The Importance of Local Business Citations
You can’t click them and they don’t sell your business with a catchy tagline, so how do citations actually help increase web traffic to your company? While they come in simple packages, local business citations play a crucial role in boosting the online visibility.
What they are
Plain and simple, local business citations typically include your business’s name and address. They don’t provide a list of all your services or always provide a link to your website, and that’s okay. We’ll speak more on that later.
Citations are found inside online directories, like your local chamber of commerce, social media sites, or local business listings like Yelp.com or Superpages.com.
How they work
With each citation, businesses let search engines know for sure what they actually do. This is crucial for search engine optimization. More citations lead to more certainty. Without citations, a company might look nondescript to the search engine algorithm, and therefore be less likely to show up in relevant searches.
On top of increasing a search engine’s certainty about your business’s information, citations also boost your rank. In a competition between two identical local companies, the one with more citations will most likely rank higher. So even if they don’t have a direct link, citations still end up bringing in customers.
Citations are all the more important for local businesses without websites, because they increase the likelihood that customers will still be able to find them online.
Careful, though—citations aren’t the bedrock of search engine optimization. Without the help of other factors like links, citations won’t do much good in raising your search engine rank. A business with lots of citations and lots of links will more than likely rank higher than a business with lots of citations and only a few links. It’s all about balance. If you already have a wide variety of citations, try increasing the amount of links to your site.
Links are part personal effort and part word-of-mouth. If you have five different social media accounts and were to post a link sharing your blog on each one, you just created five different links. And of course, if other people like what you do and link to your site from their site, you get another link. Just don’t start paying for links—Google and other search engines don’t reward that kind of behavior.
Equally important is the quality of each citation. A high quality citation from a reputable site helps far more than a citation from a low quality, spammy site. So as far as competition goes, a company with fewer citations, but more of quality, might still rank higher than a company with twice as many low-grade citations. So remember: quality first, quantity second.
Search engine algorithms care about citations. If you want to increase your business’s online visibility, increase your search engine rank, and draw in more customers, then citations are key. Find some well-established, respected local business association pages and start citing! Here are some places to start:
Bigfin.com LLC is an industry leader in online advertising, SEO and custom web design. Our comprehensive digital marketing solutions include social media management as well as social media advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social outlets. Looking for mobile website solutions or help with search engine marketing? Contact us online or by phone at 425-822-8200.
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