Local citations are a key factor in your rankings in web searches for local areas. Whether you are a small, local business or a large corporate company, citations help users discover nearby business locations through any online mention of a business’s NAP: name, address, phone number. These mentions include but are not limited to websites, apps, and social media platforms.
Let’s take a look at some specifics for local citations and how to ensure you have everything in place that you need.
Why Do Local Citations Matter?
Depending on the accumulation of citations, the consistency of data and information, and the overall quality of profiles on different platforms, local citations can positively or negatively affect rankings for local searches. Search engines, especially Google, value the validity of data for a business.
But not only do citations affect search engine rankings, they affect consumers as well. Consumers prefer accurate citations to help find trustworthy businesses, meaning that having everything correct can result in increased foot traffic and revenue for a company.
What Is Local SEO?
Search engine optimization is one of the biggest reasons why local businesses are recognized and discovered for services and products. How well your website matches a user’s search terms and how optimized your website is determines the likelihood that your business gets the search, the click, and the sale.
Traditional Organic Search
When searching in Bing, and especially in Google, the organic search result is often the first thing a potential client will click on. These searches appear toward the top of a search result pages just below paid listings and are ranked by keyword accuracy, information consistency, and relevancy to the search.
Gaining a highly ranked organic search result can lead to high-quality leads and genuine interest in your business.
Google Ads allows businesses to use paid search search to rank higher in searches without appearing too different from organic search results.
The main benefit from having a paid campaign for your business is to create a higher chance for your page to be clicked when a user searches for terms and services relevant to your business. These links appear toward the top of a result page on search engine websites.
The main goal of gaining the best results in your area is to get into the “local pack” grouping for a search result.
The local pack appears when a consumer searches for terms or phrases, especially those qualified by a region (“Ohio manufacturers,” “Cleveland bars”) and businesses are included on a Google Map image, with three prominent ones in a featured box.
To end up in this local pack means you have a much higher chance of getting the clicks you want for a sale because of the proximity to the top of the search result page, just below paid searches.
People also often follow the path of least resistance. Think about your web searches – do you click through page after page to find something, or do you investigate some of the first options you see?
The Essential Tools We Use
At Sixth City Marketing, we use multiple outlets to track consistency in search, as well as covering all information needed for a business to be found in a search engine. Let’s look at some key tools.
Google My Business
Google My Business was created in June of 2014 with the intent of helping local businesses be found more easily during a search engine search. The way Google values businesses within these profiles is by way of consistency of information and value of the information given, which includes:
- NAP: Name/address/phone number
- Description of business
- Business categories
- Weekly hours
- Visuals, including images and videos
- Accurate reviews and responses to reviews
- Means of online contact, such as social media, email, and useful apps
Yext is a platform that essentially collects data from the web, and gathers all NAPs found for your business. Many businesses have used this, or a platform similar to this, when changing the main address of their business, but may need to review carefully to ensure consistency across pages.
At our firm, Moz is used for several purposes to improve and track our citations. Moz has numerous settings where it shows the DA (domain authority) of your website as well as other sites that link to yours.
The domain authority of your site is based off of the quality of links to your website along with how Google views and values your website in regard to content, keywords, and matched information to profiles. Using Moz to check your DA and backlinking will enhance the process of how you can improve the search quality of your website.
Have More Questions? Feel Free to Contact Us Today!
There are a lot of factors to consider when promoting your business to receive the best search results, and we can help. Reach out to us with and questions or concerns and we’d be happy to guide you in the right direction!