Importance of Citations in Local SEO
Online competition is fierce, even between small businesses competing for customers across a small geographic region. It’s vital, therefore, that local firms use SEO to the fullest extent possible to attract customers and win sales.
Citations are an essential ingredient in the struggle for search supremacy. Companies that have the most consistent and widespread citations tend to do better in search results and can gain far more organic traffic for their websites.
It’s important to note that citations encompass more than just your business’s name, address and telephone number. Today, search engines consider a wide variety of parameters to be citations, including things like fax numbers, reviews, owner information, the type of business you operate, your geo-coordinates, business descriptions, images, videos, opening hours, accepted payments, and slogans. Ideally, you want all of these to be consistent across the web.
Why Citations Matter
In general, citations matter for two reasons. One has to do with SEO, and the other has to do with your customers. Let’s discuss each of these in turn.
They Help Customers
Imagine yourself as a potential customer of your company looking for your services online. The customer might decide that they need to get IT services in their local area and want a company like yours to provide it for them. As such, they hop onto their local internet directory, say Yelp, and start looking for IT support firms in the local area.
Before long, they stumble across your page: ABC’s IT Services, and notice that you’re open until 19:00. They believe what Yelp is telling them about your opening hours, so they give you a call at 18:30 to ask about your services. If the information on Yelp is correct then great: your customer gets through to your sales rep, and everyone is happy. If the information is wrong, however, and you close at 18:00, then the customer is left feeling disappointed.
It’s vital, therefore, that you ensure that all of your citations are accurate and consistent across social media, your website and online directories. Any discrepancies can annoy customers and cause a flurry of bad reviews.
They Improve SEO
Google, Bing and other search engines want to provide their users with a positive, high-quality experience too. If given a choice, they’d prefer to forward users to businesses that won’t disappoint them compared to ones that do.
One of the ways that they try to cut down on this risk of disappointment is by promoting companies whose citations are consistent across the web. Local businesses with quality and consistent information about themselves are much more likely, in the view of search engines, to be able to satisfy customer needs. The more consistent and valid data search engines have about a company, the better it will do in the rankings. It’s that simple.
Use Our Local SEO Service To Improve Citations
Improving citations for local SEO is not an easy task. In fact, it’s something best left to professionals.
The main issue is actually finding all of the citations associated with your business and harmonising them. Not only do search engines consider a vast array of citations, but they can appear in multiple locations.
An active approach to citations involves continually monitoring major platforms, seeking out inaccurate data, and closing old business listings. Often, you have to communicate directly with search engines to inform them that they should ignore an old citation or one that is not valid. Again, a local SEO company can help. You can get the support you need to ensure that all of your citations across all platforms conform to the truth.
Local citation SEO services are essential for another reason, too: they give you the freedom to control how your firm is represented across the web. Sometimes, your firm can receive citations from disreputable sources. You can also fall foul of consumer dissatisfaction and lose control over how internet users perceive your brand. Nothing is worse for a consumer than thinking that they have the correct information about your company, only to find out later that the data is wrong. It makes them angry. With a local SEO agency by your side, you can avoid these problems.
Local SEO also helps you to do things like manage reviews, hence the Importance of Citations in Local SEO. At some point, every business will receive a negative review. If you’re not aware of it, however, you’re unable to respond or address the issue that caused it. Often, customers are willing to change their ratings of your company if you provide adequate follow-up support, but they won’t if you ignore them.
Does your business need local SEO and citation support? If so, get in touch with Direct Submit today by calling 0845 2722350 or visit our Digital Marketing website and find out more about our incredible services.