Citation plays a crucial role in local rankings. Getting it right may sound easy but if you do not implement it the right way, you’ll end up losing your leads. The core idea is to create as many consistent local listings you can on as many local business listing sites you can. According to the 2016 Local Citation Survey by BrightLocal, accurate citations are very important for rankings. Your business listing is your online business card.
“Regardless if a brand has 10 or 10,000 locations, the local listings need to be accurate and monitored ongoing for discrepancies, ensuring users are able to successfully contact and visit the business”.
– Nick Neels, Location3
Want to download the list of 87 Top Citation Websites right away?
Here are the three basic requirements to build a local listing:
- A local business
- A local phone number
- A dedicated local address
You can find the guidelines for representing your business on Google here.
Managing your citations
Once your citations are up, you have to make sure you maintain them. You have to keep your NAP consistent and accurate across the web. You’re ranking is highly dependent on how accurate your listings are. A duplicate listing on the same website can hurt you as well.
People follow different techniques to manage their citations. Here at TechWyse, we use the Whitespark Local Citation Finder to crawl all instances of a citation across the web. There are also tools like Vendasta which help you manage and repair your listings.
The idea is to make all the instances of your listing accurate and precise. All these accurate citations act like a positive sign for ranking during local search, just like how links are for ranking in an organic search.
If you are not using any tools for managing your citations, make sure you look for the following:
- Incorrect NAP
- Duplicates on the same website
- Incomplete Citations
Reviews are an essential part of building your brand’s reputation, and having a healthy set of reviews will definitely give you a leg up on the competition. Some niches will find it harder than others to get a review — for example, a realtor or a dentist may be able to inspire a positive review from satisfied clients more easily than a plumbing company, simply because of the nature of the work and the longevity of the client relationship. Even if a series of positive reviews feel beyond your reach, it’s important to have at least a few because a negative review on the listing can seriously affect your local Google rankings.
It’s always up to the customer to leave a review. Here are a few methods you can use to get reviews:
- Give rewards/discounts for customers who leave reviews
- Let your customers know where to post the review through print materials with clear instructions
- Link to your citations from your website (to show the reviews)
- Feel free to request a review after a service
- Always follow guidelines of the platform you use
- Keep your customers happy!
Getting positive reviews on a continuous basis will help your business grow. It will not only help you rank higher but also generate more leads.
Getting your strategies right
There are several brands competing for a spot in the local search and if you don’t have a strong strategy in place, you will lose your spot to your competition. Local citation is important in different ways in each industry. From a lawyer’s perspective, a listing will help her customers know about her location whereas for a restaurant, a listing can provide information about their working hours. You can also create location targeted landing pages and blog posts. This can come in handy if you are looking to rank for different services in different locations. Having a web page with all the locations is always recommended.
Some platforms only list business that fall under a specific industry. A platform like Zomato will only display details about restaurants and eateries in your area. There are also platforms like Yelp which will have listings in multiple categories. You will also come across platforms which are exclusive to a particular country or a region. If you are out of strategies, you can always keep track of what your competitors are doing. Get your business up in places where all your competitors are already present. All you have to do is get yourself up there.
You can use these creative ways to increase your brand awareness:
- Host an event.
- Support a cause.
- Provide free Wifi.
- Run social competitions.
- Get media mentions.
- Build relationships with manufacturers and organizations.
- Sponsor an event.
I’ve placed a download link to an Ebook created by our go-to local SEO guy Nithin.
Here’s a small preview of the Ebook.
Submit Listing Here
The Ebook has 87 citation websites with a direct link to the submission page. It’s time to get your citations live and skyrocket your local rankings.