A local citation is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number for a local business. Citations occur on local business directories, on websites, can be Apps, and on social platforms.
For a citation to help with your local SEO strategy, it’s important that it exactly matches the NAP on your website and on your Google My Business page.
What format you use for your citations isn’t important, but using one format ONLY is key to success. You need to be 100% consistent in the name (abbreviations), address (unit or suite or floor number), and phone number (+61? spaces or no spaces?) used when building citations.
Why Are Citations Important?
Citations, along with links and reviews, are a primary factor that Google uses when deciding on which order to rank businesses in their local search results.
It’s logical that a business that’s mentioned a lot online deserves a higher ranking than one that’s hardly mentioned at all, especially if those mentions are on websites that are relevant in terms of location and/or topic.
Play the game with Google, and Google will play the game with you.
We need to become Google’s ‘Local Online Hero’.
Google uses citations to verify the accuracy of the contact details in their local business listings too, as listing addresses or phone numbers which are out of date or incorrect, looks bad on them and causes people to question the reliability of their search results.
If exactly the same NAP is listed on 50+ different websites then it’s highly likely to be correct information, and Google can be more confident in showing that NAP to searchers.
Another reason citations are important is that, as well as helping to improve your business’s rankings in local search results, they increase general branding awareness of your business and provide more ways for people to find you online.
The more places that your business’s NAP is listed, the higher the likelihood of people seeing it, and the more people who see it, the greater the number of people who will contact you.
I suppose I liken it to this:
To win the game with Google and be on Page 1 for multiple key terms and business listings we need to earn 100 points.
Everything we do online is worth maybe 1 point, maybe 5 points, maybe 10 points, not all things are equal online, that’s my point, none of us really know how the Google algorithm works.
We know certain factors make sense that they’re important, but ultimately we’re just playing the game, in someone else’s backyard really, Google’s backyard, and we’re hoping that what we do will win us brownie points.
Some businesses leverage from ‘some’ of the Google tools available but few have them optimised and leverage as much as they could. Did I mention leverage?
So what else does the being the ‘local online hero’ look like?
Having the opportunity to ‘leave your mark’ wherever you go online is one. Online persona’s or profiles. This brings traffic back to your websites, helps promote your business, 24/7 while you sleep, and all for with no ongoing costs.
Again, to us it’s all about leverage. For every effort, or action we invest online, we’d want to make sure we’re getting a 10 out of 10 score, right?
Anything less just slows us down in achieving our marketing goals online, and our ‘reach’ and exposure so why would we waste that time and effort?
For every effort we want 10 out of 10 right? (give me a high five)