Local search citations are the mentions of your business on the web; they include your company name, address and phone number (NAP). When it comes to ranking on Google Maps and page one of Google, a business with multiple citations is much more likely to be discovered by potential customers.
Citations are the foundation of SEO, and they play a crucial role in establishing trust and authority in your brand. In order to get the best results, you need to have your citations correctly set up and optimized.
NAP Consistency: Your citations need to be consistent with your NAP on all of the core search engines, data sources and websites that are important for local SEO. This includes your citations on the top business directories like Yelp and YellowPages.
Structured Citations: These are the ones that are more visible to search engines. They include your company name, address and phone number on popular platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, and Google Maps. They are also useful for boosting online reviews as they contain a significant amount of information about your business and its reputation.
Unstructured Citations: These are not as easy to see in search engines, but they are still very valuable. They can appear on websites that are geo-local, such as Chamber of Commerce sites and hobby groups, or industry-specific websites.
Photos: The presence of photographs helps with Google’s ability to understand your website and what services you offer. Over 28% of all Google searches are conducted using images, so having photos can make a big difference in your rankings.
Social Media: Having a business Facebook page and a Twitter account are both very important for local search citations. It’s also a good idea to have your website link to these pages so that people can easily find the right information they are looking for.
NAP Consistency: The more consistent your NAP is across the web, the more credible and trustworthy your data will be. If you have NAP inconsistencies, it will send mixed signals to Google and can negatively affect your rankings.
Getting your local search citations setup and maintained properly can be a time-consuming process, which is why many businesses choose to outsource these tasks to a company that specializes in the area. These companies will audit and optimize your citations for you, which can save you time and money while helping to build your brand’s reputation and visibility online.
A reliable and trustworthy company will be willing to explain the process of establishing and managing your local search citations, while offering options and solutions for you to optimize them. The key is to make sure you are choosing a company that can help you reach your goals while also providing the best services for your budget and needs.
Citation Building: Conclusion: There are many ways to go about citation building, including ensuring your NAP is consistent across the web, submitting your business to all of the core search engines and data sources, cleaning up your citations on the top local directories, and more. A reputable SEO firm will be able to provide you with an action plan and recommendations for how to optimize your citations, including a detailed analysis of any competitors’ citation strategy.