Local citations are critical to the ranking of every business. They not only make it easier for your clients and customers to find you, but they also improve your ranking and improve the visibility of your business.
Citations can either have a positive or negative impact on your ranking and interactions with your clients. That’s why it’s important to get a qualified digital agency that can help you find the best citations that can grow your business and widen your customer base. While the help of a digital agency is highly welcome, it’s vital to understand what some of the top local SEO citations are for your business.
Directories and Core Structured Citations
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Directories are the primary source of citations for businesses. They are so common that most business owners are not aware that there are other avenues that make great citations for their businesses. There are plenty of options to consider when choosing which directory to have your business listed in. Other than offering great citations, directories are a great place for clients to get the name, address and phone number (NAP) of their business listed. Some of the most popular directories you can consider include;
- Yellow Pages
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Online forums are another great place to get citations for your business. Also known as question and answer websites, your clients can casually mention your business and share details as answers to related questions which can help improve your authority and trust standing with Google.
Even though forums are a great place to get citations, unlike directories, they take the power of what is shared from you. It can be challenging to control what clients say about your business. Some forums can also make it difficult for you to take down any negative comments.
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These are harder to come by but an equally great way to throw your business out there and net in new clients. You can get unstructured citations by submitting editorials and other materials to local newspapers. You can also get your business featured on local blogs or sponsor local events or groups.
Most unstructured citations require your active participation. This can be monetary in terms of financing and supporting local events or in terms of skill like contributing to the local dailies and blogs. Even with unstructured citations, you need to maximize the results by going for high-quality directories that will maximize your hits and publicity for your business.
You can also get citations from location and industry-specific websites. For instance, if your business is in the hotel and travel industry, you can get a mention on sites like trip-advisor. It’s important to find high authority industry and geo websites where you can get your mentions for your business.
You can also try and find trade and professional association sites which you can use to build additional citations. You can also try the chamber of commerce websites, and location business associations where you can get listed depending on the industry you’re associated with.
You may be required to pay for some of the citations you get from such platforms. If you have to pay, make sure you only pay for those that will send enough traffic and possibly impact the volume of transactions in your business to justify the budget you will spend on getting the citation.
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Google is an extremely resourceful platform. Most experts are too focused on improving their standing on SERPs that they don’t consider Google to be an excellent place to get citations. You should start with your “Google My Business” listing and ensure you develop and manage it well. Because of Google’s dominance in the search engine market, your listing becomes very valuable and can be one of your greatest assets. Despite it being a high-value citation, it will only need time and you don’t have to part with any money.
What are the Benefits of Actively Finding Citations?
If you’re aggressive and hands-on in managing your local citations, there are plenty of benefits for you and your business. The most stand out benefits include;
- Control over how your business is represented on the web
- Discovering and managing new reviews
- Closure of duplicate local listings
- Correction of inaccurate data and information about your business
- You get diverse and accurate citations on some of the biggest platforms
- In case of any changes in the business like mergers and acquisitions you have a strategy of editing the data
What are the Downsides of Not Having Enough Citations?
If you’re not aggressive enough or you take a passive approach to get citations for your business, there’s a price to pay as well. Some of the consequences include;
- Having multiple local business listings that could damage the reputation of your business
- No strategy for discovering and correcting inaccurate data and information
- You can’t discover and manage new reviews
- You don’t have control over the information affecting your business online
Citations should be an essential part of your SEO strategy and also to grow your business. With enough citations in authority positions, you can easily drive traffic and grow business. Google also relies heavily on citations to determine your ranking.