Local SEO campaigns and managing local citations is a bit time consuming and a little tricky to master, but both are critical for your business and company website. So today we’re breaking down citations and how you can make them work for you.
What Are Local Citations?
Any mention of your business online is considered a citation, and this includes entries on social media platforms, local business directories, websites, and apps. Google uses them in order to determine your company’s authority and citations help internet users discover local businesses and impact your local search engine rankings.
However, citations do not need to be a direct link to your business website in order for them to count for or against you. Plain text mentions are just as valuable as links and even partial citations, ones which only include only part of your company’s NAP (Name/Address,/Phone), are not as beneficial as full citations but it doesn’t matter how the information is listed visually on the site or app, horizontally or vertically, as long as the information is complete and accurate, your local SEO is enhanced.
This is a key attribute worth stressing — in order for a citation to be an asset in your local SEO campaign, it is extremely important that the information is identical to the NAP on your Google My Business page and company website. Therefore, it is equally important that you pick a single format for your information and ensure that it is uniform across platforms — i.e. including address abbreviations, Ltd or LLC extensions, suite/building/floor numbers, and even whether or not you include the “1” prefix or spaces versus dashes on your phone number.
Local Citation Components
While the key elements of local citations are your NAP, they can also include some or all of the following elements:
Types of Citations
Why Are Local Citations Important?
Along with reviews and links, many search engines use citations to help decide rank order for businesses on local search results. To Google and other SEs, when a business is mentioned regularly or quite a lot online, it deserves a better ranking than a business that is rarely or hardly mentioned at all. Citations are especially beneficial when they are on relevant apps and websites or are posted in relation to pertinent articles, events, locations, and topics.
Many SEs also use citations to verify the accuracy of your contact details in their local business directories and listings as well. This is because out of date, incorrect, or falsified addresses or phone numbers reflect badly on the reliability of their search results and as such, if your NAP appears identically on dozens of websites, platforms, and apps, then it is much more likely to be accurate and the SE ranks you higher.
Local citations have either a positive or negative impact in two different areas:
Local SEO & Citation Experts
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