According to a recent study by Yelp, 85 percent of consumers turn to the internet when searching for a local business provider. This staggering statistic only supports the fact that businesses need to have an online presence if they want to stay competitive in today’s market. Online marketing can be very difficult, especially for small businesses who have limited resources, time and financing. That is where Citation Building for Local SEO comes into play.
Citation Marketing Defined
A citation is an online mention of a company’s name and contact information such as on a listing of a ‘yellow pages’ directory. For example if your business is listed on Yelp.com, that is a complimentary piece of marketing that Yelp provides you as a business owner. These types of citations are available for free from thousands of resources such as SuperPages.com, YellowPages.com, DexKnows.com, and similar.
Take Lots of NAPs
The main difference between citation building and other types of online marketing is that the business does not need to have a website to improve their ranking. This is a reflection on the algorithm used, which assumes that the more citations a business has, the more likely it is that the business is legitimate and in operation.
This is referred to as the NAP of a company. The more times the company’s NAP is mentioned online, the better ranking that business will achieve for local search results. In this case the equation is simple: quantity matters!
Building Local Citation
The first step that a business can take to increase the number of online citations they have is to make sure their company’s NAP is listed on various online directories, such as Yelp, Yellowpages, Superpages, etc.
Including this vital information on all social media websites can also help with citation building process. Including the NAP in the same format on blogs, job sites, and other directories is another way to ensure results.
Consistency Is Important
One of the major aspects of a citation building process is avoiding mistakes. It is imperative that businesses use the exact same name, address and phone number for each citation. This includes using the same abbreviations, special characters, spaces and spelling.
If a company has multiple locations within the same geographic region, you must choose one to list on all of the directories. This will funnel the traffic into one point of return, elevating traffic and converting more sales than having a variety of locations and names online which spread the “SEO-Juice” around too thin, resulting in no added business for either location.
Understanding the citation building process can greatly improve a company’s online presence and increase the number of people who have access to business contact information. The way in which citations affect Google Search results are often overlooked, but vital in establishing a course of action for monetizing the online marketing efforts.
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