Local citations help your business rank higher on Google Local Search. Find out what they are and how to get them.
Local citations are references to your business in directories, social networks, and other places on the Internet. Also called NAP, they list your name, address, and phone number. Although they are not as popular as they used to be, they are still considered helpful for SEO ranking. And your business will benefit from local citations in various ways.
What exactly are these benefits? And how do you build local citations? We'll delve into these matters in this blog post.
There are two main types of local citations: structured and unstructured. Structured citations list the fundamental details: name, address, and phone number. They are mostly used in local directories and social media networks, like in this example.
Unstructured local citations, on the other hand, are contextual mentions. They are often found in list forum posts, blog posts, and others. An example is this:
According to a Moz survey, people believe that citations are the fifth most important ranking signal for local pack visibility. In addition, they are the fourth most influential factor for local organic search. However, Google's John Mueller said:
"Just because a company name is mentioned somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or bad for the company. I’d see those mentions more as advertising..."
In other words, it's unclear whether there is a direct relationship between local citations and SERP ranking. But that doesn't mean you can afford to miss out on them. There are various advantages that your business can get from local citations, including the following.
Getting local citations tells your target market that 1.) your business exists, and 2.) your business is legit. A Facebook page, for example, helps people get to know your business. In the same manner, being listed in a directory like Yelp communicates the authenticity of your business offerings.
According to BrightLocal’s 2022 Consumer Review, 99% of people go online to find local businesses. 78% of them even do this more than once every week. Look at this sample Google search for electricians in Sydney, for example.
In this screenshot, three of the top four results are online directories. Only one is an actual electrical provider. This shows that local citations -- whether structured or unstructured -- can help you connect to a ready audience. As a result, your business can enjoy more brand awareness and tap into more potential profit.
Local citations also help you get reviews. 90% of consumers read reviews first before they visit a business. 88% of them think reviews are as trustworthy as personal recommendations. And 92% will only trust a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating.
So how do you capitalise off the power of local citations and fuel your business? Here are three main ways.
You probably won’t have time to manually submit your business NAP to all directories. Fortunately, you can rely on data aggregators to do this for you. These websites feature local listings of businesses, and the most popular of them are:
All you need to do is look for your business on these websites. Once you find yours, log in and claim the business. But if no information exists yet, submit your NAP to get listed.
Additionally, get listed in core sites. Core sites also require manual submission, but they have high traffic, so the process is worth it. Examples include Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo Local, and Bing Places.
It’s also beneficial to get listed on local websites that cater to local businesses. In Australia, for example, the top ten local directories include:
Also, aim for websites that cater to your specific industry. If you’re a real estate business, for example, you’ll want to get featured by your local real estate association site. Similarly, if you provide home improvement services, get listed in contractor directories.
Finally, consider getting featured in blog articles or list posts. Unstructured local citations are great for enhancing your reputation. And they help in bringing your business to more people.
One out of five searches on Google uses a local keyword. At iVersion, we leverage this knowledge by helping our clients streamline their local SEO strategies with local citations on various platforms.
Take control of your target market today. Get a complementary local SEO audit here.
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