The Complete Guide to Citations and Local SEO
As far as citations are concerned, they are one of the essential aspects of local SEO. Businesses often hire SEO experts to manage citations for their stakeholders. If you can do the job of citations in the right way, it would help to improve your website’s rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). If you mess up the task, it is a cumbersome task to clean up incorrect citations.
According to an article published on https://www.entrepreneur.com, businesses can power up their SEO and local listings with some of the best tools available these days. For example, you can use Synup to edit your business listings and figure out the precision of information over numerous directories.
In this article, we will walk you through every aspect of citations to boost your SEO campaign. Citations are nothing but web references to some business featuring the company name, address, and phone number, commonly called NAP. Usually, when an SEO professional mentions citation, he is referring to some individual business listings on several websites. Most of these are in the form of an online directory, and then other kinds of citations are found too.
The basic requirements are your business name, address, and phone number, but many websites provide opportunities to include more details. Read on to learn more.
Kinds of citations
Though you will find many types of citations, the must-includes are Bing Maps, Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. There are several types of possible websites to list your business on the internet, then not all of these are related or appropriate for your online business. That is the reason why you need citation categories. You will see numerous kinds of citations for several business types. These include attorneys, real estate, healthcare, and so on.
Benefits of citations
There are many benefits of citations including:
There are a couple of online directories that rule page one when it comes to local search. These are sites such as Yellow Pages and Yelp, which keep ranking uniformly in most local searches. Therefore, if you are not able to beat them in rankings, simply join them. These directories will help you gain other opportunities as well as make your mark on page one.
Boost local rankings
Citations help to rank your business high in the SERPs. The accuracy, quantity, as well as the quality of listings and online directories, could affect the way Google looks at your business presence on the internet. Therefore, you need to choose your citations very carefully.
Gain referral traffic
There are many users, who stay loyal to many citations like Yelp for bistros and restaurants. That is because food enthusiasts often like to visit Yelp when planning to dine at new restaurants before searching on Google. If you manage to get listed on as many potential business directories, it would help you gain referral traffic.
Choosing the right citations
It is true that the number of citations matter, but then you must not fret if you could not list your online business in each of these directories. It is a good thing to happen. In case, you use tools, there are limitations as to the number of directories these tools synchronize with properly.
Choose business directories that are related to your business and help to grow your website SEO traffic. You will find many online lists related to some of the best industry citations according to the type of business. These include WhiteSpark, Moz, and BrightLocal, which is a database of the popular business directories.
Again, there are directories such as HealthGrades for people looking for doctors or medical professionals. The directory is not only relevant to healthcare businesses but also helps in driving referral traffic.
Tips to optimize citations
When it comes to citation management, it is not just including your business name on the directory. There are many ways to optimize the citations:
Your website can rank top in the SERPs if you include business descriptions by using your best keywords (KWs). It will also help Google or Bing to understand your business.
Consistency of NAP
It means that your business name, address, and phone number should consistently appear over all your listings. Many studies indicate consistency in NAP helps in boosting rankings in the search results.
Most online businesses simply link to their website’s home page. The smarter way is linking straight to the location page. It helps to minimize the steps for visitors to access the information they want to view and has a similar impact on search engines like Bing and Google.
When you add images or photos related to your company, it helps in enhancing buyer conversion rates and helps you rank in image search too, if you can optimize the right way.
There are a couple of citations like in Google My Business, which lets you choose secondary categories. It helps your business to rank for secondary KWs that you want to target.
Positive reviews about your company not only help you attract new buyers and more business opportunities but also boost search rankings. Google considers reviews on third-party websites to figure out the quality and credibility of your business.
Tips to measure the benefits of citations
There are numerous tools to keep track of citations and their performance. Then, there are a couple of ways to measure the value of these citations to understand the outcome of your hard work.
There are tools that feature open APIs with business directories to keep the citations live. There are times when your business could lose citations for many reasons and therefore, it becomes imperative to monitor the status of the citation. In case, the tools you choose fail to keep a tab on your citations, it is better to opt for third-party tools to monitor citation status.
There are tools like Screaming Frog that help you to schedule crawls of links or URLs to investigate their response codes. We recommend that you use the paid version of this tool. Little Warden is another paid tool to keep track of the response codes of numerous URLs.
Now that you have the information ready, you can work on your citations and local SEO like a pro. You will benefit from the results.