Every local business can benefit, of course, from local advertising. But you might not have the budget for television or radio ads, or any other media buys. Your website is your company’s lifeblood, so you want to maximize it as much as possible. One way to do that is through local citations. They can increase traffic to your site, improve your rankings, and establish you as a trusted member of the community.
Site Social SEO has a team of digital marketing experts who are ready to help you with not only your citations, but also every other aspect of your online presence. If you would like to learn more, please contact us online or call 407-712-0494.
What Are Local Citations?
Local citations are very easy to understand. In a nutshell, it’s any sort of mention of your company’s name, address and phone number (NAP) anywhere online. It could be through a business directory, someone else’s website, a mention on social media, or through some other avenue.
Citations are a great way for potential customers to discover your company. They can also help you rank higher on Google Maps. There’s a pretty good chance your competitors are already paying close attention. It’s probably time you did the same thing.
How to Check Local Citations
Checking citations on a regular basis is really important. You want to know where your business is being mentioned, and you also want to make sure the information that’s out there is accurate regarding your NAP.
There are two ways you can do this – manually and automatically. Here’s a quick look at each method.
- Manually – You’d be surprised at how many sites are out there that provide information on local business. There are actually hundreds of them. So it’s going to obviously take a tremendous amount of effort to keep track. Moz offers a free tool that helps you check how your business is listed across the Internet. Keeping a spreadsheet could help you organize which sites have the right information, and which ones need to be corrected.
- Automatically – This is an easier, far more efficient method of checking your local citations. There are several websites you can use, but most of them will charge you for the service.
Are There Different Types of Local Citations?
There are two main types – structured and unstructured citations. Structured citations provide your NAP information. Examples include social media profiles as well as business directories. Unstructured citations, on the other hand, are mentions of your business in a contextual fashion. You might, for instance, see your company mentioned on someone else’s blog, in a forum, on a review site, or a local media story.
What Are the Elements of a Local Citation?
The main component of a local citation is the NAP information you learned about easier. But there are many other elements as well. These include the following:
- A description of your business
- Forms of payment you accept
- Online reviews, as well as responses you’ve posted to online reviews
- Any alternate phone numbers you may have
- Videos and/or images of the inside or outside of your business
- Fax numbers
- E-mail addresses
- And many others
Why Are Local Citations so Important?
Local citations can help drive your rankings, affect your reputation, and, eventually, affect your revenues – in ways that are both good and bad. These are the two biggest reasons it will definitely be worth it to devote some time to them.
- Rankings – Your local citations can have much more of an impact on your local search engine rankings than you may think. There are a lot of ways they can influence your position, these include the accuracy of their data in regard to your company, the number of citations you have, and more. If Google, for example, has accurate NAP data, then there is a good chance your business will rank well. But if Google and other search engines come across inconsistent data, then your ranking will more than likely be lower than you want.
- Consumers – Online citations can also have a major influence on consumer thinking. Again, accuracy is key. If the NAP and other information is right, then they will know how to get in touch with you, or know how to get to your location. On the other hand, if they keep seeing different information from different sources, they’ll get frustrated and probably won’t want to do business with you.
Active Approach vs. Passive Approach
There are plenty of companies – your competitors are likely among them – that take a hands-on approach to local citations. Others either pay very little attention, or they ignore them completely. The following is a list of the benefits of an active approach to local citations, as well as the risks of a passive approach.
The benefits include:
- Becoming aware of inaccurate data and correcting those inaccuracies.
- Discovering reviews, and answering them when necessary.
- Controlling the way your company is represented across the Internet.
The risks include:
- No method of discovering and correcting inaccurate data.
- Lack of awareness of possible subterfuge by competitors who might edit your listings and provide wrong information.
- No way to have any control over the way your company is viewed by web users.
Hire a Marketing Firm for Help Managing Your Citations
Site Social has a deep understanding of how to optimize a local company’s SEO efforts. We have established an extensive track record of success over the years, and we’ve also earned a great deal of trust from our clients. We welcome the opportunity to earn your continued trust as well.
Whether you are looking for help with your local citations, your content, or any other component of your digital marketing strategy, we’ll be here whenever you’re ready. We invite you to give us a call at 407-712-0494 or to get in touch with us online at your earliest convenience. Our team looks forward to hearing from you, and to help take your website to levels you might not have thought would be possible.