Thinking why the local business competition in your area is ranking high for local keywords and Google Maps but yours seems not to even rank on the first five pages of the SERPs? The best chance to increase your chances to rank high for local searches is through local citation.
NAP and Geo-Targeted Searches
Local citations are not links but rather references that contain information about local businesses – Name, Address, and Phone aka NAP on local review sites, directories and business listings. Google scrapes these third-party business directories and listing sites and takes the data into account when deciding which business/website to show for Geo-targeted searches.
In other words, when you leave the trace of your NAP on other sites, you’re on the path to reaching your local SEO goals. Now, since a local business is often a place limited to a specific area, there are things you should consider when doing your local citation strategy.
Local citations are easy to get but the method of obtaining them is what you should look out for.
How to Obtain Local Citations
First, make sure you’re uniform in every piece of information about your business. If there are differences in local search, not only will your potential clients be confused about it; Google will look down on it as well.
Nap Information Consistency
The major mistake that many businesses make when claiming listings and local citations is that they hire VAs and outsource this assignment. As a result, there is inconsistency in information which can do more harm than good. The NAP information must be consistent both on your website and throughout the web as Google evaluates the credibility of genuine and real businesses based on the validity of the given information.
Next, building citations is a time-consuming process, but don’t let it discourage you. No need to add information about your business to all sources in one day. Your online presence is a thing you have to build gradually, so it’s best to build a local search marketing strategy as you go.
Once your marketing strategy includes citation building, your local search results will get better.
The List of Local SEO Citations Your Business Needs
You don’t have to search for local citation opportunities. We’re your local citation finder. We’ve created a list of more than 150 citation sources and directories that we use for our clients. Work your way through the list, using the same details about your business at each listing location, and boost your local search rankings.
In addition to this list, it is also a great idea to get your name and information listed in local directories, industry-specific directories, local newspapers, local chambers, and local or regional blogs and websites.
Note: To make this list helpful, most of the links send you directly to the URL to add your business.
150+ sites may seem overwhelming at first. However, we’ve made it easy for you by sorting the list based on Authority which means you can start with the Top Tier directories such as Google+ Page, Yelp, AOL Yellow Pages, etc., and then move on step by step just like Linkbuilding is done slowly over the period of time.
Why Do Local Citations Matter for Local Businesses?
Adding your business details to local citations has its advantages but also downsides.
The first advantage of listing your local business is that if done properly, it will boost your business ranking on search engines. Google collects different kinds of data, such as name, address, and phone, to ensure the validity of your business.
Moreover, they can help potential customers to find you easily – especially if your business citation results in many site visits or in-store visits and leaving reviews, for instance.
On the other hand, if you’re adding your business information on local SEO citation sites that have low domain authority or if the information you provided is inaccurate, you will not only misdirect customers but ruin your reputation online and eventually lose revenue.
Local SEO Citations Strategy and Google
Local SEO strategy is a long process and your business won’t jump from the last page to the first on a local search in one day. Let’s see how the search engines work to help the user find what they need on local rankings.
When a user searches for a specific type of business near them, they’ll find local results on Google based on relevance, distance, and prominence.
Google’s Relevance, Distance, and Prominence Parameters
Relevance refers mostly to Google Business Profile you set up and compares it to what someone is searching for.
Distance is based on the physical location of the user and the business. In case the user doesn’t add the location in their search query and uses “dental office” instead of “dental office Chicago,” then Google will try to find the information about the location from the actual location of the user.
Prominence signifies the popularity of the business, be it offline or online. It pulls this data from across the web, such as articles links, and directories. So, if your SEO game is strong, you’ll have more prominence points from Google.
Do check out the big players in the local search ecosystem to claim your listing on the sites first. Be sure to measure the results as you build the citations and see where you’re ranking also don’t make the mistake of giving this task to VA or Outsourcers for cheap money as any inconsistency as slightest deviation can be costly also in many instances VA’s end up making duplicate listings for the businesses.
Types of Local SEO Citations
There are two types of local SEO citations:
- Structured citations – business listings on business directories that are dedicated to collecting business information from as many businesses as possible. Those can be found on the sites we enlisted in the table above.
- Unstructured citations – mentions of business details on any page – in a blog post or in an article. Here, the information isn’t grouped but scattered through the text. These citations can also enhance your SEO efforts.
What Do Statistics Say About Local Sites on Search Engines?
Local businesses often implement addresses and phone numbers to their listings and lead a local SEO strategy, mostly because the local search on mobile phones has increased 900% compared to previous years.
Out of those who do search locally on their smartphone, 60% of them have contacted the business with a “click to call” option” using the search engines.
Many potential customers will look for your business information, so make sure you leave it on as many business directories as possible. Creating local citations should be a crucial part of your business’ online local search strategy.
Dominate the Local SEO Searches
Remember that it will take time for your business to become visible in local searches and to climb up the SERPs. Sometimes you’ll need a little extra help with all those local SEO citations that you want to acquire.