The digital world is an ever-evolving landscape, and for any modern business staying ahead of the curve is a priority. One of the biggest tricks that local search marketers have up their sleeve for achieving high online visibility is local citation building. In this guide, we'll dive into the importance of building citations in Local SEO, common misconceptions, and how to make your citations work for your online visibility.
The Power of Citations in Local Search MarketingLocal citations are online mentions of your business's name, address, and phone number (NAP) on various platforms, such as directories, review websites, or regional sites. According to Moz, citations are the fifth most important local ranking factor.
Building accurate and consistent citations can:
- Boost your online visibility by assisting the search engines indicate and verify the accuracy of your business information.
- Improve your local search rankings by signalling to search engines that your business is authoritative and relevant to a specific location or area.
Make sure to check out all local SEO ranking factors and adapt your local search strategy accordingly.
Common Myths About Citations
Myth 1: Citations are only about getting backlinks
Truth: While backlinks are a bonus, citations primarily serve as a source of information for potential customers and search engines.
Truth: Quality and consistency of citations matter more than quantity. Focusing on building citations on relevant and authoritative platforms often yields much greater results.
Myth 3: Citations are the same as local listings
Truth: Citations and local business listings are similar in that they both provide information about a business, but there are key differences between the two.
- Citations are mentions of a business's NAP information on online platforms like directories, review sites, and regional sites. They help potential customers find and contact a business, improve local search engine rankings, and boost online credibility.
- Listings are business profiles on online directories and platforms like Google Business Profile, Bing, and Facebook. Listings include a business's website URL, hours of operation, reviews, photos, and more.
5 Winning Tactics for Local Citation Building
Citation building is a critical aspect of local search marketing, and it requires a strategic approach to ensure the best results. Here are some tactics for effective citation building:
1. Audit your current citations
Before you start building new citations, you need to assess your current listings. Identify any inconsistencies or errors in your NAP information and update them accordingly.
2. Research citation sources
Look for relevant and authoritative platforms to build citations on. Consider local directories, review websites, and industry-specific platforms.
3. Build links to your citations
While citations primarily serve as a source of information, they can also provide valuable backlinks to your website. Consider building links from your citations to your website to boost your authority and local search engine rankings.
4. Build high-quality citations
Focus on building citations on platforms that are relevant to your business and have a high domain authority.
5. Monitor your citations
Regularly monitor your citations for accuracy and consistency, and ensure that your NAP information is updated across all platforms.
Challenges for Multi-Location Brands
Often the biggest challenge that multi-location brands face when building citations is maintaining consistency across all listings and ensuring that all NAP information is accurate and up-to-date across hundreds or even thousands of locations.
Maintaining consistent NAP information across all your citations is crucial for two reasons:
1) Search engines trust consistent information, which can improve your local rankings
2) Customers rely on accurate information to find and contact your business
Another risk for multi-location brands is duplicate listings, where multiple listings exist for the same location across the same platforms. Duplicate listings can confuse customers and search engines and may negatively impact local search engine rankings.
Some online platforms may have incomplete or inaccurate information about a business, which can lead to incomplete or inaccurate citations. This can hurt your online visibility and credibility.
Time and Resource Constraints
Building citations for multiple locations can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. Some citation directories may not provide an easy way to update your business information, and you may need to rely on customer support or manual updates, which can be time-consuming and unreliable.
Inconsistent branding across locations can also be a challenge. Each location may have different branding or messaging, which can be confusing to your potential customers and eventually deteriorate your online reputation or trustworthiness.
Location Management Software for Multi-Location Brands
As managing citations for multiple locations can be time-consuming and prone to errors, PinMeTo's listing management software is made to simplify and automate the process through a centralised management dashboard.
With PinMeTo your citations are synced with your listings’ information through our partner networks of 100+ directories which allows you to make consistency checks and bulk changes across all platforms effortlessly.
Learning from the Pros
Starbucks is one of the brands that does a great job with citations and is known for its strong online presence and consistent citation management across thousands of locations.
By maintaining accurate and up-to-date information on various platforms, they ensure maximum visibility and ease of access for customers.
Explore how Starbucks Norway crashes their online visibility with strong Local SEO in their local marketing case study.
To Sum Up
Local citation building is an essential aspect of local search marketing, especially for today’s multi-location businesses that vastly rely on accurate location data for their online visibility. By focusing on the quality, consistency, and accuracy of your citations, you can boost your online visibility, credibility, and search engine rankings. Explore PinMeTo's citation building feature that makes managing the citation building process a breeze, allowing you to focus on growing your business and serving your customers.
Lily Adamyan, April 19