Local Citations: what is it and why for SEO?

People out in your neighbourhood are looking for your business online, But are they really able to find you? As per the Google research, 4 out of every 5 consumers first look for nearby products and services on search engines. That is why local search engine optimization came into the framework. Local SEO addresses this problem and manages to increase your local business visibility in search engines within a specific geographic location.

Behind this local optimization, the main focus lies upon the “local intent” or queries containing location related keywords that results well in search engines. Think of your prospects looking for “cafes in california”, “plumbers in Vancouver” or more broadly “citation sites in USA”. If you want to appear as a result of such queries then Local SEO is certainly your mate here.

This local search engine optimization is further narrowed down into 5 main categories”

  • Website Optimization
  • Citations
  • Reviews
  • Google+Local
  • Links

Well out of this to-do-list, local citations is the easiest way to tackle when working upon your local SEO campaign. Citations are defined as the mention of your business along with your location at other web pages meant for this purpose even if there is no actual link back to your website. For example Yellow pages is a directory where you can submit your business name, address and other details but there is no direct link to your website. Other factors that a citation listing includes are:

  • Registered business email address and phone number.
  • Proper business address with Zipcode.
  • Contact person details.
  • Business keywords.
  • Relevant Business category.
  • A brief description about your business.

Now the question is: Why Citations are a quick win when it comes to Local businesses?

Citations are considered as one valuable key factor of the ranking algorithms of Google and Bing along with several other attributes. Businesses having greater number of citations from well-established and well-indexed portals will probably rank better than those having fewer citations. Additionally :

  • Citations increases the credibility of search engines about your business information and categorization.
  • Citations obviously does help customers to find you.
  • Citations is particularly essential for business that has relatable less competition like plumbing or electrical. As many service providers don’t have a website to optimize but they surely have a business and thus can create citations. Search engines for such niches present you with the all possible information they manage to get from these citation sites.
  • Citations also validate your presence in a business community.
  • Citations can dramatically improve your search engine rankings since these search engines are totally dependent upon the consistency of your business information available online.

Okay so you are now well aware of the citations and its benefits now you must be wondering where you can get these citation done for you business. Don’t bother, I’ve sorted that out as well. Just give it a look:

  • Look at your competitors: Having an evil eye on your competitors is not at all bad. For local SEO too, you need to find out where they’ve listed.Just make a search for their business name and phone number in quotation and leverage a wide space where you can submit your business as well.
  • Take advantage of Aggregators: Along with search engines, people also look for a service at several local directories. So you must set up your profile on each. Every specific niche have its own aggregators. Just type ”city+industry” and get your options to fill out.
  • Social Media and Local Blogs: Your social cues is no doubt a major ranking factor, hence it is not wise to leave these social media profiles incomplete without your complete contact information. Local bloggers have a special page to place all the local business/vendor pages. Just make a search for “your city name + blog” and you’ll get a list where you submit your business information as well. You can also filter your results for your specific niche by adding industry in your search query like “Boston + Food blogs”.
  • Local Directories + Newspapers: Local newspapers and directories certainly have higher values since they are focused only on one area, so an easy approach to grab a citation. Make a search for “city name + business listing” or “city name + directory” to find your options to submit a business.

To make your local business visible in the chaos of search engines, citations alone are not enough. Where accurate and quality listing is a critical factor for your local SEO campaign, don’t forget to clean up the inaccurate information, duplicate listings or spammy links to your website.

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