Why Citation Building Is Necessary to Gain More Visibility
One of the prime intentions behind the use of Internet by most visitors is to search local products and services. A recent survey showed that four out of five mobile phone users surf the Internet to search local business information and around 80% of those searches get converted.
Surprised, right? This is true; and to make yourself visible to the local visitors, you need to concentrate a lot on local SEO. It is quite different from traditional SEO that chiefly focuses on content optimization and integration. Local SEO is more about citation building that means getting your NAP (name, address and phone number) listed in the business directory sites that have some authority.
What Is Citation?
The online references to your business are called citations. They are like online links pointing to your brick and mortar store instead of the website. Like links, these references are also evaluated by Google to establish your online authority.
Now, you have to know how Google uses these references to give you a rank when searched locally. There are three factors that Google counts to place you in local SERPs. They are relevance, distance and prominence. You can’t control the distance, but when it comes to relevance and prominence, you definitely have a scope to influence Google and this is where citation comes to play its part.
Similar to links they are beneficial to both search engines and business as it is not only the crawlers that browse through local business directories, people also take the help of them to find out their desired products and services. This is how a business gets found today. There is no need to use some special formats to create these references. They can be in plain text. All you need to ensure is that they refer to your business properly.
Types of Citations
Before you start building citations for your business, you have to know that there are two types of citations- structured and unstructured citations. The citations that you find in local business directories are called structured citations. They can be edited and changed by you as you wish.
Unstructured citations are the references to your business name and contact details online, not in directories. For example, if a blogger mentions your company name in one of his blogs, you will get an unstructured citation.
How to Find out the Most Suitable Citation Sources for Your Business?
You may think that listing your business in as many platforms as possible will do the job for you. But, that’s just not the perfect way. Along with having a good citation number, you also need to think about the citation source quality and its local authority. All these factors are important to come into the notice of Google.
Therefore, choosing right citation sources is very essential. Here’s how you should initiate.
For example, if you Google the keyword “Drapery Toronto” from a Canadian IP, you will get the below-shown result.
Now take Toronto Window Coverings for example and type (“Toronto Window Coverings” Business Listing) in Google search box. You will come to know about the business listing sites that have been used by this top listed company.
Some Essential Steps to Consider
- Before you start building citation, you should list your business on Google Maps.
- Be consistent while registering your NAP (name, address and phone number).
- Connect your website to Google+ Business page or Google+ Local Page. This is a much-required
- To find out the citation sources for numerous keywords and various locations, you can use a tool like GeoRanker Citation Source Finder Tool.
Citation building is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to get the local SEO juice that can only be generated if business listings are done accurately. Just try to avoid wrong information and duplicate listings; you will be locally recognized soon. These are but fundamentals. To delve deeper, you can seek the help of Google.