Why Local Citations Are Important for Local SEO in 2019
2019 has had lots of discussion about the benefits of citations for local business. Most studies report that local businesses that rank first in Google local search have at least 86 citations. More captivating is that local businesses that rank top 3 in Google local search have at least 85 citations.
This is enough evidence to show that Google local business rankings mostly depend on the number of local citations. In this era of intense competition, businesses are aggressively looking for ways that can help them pull ahead of the game.
Though many of these businesses overlook the importance of citations, they can have a huge positive influence on you and your business, drawing more customers.
Let’s have a look at local citations and whey they are important for local businesses in 2019.
What is a Local Citation?
Simply put, a local citation is any online place your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) has been mentioned. This makes them important because they independently verify the information about your business.
They can occur on social platforms, local online directories, on apps, and websites. Local business citations are aimed at helping users to discover local businesses. They also play a major role in determining your business’ local SEO rankings.
This simply means that the more citations you have, the higher your business will rank in local search engine results. Another factor that influences your local search rankings is where your citations occur.
If your citations appear on reputable, high traffic sites, your business will have greater chances of ranking top of search results.
Are there different types of local citations?
While getting your business website at the top of the rankings might seem a challenge, improving your site’s local citations is a proven way to enhance company’s local SEO.
But when it comes to local citations, there are two main types of citations that local businesses should focus their efforts on.
The two types of local citations in local business SEO are: structured citations and unstructured citations.
What are structured citations?
This is typically a mention of your company’s information on business directories like Yellow Pages, Google+, Foursquare, Bing, and Yelp. This type also requires all information to match up across all citations. That’s why it’s essential to perform a citation clean up and optimization process.
The process ensures that only the correct business info is present, and it matches the info appearing on various structured citations.
What are unstructured citations?
This is a mention of your company’s NAP info across a web page. This comprises things such as forum threads, press mentions, or blog posts.
Knowing the different citation types necessitates local businesses to ensure the accuracy of their information.
This is especially important in making sure that inaccurate data is identified and corrected to prevent revenue loss, customer loss, and other negative impacts on local search rankings.
What are the Elements of a Local Citation?
As mentioned earlier, the main components of a local citation include a business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP). It can as well include a link to a defined page of your business’ website. Apart from this, a citation may also comprise a few or all of the below-listed components:
- Hours of operation
- Business description
- Social Platform Links
- Business categories
- Alternate phone numbers
- Driving directions
- Fax numbers
- Email addresses
- Owner responses
- Payment forms accepted
Importance of Local Citations for Local Business SEO
Other than helping your business rank high in local search results, local citations offer a plethora of benefits for businesses. Here are some of the importance of local citations for your business’ local SEO to help you stay on top of the competition:
Appearance on the first page of Google search results
Directories cover a huge part of organic search results for local businesses. A local SERP results click study reported the majority of clicks on the first page to include business directories when users search for local businesses near them.
Gets your Business’ Info To the Relevant Consumers
Often times, buyers will use local search citations in business listings to help them find the products or services they want.
Apart from improving your online visibility for your business, local citations can help your business obtain new customers. If you list your local citations on business listings relevant to what you do, there are higher chances you’ll get customers that need your services or products that you offer.
Boosts Organic and Local Pack Rankings
Local citation signals usually have a positive influence on your organic and local pack rankings. This is due to the trust that most search engines have for reputable business listings sites and online directories.
Credited business listing sites offer accurate and consistent information across many trusted sites. This makes search engines to guarantee more prominence to your business in SERPs.
More links back to your website from authoritative and trusted sites
Citations offer a great link opportunity to direct users to your business website. Business links from trusted and authoritative sites play a significant role in improving local business SEO. Nowadays, you’ll find nearly all business listings having a ‘Website URL’ field.
Moreover, most of these sites offer these as dofollow citations. This is an added advantage as search engines can use the citations to pass link equity to your business website, which boosts your local SEO.
Opportunities for Third-party Reviews
Most citation sites also act as review sites. They offer reviews on third-party niche and generic sites. Third-party reviews similarly contribute to enhanced rankings within the third-party citation websites.
They can as well influence the rankings on Google search results. Thus, local citations play an important role in local businesses as they allow buyers to rate and provide feedback from their local business experience.
If you’re confident with your business’ quality of customer services, this additional business listing feature will be of great benefit to your local business SEO.
How to Build Citations for Local Businesses
To build your local citations the right way with utmost accuracy, you should be willing to put in time and effort. You can also outsource the job to a reputable and trusted service provider to get the job done the right way.
Here are some quick and simple tips for building local SEO citations.
An email address
To create listings, you’re required to use a business email that’s linked to your company domain.
This shouldn’t be a generic Yahoo or Gmail address. Using a domain-based email renders your listing submissions more trustworthy and increases their chances of going live.
Verify NAP Consistency
Your business’ NAP information should be matching on all sites it appears. Having accurate business information appear uniformly across credible and authoritative web directories, renders your business genuine and legitimate.
That’s why you should ensure your business info occurs on reputable websites to establish trust and create authority.
When choosing the category for your business info, consider selecting the one that that best describes your company’s operations. Also, make sure that your categories remain consistent on the sites.
Include a lot of details
You can achieve this by adding your company’s logo, photos, a full description of your business, operating hours, social accounts links, and anything else you might feel necessary.
Claim your listings
Most listing sites demand some verification of your listing. Some require verification through the email while other sites such as Google My Business and Bing via phone verification.
These listing companies will contact your business for verification to claim your listing. This is an essential step as it increases trust and makes your business have more authority.
Local citations are paramount to your local business online success. All you need to do is to ensure that your business info is accurate and consistent on all sites.
If you relocate your business, make sure that you effect the changes to your citations everywhere. Building local citations can help you drive high traffic to your local business.
Accurate Local Citations for Optimized Local SEO
So, how relevant are local citations in 2019? Well, Citations are the main ranking factor for local business SEO. Citation building is a key ingredient for the success of local business SEO. Although it requires time, effort, and energy to get it right, it’s still a worthwhile investment.
Always ensure that all your business’ information is accurate and uniform, that is, from your NAP to other elements like your company logo, photos, and business description.
Having accurate citations helps you improve your local search rankings and also increase your customer traffic. This, in turn, improves your business’ reputation as well as the revenues.
Since it usually takes some time before you experience substantial results, it’s wise to start building your local business citations early enough so you can reap its positive effects at the start of your local campaign.
Get in touch with us today to know how our team of professional citation builders can help you identify the ideal local citation sites for your business.
Thanks for reading.