When it comes to SEO, its common knowledge that linking, linking, and more linking will move you higher on the search engine results page (SERP). After all, search engines such as Google often use the links to crawl the web.
However, many entrepreneurs, as well as marketers, fail to realize that local citations play an essential role in local SEO.
Now, while links are more dominating when it comes to Google’s ranking algorithm, local citations are similarly considered in the ranking algorithm.
But what are local citations really, and how do they help at improving your local SEO?
What Is A Local Citation And Their Benefit To Local SEO
For those who are unfamiliar with citations, also known as business listing or online directory listing, local citation is basically a mention of your company or business or contact information somewhere across the web.
A citation shows several facts about your business, and ideally, it should mention the name of your business, address location, and telephone number.
Together, this information is known as NAP and it forms the backbone of local citation of any business.
A perfect example of a NAP will look like this;
San Francisco Exterminators
1555 Yosemite Ave #46
San Francisco, CA 94624, USA
Local citations, however, come in various forms, but all with reference to the NAP. For instance, some businesses have gone further to include additional components in their local citations such as website URL, also known as NAPW, where W stands for the Website URL.
While at it, it’s vital to understand that the layout out of the local citations plays an integral role in their effectiveness.
For instance, consistency is of the essence when creating local citations as it will allow search engines to easily geo-target your business when crawling the web.
Other factors that play an essential role in the effectiveness of local citations include getting cited in relevant directories, getting links from the social platforms, and more.
Unless you’re savvy enough, we would recommend that you get local citations services that will help you create a perfect local citation that will convert. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time breaking into the marketing scene.
How Local Citations Benefit Local SEO
Now that we have a rudimentary understanding of what local citations are let us see at how these citations benefit local SEO.
Sure, local citations will not result to a massive jump in your ranking, bump you’re likely to get bumped on the SERP if you’ve your competitors with similar SEO standing as you.
Some of the reasons why search engines love to see local citations include:
1. Validation Purposes
Citations are proof of validity, and this is a top reason why Google’s algorithm takes citations into account.
See, anyone can set up a website, and even claim they’re experts in a niche. Citations, however, will help in validating your business and proving to Google that you provide something of value to clients.
2. Show You’re Part of the Community
Local Citations show that you’re part of a particular community and this goes a long way at improving your ranking.
Regarding being part of a community, citations help in validating your brand and show search engines that you’re authentic as it’s always hard to pretend something you are not.
Therefore, citations are not only another incredible way of validating your business but advertising your business to the local community.
3. Improves On Consistency
Consistency is the key to any advertising effort. The more search engines know that your business is consistent on the online platform, the better.
4. Ideal for Small Businesses
Traditionally, the SEO space was dominated by large blue-chip companies with a huge financial muscle.
Citations have changed all this, as businesses in the smaller niche that might not have a niche are now given a level playing ground for competition.
While creating and finding local citations is not exactly easy, it’s a good idea to consider setting up for your business or shop.
As we’ve already seen, you stand to amass a lot, especially when it comes to the local SEO.