If you have a business or website that specifically targets the local area, then you absolutely need local citations. These links represent one of the most lucrative tools for effective search engine optimization.
It is, therefore, absolutely crucial for you to learn everything that you can about this local SEO strategy, especially if you wish to start or grow your local business success into and beyond the next decade.
In a nutshell, local citations refer to any mentions about your business on the web. It can simply entail the company name, or entail the company name, address, phone number and link. Moreover, citations should ideally be hyperlinked back to the company website.
Example local citation
Generally, a complete local citation, in order to effectively make a business known on the internet, includes all the above mentioned details about the business. For example, here is a fake citation;
123 Example Street
See how this citation lists the company name, address, phone number, as well as their website, which has been made a link.
So, how do local citations help?
The buzzword in online marketing today is search engine optimization. Through this, a business ensures that its content turns up in the form of search engine results pages when triggered by certain keywords. This in turn diverts hoards of internet traffic towards the website, which makes sure the brand presence is strengthened amongst the online community members.
Well, citations are extremely important and highly underestimated tools for effective SEO. For one thing, citations are a source of validation about the business to the search engines. The chances of the business being deemed as spam by search engines is far, far lower when there are local citations involved confirming the validity of the business.
Another thing is, local citations raise flags establishing that your business is a part of a community. Therefore, your business’ validity is reinforced to the search engine, which means better visibility in the search engine results.
When your business doesn’t have a website (which is pretty common in small and start-up business ventures) they have the option of local citations which help in making it easier for them to hold their own in the digital world.
Business citations also strengthen the consistency of the business online, a feature that helps validate your company as a solid one; SEO is made all the more easy with this!
The types of local citations
Local citations are of two kinds as found on the internet. First, the structured citations; this is the kind of citation which is found more commonly on websites which specially cater to giving business listings. This could be on websites such as Yellow Pages or Yelp.
They give clear, concise details about the business, helping customers who directly look for details about the business.
Unstructured citations are those which are found on content platforms. This could be websites of newspapers, webpages of governments and events listings platforms, blogs and other job websites. They are extremely helpful in ensuring search engine optimization as these local citations help reiterate that the business is real and exists.
Proven methods to obtain local citations
As acquiring local citations is the newest off-site local SEO strategy for business owners looking to increase their SEO efforts and to be competitive in today’s local SEO market, it is important to spend effort on this.
Ideally, all local businesses should know the ways and where to get these local citations. Here are some of our favorite methods to do just that.
Major search engines
One can get local citations by creating or registering your business listing from major search engines. A great way to start is to be registered in Google Places, Bing Business and
Local search engines
One can also get local citations from small local search engines and directories like TrueLocal, CitySearch, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Start Local , Site Review and other similar well-known business directories.
These listings on the smaller engines not only serve as trusted citation sources, however they also act as feeder information for the larger search engines.
Local business directories
Another great way to build up relevant local citations as well as expose your business to new customers at the same time, is by claiming listings in local business directories that cover your town or city.
Think outside the box here as well; there are a number of business directories for specific industries too, for example things like London restaurants, Australian software products, or New York pizza places, etc.
Due to the ongoing competitiveness among social media websites like Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, businesses can also create business profiles on social media.
These social media sites are a popular place to list a business, as they are not only great suppliers of customers and search engines with your business information, however also provide large amounts of traffic or link value which is great for SEO.
Your competitors local citations
If you have no idea or want to learn how to get local citations, you could always take a look at what your competitors are doing. You can perform some Google searches to glimpse where the competition is listed and to get sources where to get links and citations from. You can use UBL.org to let you search by keyword or phone number.
Submitting articles, with your address and business name, to popular article directories is also a great way to get local citations. These directories are likely to be very well-indexed by the search engines because of the influx of new content always coming in.
Be careful to provide fresh content to these article directories, and not just existing blog posts from your website. It should always be relevant to your business as well. Let’s say you provide income protection insurance for doctors. It makes sense to write an article full of tips on this, rather than an article about the latest Tesla vehicles or a recipe for Sticky Date pudding.
Conclusion: local citations
I trust the article above has made you fully conversant with what local citations are, and how they can help your local business marketing. You should work through the ways to get local citations for your business that I have listed above, and then enjoy the SEO boost.
Just remember in getting a citation, Google is primarily looking for consistency – make sure you use the same address, phone, website etc on all listings that you create. All the best of luck!
About the Author
Lauren Clarke writes content for a number of clever businesses and brands in Australia and afar. When Lauren isn’t wrangling words, then she enjoys exercise through walking and relaxing by meditating. You can find Lauren on Twitter.