There is a buzzword going around since the inception of the local SEO - citations. Keeping it brief, a citation is merely a “mention” of your business on another website, most likely a business listing directory. A citation may or may not include a link to your main business website, but it is not necessarily essential.
That was a concise way to look at it. If we dig a little deeper into the world of local SEO and jump right to the citation part, we will realize that there is a broad spectrum of information pieces that needs to be apprehended!
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It is high time, you figure out the need and importance of citations for local businesses. One of the important parts of the current search algorithms is your business citation. It assists the search engine to rank and place your business in a suitable position among your competitors. Not only do citations increase your business visibility, but they also add a lot to the credibility of the services you offer.
Earning referral traffic has become the new marketing tactic as many people are dependable on certain citations and business listing sites to find and locate their day-to-day miscellaneous service providers. It is, for this reason, implied upon to get your business registered on as many citation sites as you can for improved traffic.
While getting listed on a citation site may be effective, but to actually reap fruits you have to keep certain points and factors in mind that are crucial to your citation management. An accurate citation may help you generate more traffic to your business site in terms of calls or in-person meetings, whereas an inaccurate citation that misleads and misinforms customers may result in a loss of reputation and, eventually, generated revenue.
Hence, keep the following points in mind to help earn a better name for your business in the digital realm:
The core components of a citation include your NAP information, which is basically and merely, the name, address, and phone number for your business, respectively. It is advised to stay consistent with NAP information as it directly affects the local SEO of your business. Not only does inconsistent NAP information decreases the credibility of your offered services, but it also makes it difficult for potential customers to locate or contact you!
- Name- Your Business Name as registered with the local authorities.
- Phone Number- The contact details & information.
- Physical Address- Actual location of your business on the Maps.
Another important part that influences citations directly is the business description. It is highly recommended to use top searched keywords related to your offered services in the description content to help the search engines apprehend your business.
While some businesses only give the link to the “home page” of their business site, it is repeatedly asked to provide a direct link to the location page to help the potential customer find you as well as for the search engine to rank you! Keep in mind that the said “location page” is a web page on your business site that would provide the NAP information, interior & exterior pictures, an embedded map to your location, call-to-action (CTA), and services descriptions.
Reliable and trusted citations provide you with the added benefit of selecting secondary categories. It will help your business rank better in the searches for the targeted secondary keywords for your offered services. For the sake of an example, if you are a locksmith that offers commercial, residential, and auto lock repair services, you may select the main category “locksmith” as well as the secondary ones namely “commercial lock repair,” “residential lock repair,” and “auto local repair.”
Visual aids are an effective way to tell your story. Photos of your workplace or recent work can magnify your credibility in the eyes of potential clientele. Including photos in citations are also an excellent way to aid your business SEO, if they are optimized in a correct manner. It is suggested to optimize the file name of the image and alt text for better outcomes!
Authentic and genuine reviews are your key to more business! Ask your current and previous customers to review your services on the citations. It will help you bag more customers. In addition to this, the search engines such as Google employ third-party sites to check the “intent” of the reviews to filter out the “most promising businesses” from the pack.
7- Business Hour
Mentioning Open Business Hours will help the customers in a way that they won’t have to surf your business site to search for your availability. Follow a “day-hour” pattern to mention the opening hours for your business. The more accommodating you are, the more client interest will develop!
8- Verified Account
Lastly, having a verified account on a trusted citation site can do wonders for your business, as it increases the authenticity and integrity of your offered services.
Summary of Citations
Citations are said to be the “publication” of your core and vital business information on the internet. It influences local search engine ranking and ultimately enhanced customer discoverability. Passive management can be a major blow to your brand reputation resulting in declining sales, for this reason, develop an active approach toward citation management to reap the desired fruits in terms of lead generation, customer retention, and end-term capital goals!