How to Build Local Citations for SEO

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How to Build Local Citations for SEO to Get More Traffic
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Establishing local citations is one of the first steps to improving your website’s SEO. Local citations are different from regular web page links in that they direct people to a specific location. These locations can be your physical address, business name, or phone number, anything that makes it easy for visitors and search engines alike to find your site. 

The easiest way to start building local citations is by using Google My Business listings, which is why it is listed as one of the first steps in any authoritative local SEO walkthrough. The next step is to claim your profile on review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. However, there are plenty of other ways you can go about doing this.

Why Are Local Citations Important for SEO?

Local citations are important for SEO because they can help you to rank in the local search results. Citations are the fourth highest essential ranking indication for local inquiries, according to a Moz survey.

Local citations help with local SEO because they give Google information about your business that can be used to determine if you’re a qualified result for a particular query. For example, if you have an address listed on several local citation sites, it tells Google that your business exists in a particular location. If Google knows that your business exists in the city where someone is searching, it’s more likely to show your listing as one of the top results for that query.

Local citations also help people to discover your business because they give people a way to find out about them. If someone searches for “dog walker near me” and sees your name pop up as one of the top results alongside other dog walkers or groomers in their area, they might click through to see what you offer or call you directly from there.

What Types of Local SEO Citations Are There?

There are two types of local SEO citations: structured and unstructured.

Structured citations are the most valuable type of citation, as they’re the easiest for search engines to crawl and understand. Structured citations include your business information in a standard format, such as a phone number, address, and hours of operation.

Unstructured citations are useful for local SEO because they can be used to help you rank for long-tail keywords that aren’t covered by structured citations. These include things like reviews on review sites or mentions in articles or blog posts.

Get Your NAP Details Right

Your name, address, and phone number must be consistent on all directories. This is known as having a “NAP” (Name, Address, and Phone number). The most important piece of information for local SEO is the NAP. Search engines use it to verify the location of your business. If you have it wrong in one place, it will affect all your other listings too.

Claiming your reviews on review sites is a great way to get more local citations and improve your SEO. Google uses over 200 factors in its algorithm for ranking websites. Review sites are one of the best ways to increase your visibility, especially since many websites rank in Google’s local pack just like the official business listing.

Not only do they allow you to show off what people love about your business, but they also help Google understand that you exist as a business. This helps boost your chances of ranking higher in search results.

Use a Google My Business Listing

Google currently has 86.86% of the search engine market. The primary way that Google uses to verify a business’ local listings is through the creation of a Google My Business listing.

To set up your Google My Business profile, you simply open the webpage for it on google.com/business and follow the prompts. If you already have a GMB page, fill it out as much as possible with accurate information about your business. This will allow other sites to see that you are who you say you are when they enter this data into their data fields (such as Yelp).

List Your Business in Local Directories

Local directories are a great way to get your business listed in local search results. They’re also a good place to list your physical address, phone number, and website URL. Make sure that you’re listing your business in the right category (e.g., if you’re a restaurant, make sure that it’s categorized as “Restaurants” and not “Cafes”). Local directories can help build backlinks (i.e., links from other websites), which are an important signal of quality for search engines like Google.

Make sure that you fill out all of the relevant fields on these listings—include accurate information about your company, so customers know who they’re doing business with. It’s important to ensure that all this information matches across platforms. If any details don’t match up between two different directories or sites, their algorithms may flag one as fake or outdated and penalize its ranking in search results accordingly.

Get Listed in Local and Industry-Specific Publications

Now that you’ve got your local citations in order, it’s time to get listed in industry-specific publications. Add your name, address, and phone number to the appropriate sections of these directories:

  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Association directory (if applicable)
  • Send a press release about your business to local media outlets that cover topics related to your business.

Get listed with the ‘big three’ data aggregators for local SEO citations

Submit your business information to the aggregators Yext, DexYP, and Infogroup. These services collect data from government sources and other businesses. It will then show up on search results pages when someone searches for nearby businesses.

To get listed with these platforms, you need to submit your information through their websites. This can be a long process, but it’s worth it. The more often you submit your business details to these sites, the better chance you have of getting accepted.

Don’t Forget Social Media

Social media is a great way to get your business out there and connect with customers, so don’t forget about it. If you want to build local citations for SEO, consider these tips:

  • Promote your business on social media. Social media can be a great way to promote your brand and get new customers in the door. Make sure that you have profiles set up for all of the major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.
  • Find the right social media platform for your business type or industry niche. For example, if you own an ice cream shop, Pinterest might not be the best place to focus all of your attention. Instead, focus more on Facebook or Twitter, where there will be more people interested in what you have to offer.

Why is it critical to maintain consistency and accuracy in your local SEO citations?

It’s important to keep your local SEO citations consistent and accurate because those are the most valuable links you can have. If you have a high-quality citation, it means that you’re considered a trustworthy source of information. 

If that citation is consistent across several sources, it means that your business has been around for a while and that it is established in the local community. When you have a consistent presence on these citations, you can build trust with potential customers and attract new ones.

Local citations are a great way to improve your SEO and get more traffic. You can get your business listed in local directories, industry-specific publications, review sites, and social media. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to local citations, so make sure you keep reading up on ways to keep improving your online presence.

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