If you’ve had your ears open to new developments in SEO, you’ve probably heard something called “local SEO” mentioned more than once. However, you might understand the purpose of local SEO or even what such practices entail. For example, do you know why local citations are important? Today we’re going to break down one of the most pivotal portions of local SEO, which are local citation, and tell you how to incorporate the component into your website content.
Before we get into the importance of local citations, we need to fist comprehend local SEO and what it is. While local SEO is just a section of traditional search engine optimization, the “local” part focuses on getting your business found by people who are local to your location. This is done through what is called “geo qualifiers,” which include data like searches pertaining to cities, states, zip codes, and “near me” Google searches.
Sounds great, right?
Well, local SEO won’t work for you unless there’s mention of the business name online somewhere. Enter the local citation.
What is a Local Citation?
A local citation is that “mention” we talked about earlier. It is any place online where the name, address, and phone number of your local business is listed. Citations are, in essence, local business directories that show up on websites, social platforms, and mobile apps. One example is Yelp. Citations are important because users tap into these resources to discover businesses that are close by, and this means that citations affect SERPs. While most data is added to these directories and listings through automated aggregation, the owners of the business are able to change the information to ensure accuracy.
The Components of Local Citations
On places like Google My Business, Yelp, Chamber of Commerce websites, Discover-Ottawa and more, you can find a wealth of information about business. Though the main pieces of the information is the name, address, and phone number (NAP), there are additional pieces of information such as:
- Hours of operation
- Business category
- Images and videos
- Driving directions
- Website and social media links
- Email address
Why Citations Matter
With all this information, it’s obvious local citations will affect the SERPs, but the reason they have an influence is not as clear. There are two reasons local citations work the way they do in SEO:
- The amount of data and quality of the featured content builds reputation and authority within search engines. In other words, the amount of information out there about a business that is repeated and accurate, as well as the quality of the websites where this information is stored, can either increase or reduce your business’ chance of ranking high on the SERPs. If your data is inconsistent throughout the World Wide Web, you’ll be negatively impacted.
- Local citations impact the user—positively or negatively. The accuracy of citations are key in consumers discovering your business, resulting in more traffic, more business, and more revenue. However, if those citations are inaccurate, the opposite happens, and you lose reputation.
As you can see, businesses need to not only establish themselves online, they need to ensure all information listed about them is accurate across a number of platforms. From start-ups to major corporations, local citations play a pivotal role in the success of business. Ensure they’re accurate and on reputable listings to see your rankings rise.