Local citations are the mentions of your business on websites, apps, and social media platforms that include your name, address, and phone number (NAP). They help users discover businesses based on proximity, and they impact search engine optimization (SEO) by helping search engines understand your location, services, and more.
There are two main types of local citations, structured and unstructured. Structured citations are more visible to search engines and are typically found on directories or business listings that group all of the information about your business together. Common examples of structured citations are Google My Business listings and Bing Places.
These citations are also important for improving your website’s SEO, as they indicate to search engines that you have an established, credible, and relevant presence online. They can also be a great way to gain new customers.
You can easily build local citations by adding your business’s name, address, and phone number to the most popular and trusted directories and websites online. These can include Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, Facebook and many more.
The key is to make sure that your NAP information is consistent and accurate across all citations. If your NAP information is not the same on every citation, you will lose credibility with search engines.
It’s also important to be aware that you can’t just add your NAP info to every site on the internet. You need to choose specific, reputable sites to add your NAP info to in order to build the most credibility and get the best search engine results.
If you’re a new business, it’s best to start with Google Business Profile and Bing Places. These are both free and will provide you with a good start on the world’s two most used search engines.
Depending on your industry, there are a variety of other places to find citation opportunities. You may want to look at your industry’s associations and organizations. They often offer free and paid citation opportunities. You can also reach out to local groups and organizations in your area to ask if they’re willing to link back to you on their site.
While these citations are not as obvious to search engines, they can still be helpful for building your brand and driving local traffic to your website. It’s also a good idea to add a link back to your website in the footer of each citation you create.
The easiest way to get started is to use an aggregator tool that automatically submits your information to local directories and review sites. This will save you time and ensure that your data is getting out there as widely as possible.
You can also use a tool like the Local Citation Finder to analyze your competitors’ citations and find ways to improve your own. This will give you insight into their citation building strategy, and it can help you determine where you should start submitting your own business information.
While citations can be time-consuming, they’re an important part of search engine optimization and can improve your rankings and help drive customers to your site. They can also help you beat your competition, and they’re a great way to boost your website’s local SEO.