You may have had the term local citations thrown about as part of your local SEO strategy. But what are they and how can you build them?
In short, a local citation is a place where your business’ name, address and phone number (or NAP details) can be found online.These are typically sites like business directories (such as YellowPages), social networks (such as Facebook), or anywhere else that a customer might be searching for local businesses like yours.
So how do I build citations?
The first thing to keep in mind is having quality citations. There’s no point in having citations on every directory you see if they’re not adding any value.
To start, list your website and add your NAP details to the core directory sites that will give your website the most authority. That is, customers who find you through these sites will be more likely to trust them as the source.
- Apple Maps
- Bing Places
- Google My Business
Once you have these key citations, you can start fleshing out any others you may want. Here’s a list of the top 50 citation sites for a business in Australia. When looking at this list, it can be beneficial to keep in mind that you don’t have to have a citation on all of them, so if you only choose the most popular ones that’s ok. Generally, that means that they’re popular enough that your customers will have heard of them too and know to use them.
When you go to add your business to these sites, sometimes you might find there’s already an incomplete listing that can be claimed – this often means that other partes (generally customers) have mentioned that there’s a business at this location or in this area. If you claim the listing, you can then flesh it out with the correct NAP details and business descriptions.
After these core citations have been built, you should start expanding your presence out to more niche citations. These can include industry-specific and location specific sites. For example, if your business is accommodation, you will want to make sure it’s listed on TripAdviser or Wotif or other sites like that.
Finding these citation sites can be fairly easy. Simply head to Google and try searching for:
[location] business directory
[industry] business directory
[industry] business listings
[industry/occupation] near me
These searches will often return popular directory sites that you should aim to add your business too. Maybe the most important of all of them is the ‘near me’ search as it’s closer to what actual customers might type in.
Of course, this is just one aspect of your local SEO strategy. In general terms, building citations is just using common sense and creativity to capitalise on the opportunities that are available to your business online. Once you’re able to spread your business name, you should start seeing an increase in enquiries and genuine leads that turn into paying customers.
If you’re having trouble building citations for your business, make sure you reach out to the team at Digital Surfer. We’ve been doing this for years and will be more than happy to sit down and sort down how we can help you get found online.
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