What are Local Citations and Why are They Important?
Local citations can appear anywhere from social media platforms, web pages, apps, etc. The list goes on, but what’s more important to understand is that local citations can help improve your SEO and ensure that you’re ranking accurately on search engines like Google. This can especially benefit local businesses, as they can manually manage their citations in order to warrant data accuracy. At the end of the day, local citations are extremely beneficial – so let’s talk about what they are and how they can help you.
What are Local Citations?
Chances are, you’ve come across local citations plenty of times throughout your life – you just may not have known that there was an actual term for what you were looking at. And that’s okay! We’re here to help you better understand what they are.
A local citation is any mention of a business’s name, address, or phone number. These tend to appear in directories such as the Yellow Pages or on websites/apps like Yelp. For example, say you’re searching through Yelp looking for a place to eat dinner tonight. You find a place that piques your interest, but you have a question about the hours they have listed, so you call the phone number on their Yelp listing. That phone number is an example of a local citation, along with the name of the restaurant and the address listed.
Why are Local Citations Important?
Local citations are essential to help potential customers get in touch with or find your business. It also helps with SEO and improving the overall searching experience. Some citations limit you to just your business name, address, and phone number, but others allow you to expand and add things like website links, photos, and more to increase your chances of ranking higher on Google. Which, in turn, will increase your visibility and allow people to find your business easily.
What are the Different Types of Citations?
There are two types of citations – structured and unstructured.
Structured Citation – A structured citation is when your business information appears on a business listing directory, such as Yelp, MapQuest, Yellow Pages, etc. The main difference between structured and unstructured citations is that structured citations allow you to submit your business and get a citation in return.
Unstructured Citation – An unstructured citation is still considered a citation, meaning your business information is still listed, it just appears on a site that is not a business listing directory. For example, an unstructured citation could appear in a blog post, wiki pages, or in a magazine.
How to Get a Local Citation Listed
Let’s say you just opened a new business and now you need to add that business to citation sites. There are a few ways you can go about this. You can manually do it yourself, which is free but also the most labor-intensive option. If you opt for this, you will have to go to each site and manually fill in all the information required – depending on how many sites you want to appear on, this could take some time. The alternative option is to pay somebody else to manually enter your information for you. Plenty of services offer this, and while you would have to pay a little bit of money to have it done, it would save you lots of time that could otherwise be spent working on other aspects of your business. The last option is to use an aggregation service, like BrightLocal, submit your data to it and then allow it to feed that data to hundreds of other sites. This option will also cost you some money, but it would increase your Google ranking and visibility greatly. There is no right or wrong way to go about this – you just have to weigh your options and pick what is best for you!