If you are searching “what is local seo” then stop. It’s a very broad term. Be specific here and adapt the step by step approach. You need to learn few important topics within local seo. In this article, you would learn one of such topics named local citation.
A local citation in simpler terms can be explained as an online mention of the business NAP. NAP is an acronym that stands for name, address and phone number of the business. Citations can be built on Local directories along with business apps and websites and social media platforms. They help the local business houses to get recognition on the search engine and also help in boosting their local search engine rankings.
The local citations for business aim at:
- Making business visible on all the digital platforms that your consumer uses so that they can easily find you and connect with your business
- Ensuring that search engine can easily find the accurate and comprehensive representation of business in your niche that increases the chances to rank top on search engines as well as boost local SERPs.
Building local citations for business can be divided into three major levels:
1. Elementary level:
For a novice, you need to comprehend the beginning of finding the citation. Taking the top ranking website as per your keyword or long tail key phrases and filling the company’s NAP is considered ideal at beginners’ level. You have to insert this for the Google search. The resultant websites are ideal platforms for citation building. You have to complete the same for the next competitor as well.
2. Subsequent level:
This level is advanced in comparison to the former level and is less tedious as well. In this instead of copying and pasting things by hand, you can use Scrapebox, which will automate some parts of the entire process. First, you have to insert the company’s NAP in the Google search and hit enter. This tool then helps in bringing the results of all the potential websites in one area. You can then export this into the excel sheet. It will save you a lot of time and lessen the mechanical work as well.
3. Advanced level:
This is obviously more advanced than the second level and automates every function. Whitespark is the common name where you can find citation services. This tool allows you to find the websites and upload your business information on them as well. You just have to provide them with authentic NAP and the categories you are excelling and they will take the rest. It’s a bit expensive but you can save a lot of time and business hours which you can dedicate in other core activities.
Where can you get the local citations?
The Internet is brimmed of several websites that will act as the platform for citation building for local business. Though when it comes for a “fortified” digital presence, it’s better to submit these listings on some renowned and trusted sources. Business directories, social media platforms, data aggregators are some of these well-known sources for getting the local citations.
Let’s get to know more about these sources for building local citations for business:
These are basically the data providers that collect the information of business online and distribute it accordingly. In fact, these data aggregators become the source of information for many renowned directories and search engine as well. They are considered as driving force for business in the digital framework.
These are ideally divided on the basis of demographics and industry. They can be used as strong platforms for building citations if are backed with the correct contact number, email id, and address along with the business name. Customer reviews obviously are a major determinant of search engine rankings.
Based on the data provided by the aggregators, some directories also serve as the strong base for generating business listings. The local business houses can easily submit their uniform business listings on these directories and claim them too.
Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms are laid the strong foundation for digital marketing. Apart from this they also provide business houses with the opportunity for citation building. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn are ideal for citation building. You just have to ensure that you upload the accurate information about the business name, contact number, and address. For business houses that are using visual driven tactics and strategies can use platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and more to build strong citation sources.
5 Effective Tips for Building Citations
- You will be in the need of an email address for creating the listings. For this, we highly emphasize using the business email which is associated with the company or the business domain in whole. Generic emails are a strict no-no. This is because the submission of these listings is more likely to go live and they are considered more reliable when are backed with an email that is domain based.
- NAP, the acronym which is used for the name, address and phone number is the key element of citations. Hence they should be uniform for every site. Here we want to add that consistency is significant and yes, you might witness some minor differences in formatting, but they are not a concern. Just ensure that your NAP should be same on every site you are using for building citation.
- The third tip is in respect to the category section which should again be consistent like the NAP on all the sites. The pro tip is to choose the category which describes your business best.
- One effective way to build citation is to back it up with as much detail as possible. For instance, apart from NAP and categories, you can add a description of your business, photos, the time of operation, and the links to your social media accounts and a lot more. It infuses the factor of credibility.
- Business houses need to claim their listings as well. The sites which are used for building citations often require business houses to verify their listings. This can be with the aid of email which is quite common for sites like Bing, Google my business, etc. It can be verified on phone as well in the context of some sites. The company will make a call and make you enter the pin or they give you the pin that can be used in claiming your listings. The verification is necessary for the complete and authentic authority over listings on these sites.
Significance of Local citations for a business
Citations can be marked as the strong online presence of your core business data. From something as significant as consumer discovery to something more substantial like local search engine rankings, citations influence them on a greater extent. Authentic citations can positively impact your rankings which will automatically trigger the revenue chart.
A strong citation can prove to be one simple way business houses can optimize their website for local SEO. They laid the strong foundation for local searches. Just an authentic citation can take your business farther and further as well. The ultimate goal behind citation building is to let the search engine, as well as consumers, know more about your business so that they can easily reach out for you.