Local citations are an important part of any business’s online marketing strategy. But many business owners don’t know how to use them effectively. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what local citations are and how you can use them to improve your business’s online presence. Stay tuned for more tips!
What Are Local Citations?
Local citations are mentions of your business on the internet, typically in directories and on other websites. These mentions can include your business name, address, and phone number (NAP data). A local citation is considered a “vote” for your business, and it helps improve your business’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
For example, if you own a local business, you want to make sure your NAP information is accurate and up-to-date on as many websites and directories as possible. This helps search engines like Google match your business with relevant searches, which can lead to increased traffic and customers.
Types of Local Citations
There are two types of local citations: unstructured and structured.
Unstructured citations are less formal mentions of your business that don’t include your NAP information. These can include reviews, blog posts, articles, social media posts, etc. While these mentions are still valuable for your business, they’re not as valuable as structured citations because they don’t include your NAP information.
Structured citations, on the other hand, are mentions of your business that do include your NAP information. These are the most valuable type of local citation because they provide search engines with accurate and up-to-date information about your business. The most common sources of structured citations are online directories (like Yelp, Google My Business, etc.), and business listings (like Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, etc.).
Types of Places With Local Citations
There are a few types of places where you can get local citations.
Online directories are websites that list businesses in specific categories. These include popular directories like Yelp, Google My Business, and Bing Places for Business. Getting listed in online directories helps improve your business’s visibility and searchability.
Business listings are similar to online directories, but they’re usually specific to a certain industry or location. For example, the Chamber of Commerce is a business listing that’s specific to businesses in the United States. Getting listed in business listings helps improve your business’s credibility and searchability.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are also great places to get local citations. Make sure your business’s NAP information is accurate and up-to-date on your social media profiles. This helps search engines match your business with relevant searches, and it also helps potential customers find your business.
How to Use Local Citations
Now that you know what local citations are and where you can find them, it’s time to learn how to use them effectively. Here are a few tips:
Make Sure Your NAP Information Is Accurate and Up-to-Date
This is the most important step in using local citations effectively. If your NAP information is inaccurate or out-of-date, it can hurt your business’s visibility in search results. Make sure to check your NAP information on all of your business listings and online directory listings regularly.
Get Listed in as Many Directories and Listings as Possible
The more places you’re listed, the better. This helps improve your business’s visibility and searchability. Try to get listed in as many online directories and business listings as possible.
Make Sure Your Social Media Profiles Are Up-to-Date
Social media is a great way to get local citations. Make sure your NAP information is accurate and up-to-date on all of your social media profiles. This will help search engines match your business with relevant searches, and it will also help potential customers find your business.
Claim Your Listings
If you haven’t already, claim your listings on all the major online directories and business listings. This helps you control the information that’s being displayed about your business, and it also helps you manage your business’s online presence.
Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Reviews are a great way to get local citations. Ask your happy customers to leave reviews on popular directories and listings. This will help improve your business’s credibility and searchability.
How to Check Your Local Citations
Once you’ve followed the tips above, it’s time to check your local citations. There are a few different ways you can do this:
Use a Citation Tracking Tool
There are a number of citation tracking tools available online. These tools allow you to track your business’s citations and listing accuracy. They also help you find new directories and listings to get listed in.
Check Your Listing Accuracy Manually
If you don’t want to use a citation tracking tool, you can check your listing accuracy manually. Simply search for your business on popular directories and listings, and make sure your NAP information is accurate and up-to-date.
Use a Search Engine
You can also use a search engine to check your business’s citations. Simply search for your business name and location, and look for directories and listings that are displaying your NAP information. If you see any inaccuracies, make sure to update your listing information.
Local citations are a powerful way to improve your business’s visibility and searchability. Follow the tips above to use them effectively.