Local Citations – 5 SEO Tips Every Small Business Owner Must Know
A major challenge confronted by almost 90% of local business owners is branding their businesses in the local market, without violating the search engine protocols. A most recent technique online businesses focus on for enhancing their local SEO results is “citations”.
It needs no introduction as it is widely popular today among business owners. Meaning “references or mentions” this can add whooping value to any business if performed strategically and diligently.
What is a local citation?
Simply put, they’re nothing but mentions of your business name (alone) or with address and phone number on other local websites/directories or classifieds with or without any link. These are not the only places where you can leave them! It can be blogs, news sites, etc. as well.
Why is it powerful?
According several reports and surveys, it is revealed that local references play a major role in deciding the local SEO ranking of any site online. Local mentions account for a 25% boost in the ranking of most websites.
Local citation types
Structured – mentions added to business listing sites like local classifieds, review sites, yellow pages, etc.
Unstructured – references added to blogs, websites, government sites, etc.
Remember, both these types play a pivotal role in the process of improving your local business rankings in the search engines. The more times your business gets mentioned, the higher it will rank.
Analyzing the patterns with local citation analysis tool will help you build powerful mentions for potential results.
Listed below are 5 SEO tips for boosting your local rankings with perfect mentions.
1. Adhere to a consistent format and include right information
Word your SEO citations in different business listing sites carefully. Having uniform mentions about your business in popular sites will reflect your professionalism and committed approach, to the customers. Ensure all the data provided is correct and adheres to a format to rank better in Google, Bing or Yahoo!
2. Distinguish between links and citations
Most business owners break their heads over differentiating between links and references. They are different. They generally don’t carry any link and they’re exclusively used for increasing your web prominence online. There can be links to them in some cases as well, but they are supplemental. On the other hand, links are specifically destined for cross-linking other sites with your site. In short, citations are for branding, and links conversions.
3. Avoid duplicate listings
Removing or eliminating the duplicate listings of your business on other sites will add credibility. Having more than a mention with different addresses, phone numbers or names can create uncertainty in the minds of local customers and this will eventually lead to a drop in sales. Follow up the listing sites regularly to update or eliminate them for better user experience. Focus on building uniform mentions for your business across different listing sites.
4. Choose categories wisely
Selecting relevant citations holds the key to success for any business. Tagging your services or products under the wrong category can hurt your rankings as people will be searching for respective categories for their needs. Misleading them with false category references can produce devastating results to your business.
5. Integrate key information
Incorporating key information like videos, images, special offers, etc. can bring in potential customers to your business. It adds more value to your business and creates trust amidst customers.
The aforementioned 5 SEO tips for local citation will help any business rank better in local search results. Share your comments if you had tried these techniques and how they worked for your local business success in the comments section.