Local Citations: What Are They and How Can They Help Local SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for the success of any business, big or small. Without proper SEO, businesses won’t get as much traffic or conversions online as they potentially could. But SEO can be complex and involve a lot of different elements. One important element of SEO is local citations—and this article is going to discuss what local citations are and why they’re important.
What Is A Local Citation?
When businesses use local citations, they’re essentially mentioning something about their business online—this can be the business’ address, phone number, zip code, or even website address. Local citations can often be found on local business directories, social media pages, and other websites, including the business’ website.
Along with basic contact and location information, local citations can include other information like business hours, customer reviews, a description of the products or services the business offers, and even images or videos of the business. The goal of a local citation is to provide enough information for consumers and to help online audiences discover local businesses.
What Are The Two Main Types Of Local Citations?
While local citations can come in many forms, they tend to fall under two main categories: structured citations and unstructured citations. Structured citations consist of basic business information, including names, addresses, and phone numbers (NAP). These types of citations can be found in sources like social media pages and the Yellowpages website. Major local business data sites, including Google My Business, offer this information so consumers can easily find local businesses offering the services or products they need.
Unstructured citations are citations that exist on sites that aren’t considered business listing directories—these sites can include blogs, online magazines, and even business websites. These citations are equally as important as structured citations because not all consumers go to business listing directory sites to look for local company information. Consumers may simply stumble across the contact information for local business and it can pique their interest.
How Do Local Citations Help SEO?
So, why are local citations important for SEO? Well, citations play a key role in influencing search engine rankings—either positively or negatively. Google looks for information for each company and if they find accurate information that is found across multiple platforms, this is going to positively impact the ranking of the company’s website. Having a strong number of citations with accurate information shows search engines that the data is trustworthy and therefore, tells search engines that the business has earned a higher ranking.
Furthermore, local citations are critical in getting the attention of online consumers. If businesses simply have their contact information on their own website, there’s not a strong chance that consumers will find them unless they’re already searching for that specific business. But if a business has their name and contact information on reputable directory sites, social media pages, and local blogs, this is going to increase their online visibility. And when more people can find a business’s contact information, there’s a better chance of them contacting them or making a purchase.
Citations are essentially important for verification with search engines and showing consumers they’re a trustworthy company. When a business works with the best link building companies possible, they can rest assured that their local citations will be in good shape. SEO companies often look at where local citations are currently, where more can be added, and whether or not the information needs to be updated. Having a citation on a reputable site can make a big difference in ranking.
Local citations are more important than ever in today’s dense online marketplace. So if you want your business to show up in local search results, make sure to work with a reputable SEO company to ensure your citations are in the right places.
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