citations are important google my business listing optimization SEO

Why Citations Are Important

Citations Are Important and Essential, Why?

google my business listing optimizationWord-of-mouth does not work as well as it used to. However, word-of-mouth and referral marketing are not being moth balled. Note that referral marketing still is the strongest, most profitable marketing strategy available to businesses. Now, referral marketing reveals itself in new and improved forms. Because the internet is available 24/7, referral marketing now re-emerges as online reviews, testimonials, social media followers, blog posts, and Citations. Whatever business you are running, a top 3 position on Google Business Profile and Google Local Maps is almost a requirement. Otherwise, people just do not find your business. So, if you’re struggling with getting foot traffic, calls or leads to your business, and need a local SEO boost, you’re in the right place.

One key strategy for local SEO that really makes a difference is building citations for your business. In today’s issue, we are going to talk about citations and why they are extremely important for your local business.

What Are Citations

First, it is an online reference of your business that includes your business name, address & phone.  This is also known as your “NAP”. For an easy example, your Google My Business (GMB) account is your biggest and best citation. Citations are incredibly important because they are the building blocks of your local SEO campaign.

Let’s get one thing clear – citations are your best friend when it comes to building your brands visibility online. They’re like a “vote” for your business.  And the more quality citations you have, the better.  Many businesses overlook the importance of references. As a result, they end up with lower rankings on search engines.

Why Citations Are Important

As a local business owner, you rely on several sources to build local citations. For example, the resources available are local directories, social media, data aggregators, review blogs, etc. While there are many ways to build citations, one of the most important and effective ways is through local directories.

Let’s look at some of the most high-quality directory sites your business should be listed on if you live in the US. These are 20 of the best for your purposes:

Google.com
Maps.apple.com
Facebook.com
Bing.com
Yelp.com
Foursquare.com
Bbb.org
Local.yahoo.com
Mapquest.com
Yellowpages.com
Angi.com
Here.com
City-data.com
Manta.com
Justlanded.com
Citysearch.com
Merchantcircle.com
Local.com
Brownbook.net
Yellowbook.com

Two Types

There are two types of citations – structured and unstructured. 

Structured are business listings located in an online database like YellowBook.com or a social media platform like Yelp.  Behind every successful business listing on Google, there are, most certainly, carefully curated business listings.

You create your citations by listing your business name, address, phone number, (your NAP) hours of operation, your logo, images of your business and other details about your business.

Then there are unstructured references to your business. Unstructured citations are informal references to your business somewhere on the web. Some examples are news listings, articles, blogs, guest posts, etc. While most of your citation building should be structured, unstructured references also add some SEO juice to your ranking as well.

Both structured and unstructured citations play a role in where your business ranks on Google. Yet, building structured listings makes the biggest impact between the two.

Now that you know why citations are so important, here’s a couple pro tips to get the most out of your efforts: 

Pro tip #1: One way to beat out your local competition is to run a backlink analysis on your competitor’s website and figure out what websites link back to them. These citations are good to use for your website as well.

Pro tip #2: Second, there is another method to find citations that gives you a leg up on your competitors. This is simply to do a google search of your local competitor’s website urls.  Then go at least five pages back in the results for each competitor.  On those results pages, you’ll find various local citations that they have that you might not.

In Conclusion,

Finally, you want to boost your Google rankings for your local business. Also, you want t more foot traffic, and online visibility.

Subsequently, building citations is one of the best strategies you can use. Citations improve your reach and boost your businesses visibility locally. So, what are you waiting for?  This is one of the easiest, and most effective SEO strategies that gets results!

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Ken Leib
Traffic & Conversion Analyst
Hi Octane Metrics LLC
www.mybizfixr.com
email: Ken@mybizfixr.com
phone: (513)463-7269

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