People are searching for local businesses online more than ever, and online searches will continue to increase. You want your business to be found when users are searching for services or products that you offer. Local citations will increase your business’ local visibility online and bring more phone calls and website visits directly to you.
What is a Local Citation?
A local citation is an online reference that includes the name, address, and phone number of a local business. Local citations can be found on online directories, websites, apps, and social media platforms.
Local citation building involves adding your business’ information to local directories, industry directories, data aggregators, and mapping programs such as Apple Maps, Chamber of Commerce, Bing Business, Google Business, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, etc. This gives your business many opportunities to be found by searchers using a variety of sources and devices.
Why is Local Citation Building Important?
Local search results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. A mixture of these factors help users find the best match for a specific search.
Relevance refers to how well a local business profile matches the search terms. Distance takes into account the location and distance of a business to the searcher’s location. This could be where they are searching in the moment, or location terms that were used in a search. Prominence is how popular a business is online and offline. It is largely influenced by information that a search engine has about a business, such as links, articles, and directories where a business is mentioned. The more places a business is mentioned, the more prominent they may be.
The number of positive online reviews also directly influences local search rankings. Getting as many authentic 4 and 5 star reviews as possible will help improve your local SEO performance.
A good place to start is to search for your business on multiple search engines and check to be sure your name, address and phone are correct. Any sources with incorrect information should be corrected.
Then you can start the process of adding your company information to directories where it does not appear.
Important . . . be sure your name, address and phone number on all the sites match exactly the way they appear on your Google Business page. Be consistent across all sites.
If you want to maximize phone calls, foot traffic, and traffic to your business website, local citation building is a key foundation.