Building Business Citations: What Are They And Why Are They Important?
Prior to the internet, an encyclopedia sized book called the Yellow Pages was the main source of reference for people searching for local businesses. Today, companies use business citations as a means of getting found through local SEO. The Yellow Pages is still an active source, but now it’s conveniently located in cyberspace.
Business citations are one of the most important local SEO tools. Not only do they help businesses get found, but business citations are the basis for ranking a company in Local Pack, Google Maps, or Apple Maps searches.
Unfortunately, business citations are a bit more complicated than getting listed in the Yellow Pages of yesteryear. For example, the citation must be built correctly, so it can be accurately placed in the top local online directories. When it isn’t in the correct format, the business won’t be considered for inclusion in local SEO.
Make business citations work for you!
The following citation techniques will get your business prominently featured with local SEO.
Gain the confidence of search engines by being consistent. When a business’ information is not constant throughout the web, local search engines will consider the company to be untrustworthy. Once this has been determined, it’s impossible for a business to achieve the top spot in local directories.
Broadcast your NAP (No, not that kind of nap!). The most important parts of a business citation is the company’s name, address, and phone number, or NAP. Citations should also include a link to the website, a description of the business, email addresses, and the hours of operation. It’s also helpful to include photos, videos, social media links, reviews, and accepted forms of payment. Feel free to add taglines and slogans, too!
Business Citation Formats
There are two business citation formats available. Where the citation is going to be published determines the proper format.
Structured – This format is designed for online business directories and requires the business’ NAP to be displayed in a tight, compact manner. Remember, if one piece of this vital information is not provided within the business citation, the company runs the risk of not being featured on platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, MapQuest, TripAdvisor, and other business directories.
Unstructured – This format is used when a business’ info is being posted within blogs, articles, video descriptions, and any website that isn’t a business directory. While the NAP is still present, it is peppered throughout the entirety of the piece.
Volume and Placement Matter
According to the latest research studies, a company needs at least 75 business citations to rank highly in local search results. The citations can be published anywhere from local business directories and articles to blogs and social media platforms. However, it’s imperative that marketers utilize the top citation sites to gain the greatest impact with local SEO.
The top citation sites include Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, MapQuest, Yellow Pages, Local Yahoo, Super Pages, White Pages, and Dex Knows. When a business builds identical citations in a structured format on each of these platforms, they are on the right track to achieving a high ranking in local search results.
Take the Stress Out of Managing Citations
If you’re ready for your business to appear at the top of local SEO, Higgins Marketing Group can build and manage the business citations that will deliver these results. Contact us for a pressure-free chat about how we can help your business’ reputation by outranking your competitors.
Not sure yet? Check out our work and let us know when you’re ready.