Local citations help companies market their products and services to current clients and potential customers. These listings also enable people to discover outstanding restaurants, shops, and organizations within their local area. These citations must be accurate to reach the company’s target demographic.
In this article, we’ll teach you several tips that will help you update and revitalize your local citations and increase your seo rankings.
What are Local Citations?
According to Moz, local citations are online internet listings that include the names, addresses, and phone numbers (NAP) of businesses. These citations generally appear in local business directories, apps, websites, or social media platforms.
Local citations help shoppers discover businesses within their communities. These listings are also one of several factors that significantly influence rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Crawlers use these citations to assess the reputation of businesses.
Why Are Local Citations Important?
Experts believe that an organization’s success is built on three cornerstones: search engine rankings, online reputations, and corporate revenues. Local citations are essential to all three areas since they can affect positively or negatively affect branding. They also affect SEO and rankings in Google’s Local Pack.
These listings play a role in the following situations:
- They may affect local search engine rankings – These listing not only include the number of citations that a company has online. It also involves whether each listing is accurate and hosted on a quality platform. All of these factors may negatively or positively determine rankings.
- They can significantly influence customers’ opinions – Many people discover new industries through correct citations. Additionally, they can increase website, phone, and foot traffic. Good citations may also culminate in lucrative transactions for companies.
What are the Components of Local Citations?
These listings typically include four components. Customers generally search for this information about companies within their local citations. They should include:
- Hours of operation
- Phone number
- Email address
- Physical address
Other components of a local citation include:
- Business Description
- Driving Directions
- Owner Responses
- Payment forms accepted
- Links to social media sites, podcasts, and other outlets
- Email addresses
- Fax numbers
- Alternate phone number
When creating providing a local citation for a directory, businesses should provide their prospective customers several options to contact them.
Three Types of Local Citations
Online citations typically fall into several categories:
- Business data platforms – These directories publish online listings. They include Google My Business, Acxiom, Localeze/Neustar, and Infogroup. Other local citations can appear on social and review-oriented sites like Facebook and Yelp.
- Geo/industry-specific directories – These sites provide listings specific to a unique industry or geographical location. They include chambers of commerce sites, professional organizations, and guilds.
- World Wide Web – Companies can build supplementary citations using a variety of publications, blogs, news sites, apps, maps, government databases, and other sites. Businesses generally earn these listings through merit or reputation.
Having More Citations is Not Always Better
Web developers once believe that having more citations was generally better. This philosophy is no longer true since low-quality ones can adversely impact Google rankings.
Instead of relying on the volume of listings, you should specifically target directories with a stellar reputation. Additionally, firms should optimize listings to ensure they are accurate. Here are several tips that institutions should follow when revitalizing their online citations.
Why Revitalizing Your Citations is Necessary
As mentioned previously, businesses will rank higher in SERPs when they have a significant number of quality citations. Firms who refresh their local citations will ensure they are high-quality, consistent, and correct across all platforms.
Accurate listings are essential for another reason: they help build trust since customers distrust companies that provide inaccurate contact information.
Moz says that active management of citations can have a positive impact on companies when they:
- Provide accurate information on all major platforms.
- Correct inaccurate data.
- Permanently close any duplicate listings.
- Have a strategy to edit data in the event of a merger, acquisition, rebranding, moves, or changes of NAP data.
- Implement a solid strategy for discovering and managing news.
- Exercise maximum control over their company’s online representation and reputation.
Step 1: Find Business Citations
When revitalizing local citations, companies must identify their data’s location and clean up incorrect listings. There are several tools that you can use to locate these listings.
Step 2: Search for Inconsistencies and Errors in Your Listings
Businesses may have several variations of NAP data online. When this occurs, listings may become polluted with inaccurate information. Companies should identify incorrect submissions, then list them in a spreadsheet. Once they submit changes, they can also use these files to track changes.
After completing this process, businesses can determine how they want their firm’s information to appear in local citations. Local citations should match the contact details and hours provided on your main website.
Here are some tips to find data that needs correction:
- Identify inconsistencies in NAP variations on local citations and save it to a spreadsheet file.
- Search for your company’s phone number and name in quotations. This information should be preceded by a minus symbol to identify any citations with inaccurate business names.
- Find listings with outdated NAP data. These may include old or telephone numbers or addresses for businesses that have changed locations.
- Create a list of all incorrect citations and details about what needs correction on each one. Additionally, include a direct link to the listing that needs correction.
- Use Google’s “site” function to search for specific websites for business listings. For instance, when companies search for a listing on Yelp, they should include site:yelp.com “company name.”
- Look for listings with incorrect phone numbers by searching for variations of the number accompanied by the company name. A plus symbol should precede this information.
Step 3: Prioritize Fixing Primary Data Sources
Companies can use search engine aggregators to find directories they need to correct. These include Localeze, InfoGroup, and Factual can fix the problem at the source.
Entrepreneurs should correct citations located on top citation sites on an individual basis since it can take time for companies to update listings. Some websites allow users to correct their local citations. Others require the owners to submit corrections by contacting them directly by phone or email.
Fourteen of the most important citation sites include:
- Apple Maps
- Google My Business
At the very least, every business needs to create and manage accurate listings on all the above platforms to ensure they don’t have duplicates.
Step Four: Check Listings on Geo and Industry Platforms
There may be local citations on trade or area-specific sites you’ll need to correct. These directories offer opportunities to build other high-value structured information depending on the industry you belong to and your physical location. Some citations are free. Others require payment.
For instance, physicians can get listed on sites like HealthGrades. Hoteliers can obtain listings on TripAdvisor, Expedia, and other sites. Other business models, like home health aides, general contractors, and other service providers can seek out professional trade association sites associated with their citations.
Some owners can also get their companies listed on local business associations, chamber of commerce sites, and community hubs in your area.
Are you searching for a way to improve your local citations online? Dialed in Local can manage your online presence and improve your SEO online. We are a full-service digital marketing agency located in the Dallas and Tampa markets. Our company offers tailored marketing service solutions that can take your business to the next level. To learn more about our services, contact us today.