Learn the Best Practices on Developing a Local Citation Strategy for Your Business

By Emily Machovina

A local citation mentions the name, address, and phone number, often known as the “NAP” of a local business. They allow consumers to discover local businesses, and it directly impacts local search engine rankings. On both the consumer and SEO side, local search has changed in the past ten years, with Google My Business becoming the leading source of information. It has become a crucial part of a local SEO strategy to leverage Google My Business. I will share some of the best practices and guidelines on developing a successful local citation strategy in today’s post.

Business Name

This is one crucial part that you cannot forget. The name should be particular to your business or products to ensure a high level of visibility. Never keyword stuff your business name and make sure it is consistent across all listings – especially Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and other major business directories’ sites.

Address

Make sure that the address is easily noticeable and easy to find. If you have a physical location, then make sure to include your suite number or unit number. Once again, keep your address consistent across all significant listings and your website.

Phone Number

While getting the number correct can be very important in organic rankings, it is also often used by Google to verify the legitimacy of a business. If possible, you should use a landline rather than a cell phone number. Don’t forget to include your area code in your phone numbers because it helps search engines identify the region of your business.

Website

If your business has a website, include the URL in your Google My Business profile and other online directories. It is essential to give users easy access to your site.

Logo

For many local listings, they provide an option for users to upload an image with the listing. If possible, use this opportunity to beef up your listing and provide a high-quality logo that will help customers identify your business or product.

Reviews

The main reason local citations are so influential is that so many users look at online reviews before purchasing an item or service. A rating system can improve your listing and also help people in the community rate your business. The better your rating, the better your chances are to rank highly on Google. Make sure you are asking your customers to leave positive reviews when appropriate.

Social Media and Google+ Profile Link

Nowadays, more and more people turn to social media platforms as their primary source for finding businesses and products. Even if you have a Facebook page or an Instagram account, make sure to list it here. If you are not posting on social media, you should have a Google Places link that directs customers there.

Maps, Street View, and Satellite View

These are the primary sources of what determines how well your business will appear in Google Maps and Google aerial images of your business. It is important to use location data that is accurate and take advantage of any mapping tools available for your city or region. This helps to provide a better image of your business and how it looks from the ground level.

Additional Optimizations

In addition to the above optimizations, it is essential to include the description of your business, updated business hours, driving directions, consistent email address, and more. It is vital to ensure a company has consistent information across different directory listings like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Bing, and other major listings. The more locations with consistent business information, the more trustworthy a business becomes, resulting in higher local search rankings and quality leads. A rule of thumb with local citations is quality over quantity – major directory sites like Facebook or Yelp and key sites in your industry will help a business rank better. 

Additional Optimization to Your Listings can Include:

  • Picking a primary industry category that best describes your business
  • Creating a keyword-rich description 
  • Regularly creating google posts that link back to your site or blog
  • Updating your services/products menu

If your business is just getting started with their local citation strategy, optimizing your Google My Business is the place to begin. Ensuring to update your listing as often as possible is crucial to getting in front of any potential customers. If you are ready to start developing your local citation strategy, ChoiceLocal is a leading digital marketing agency for businesses! You can contact one of our team members today at (855) 867-5622

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