Local Search Citations: Why are they important?

Whenever a website mentions your name, address and telephone number, you have earned yourself a citation.

Citations are nothing but digital mentions of your business Name, Address and Phone number – NAP in short.

Search engines don’t know you from Adam, sorry that’s just the way the apple falls, because a search engine is just a mindless bot. So you may have gone ahead and introduced yourself by claiming your listing but this is just a start. You need a lot more to build a trusted, deep and satisfying relationship. You also need to let the search engine know in no uncertain terms that you are exactly whom you claim to be.

Let’s say that you are a plumbing business and you are looking to rank higher in local search results. You may have claimed your listing, and that’s good.

But remember that the big G wants to provide accurate information to the searchers; so a mere “Hi, I’m Plumber Bob from Omaha.” may not suffice. Search engines will need to reconfirm the accuracy your business information and their categorization of your business. If other reputed and well-indexed websites can also confirm “Yes, he is Plumber Bob indeed, and he is from Omaha because that’s what he told us too,” it helps increase the confidence that search engines have about you.

Citations are great to build trust and credibility. The more citations you have from other trusted sources, the better your chances of ranking higher in search results.

Citations are validations that the business is what it claims to be. Membership in the local Chamber or Business or the Better Business Bureau is not easy to fake. The trust factor progressively increases when more and more people (or websites) talk about you in the same context that you talk about yourself.

Building organic links has always been one of the most important factors in influencing your ranking in SERPs. With local search gaining momentum, organic link building in the local context will become more important. And Like Peter van der Graf says in this Searchenginewatch article, your address is your new link.

 

How do you build citations?

Here are some of the trusted online sources where you must list your NAP.

  • Search engines (direct listing)
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Data providers such as Yelp, Localeze, Hotfrog etc.
  • Internet Yellow Pages (IYP)
  • Well-known local blogs
  • Social media profiles

There are literally hundreds of websites where you can get yourself listed. Each website has its own distinct way of accepting or verifying your business information. It is also important to have consistent information across all listings.

You can use free tools such as the local citation finder to identify websites that do not have your information yet.  It will even tell you what websites you competitors have their listings on.

Interesting, isn’t it? But also time consuming.

While creating a listing is not exactly rocket science, when you are running a business, you may not be able to allocate that kind of time to painstakingly identify all directories and IYPs, and build listings in each one of them.

At 51 Blocks, we specialize in local search optimization and building citations in trusted and well-indexed websites. We also find industry-specific niche websites where a listing can really help your search rankings.

 

Check out our Local Search Optimization services. We can help you build citations that will get you to the top spots of search engine results.

If you are looking to build citations for your business, get in touch with us and tell us what you need.

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