website links, or additional categories for your business
On a related note, if you add or claim your business on Google’s My Business directory, you’ll get a free business listing, which shows predominately in Google search results.
This will also help boost your visibility on Google Maps and help customers visualize and make it easier to find your business’s location.
Your local Chamber of Commerce website is another great source for a free listing of your business info.
Local Business Listings Help with SEO
Local search engine optimization is what Google uses to present relevant location-based results to searchers looking for a business in their area.
This is especially helpful if you have a restaurant, auto body shop, medical office, florist, or other type of business with a physical location.
Having a Google My Business listing will also increase your odds of ranking in Google’s Local 3-Pack, which is another good thing for your SEO efforts and visibility among your target customers, as you can see below.
Also with ranking, Google considers NAP (name, address, phone number) information.
Google’s crawlers compare your business info with what’s on your website to confirm that your business is authentic.
Even small discrepancies like listing your business as ABC Construction, Inc. in some directories and as ABC Construction in others may cause Google to count those as two separate businesses even though it’s the same one.
If this consistently happens, it could negatively impact your ranking.
Get even more optimization benefits from your directory listings by:
• Verifying or claiming them
• Removing listings from directories not related to your niche or industry
• Adding additional helpful details (e.g., hours of business, a brief description of your business and what you offer)
• Including a link back to your website’s homepage or to a relevant landing page on your website
If You Don't Have Citations, Your Competitors Likely Do
Not paying much attention to your local business listings or making an effort to create new ones?
It’s a safe bet to assume that your competitors are.
If local searchers are able to find your competitors’ info much easier than yours, odds are good that’s where they’ll go for what they’re looking for.
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You'll Get a Visibility Boost
Online directories usually allow users to filter results by very specific categories, such as services, business category, and location.
If you have local citations on the directories customers are using to find local businesses, you’ll get an instant visibility boost.
Even in instances where customers end up choosing a competitor, they may be more likely to consider your business next time if they keep seeing your listings.
You'll Improve Your Business' Rep
Many local business directories allow users to post reviews, like Google My Business.
Not only is this good for SEO-related purposes, it can also give your online reputation a boost in the eyes of customers.
Yes, reviews can be a double-edged sword in the sense that you could get some negative ones.
But if the right steps are taken when responding to valid criticism, your reputation will remain in tact.
In fact, most customers appreciate it when a business makes an honest effort to address and resolve issues.
Without citations, however, potential customers may also assume:
• Your business is questionable
• You’re not very customer-oriented
• You’re a new business without much experience (even if this isn’t the case, this assumption may be made)
Citations Can Attract Potential Clients, Partners, and Investors
Local listings or citations aren’t only for business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses.
If your local business targets other businesses or investors in the area, local listings can attract the attention of potential investors, partners, or clients.
If this is your goal, make your local B2B citations more appealing with:
• References to your key products or services
• Links to relevant social media pages that can quickly direct searchers to more info about your business (for B2B purposes, this usually includes LinkedIn)
• Contact details specific to key people (e.g., business owner, a local sales rep)
Carefully Monitored Citations Eliminate Customer Confusion
Put yourself in the place of one of your customers.
Let’s say you saw a brief description of your business and decided to either make a call or visit in person.
Imagine your reaction if you tried to call or visit only to get a wrong or disconnected number or find another business located there instead.
Scenarios like this can happen if you have outdated or old citations you forgot about.
But if you use a local citation service, you local listings will be carefully monitored.
Steps typically involved with such services include:
• Removing old or outdated listings
• Correcting NAP errors
• Placing listings in directories likely to be used by customers searching for your products or services
• Optimizing local directory listings with relevant keywords, images, videos, and website links
Making sure every business directory with your information listed is up to date and completely accurate can be a more time-consuming task than you may realize.
All it takes is a few errors or oversights here and there to affect your online visibility and credibility in the eyes of your desired customers.
With our local citation service, you can rest assured no details will be overlooked with your online business listings.
Contact us today to start seeing results that matter.