Many techniques have blossomed over the years that promise higher visibility on SERPs and higher rankings. One of the most effective technique is local citations which are actually ‘mentions’ of your business on the internet. The math is simple, the more the merrier, the high-quality the better.
Also, it is imperative for local businesses because it attracts local customers and users who would actually be interested in buying their services or products locally and not globally or through international shipping and a whole lot of other fancy methods to lure customers.
As said, a local citation is an effective method when done right but could hamper local business’ performance on the search engines like Google when done wrong or when completely ignored as it invites a lot of fake, faulty, defaming mentions that would otherwise leave a business even bankrupt or a harsh sentence.
Don’t worry if you are new in the local citation field because here’s a list of top 10 ways to do local citation for your business that would actually work.
1. Claiming & Fixing Google My Business (GMB) listing
According to Duct Tape Marketing, more than 97% of consumers search for local products & services while only 44% of businesses have GMB listing while drops to 33% on Yelp, 21% on Yahoo Places, and 19% on YP.com.
Thus, the first thing one should do after creating a GMB account is to claim a business before it attracts negatives suggestions and comments which is one of the forms of spam.
As mentioned in the latter part of this blog, maintaining consistency must be the supreme priority and thus, must be processed on all online directories and local citations accordingly. Also, fixing errors on your GMB listing, rectifying any incorrect suggestions made by users via ‘Suggest an edit’ feature is crucial and you must achieve complete homeostasis in terms of details to attract more visitors.
2. Optimize Google My Business Account
Google is the numero uno in terms of traffic and authority and thus, it must be handled with precaution.
Google My Business (GMB) lets the user create a business listing online where the business owner can edit all the relevant information about the business, open hours, address, etc.
When searching for a local business, GMB account of the relevant business is displayed on the SERPs that escalates visibility, ranking, and attract leads, conversions, and more. This is why creating and optimizing a GMB account is an indispensable aspect of perfecting local citations. But it’s not just Google My Business (GMB) on Google but other directories too such as Apple Maps, Yahoo Locals, Bing Places, etc.
3. Perfect the Core Structured Citations (High Priority)
If you are looking forward to strengthening your local citation regime, it is vital to know which sites you must target to get most of the efforts that you’d made to establish citations. There are basically five types of sites i.e. data aggregators (GMB), industry-specific directories, horizontal directories (Yelp, Yext), Region-specific sites, local blogs/newspapers, etc.
Establishing quality over quantity on these types of sites would definitely escalate your business’s analytics compared to the period when you lacked this strategy.
4. Geo and Industry-Specific Platforms
Apart from Google My Business (GMB) and other like services, submitting citations on Geo or location-specific platforms and industry-specific platforms can turn your business into a money-making haven although figuratively. For instance, restaurants can submit entries and provide extended food ordering and delivery services via websites like Zomato, FoodPanda, etc. On the other hand, hotels can sign up on TripAdvisor, Trivago, etc to showcase their hotels and these examples are of the industry-specific platform where the user can search for relevant businesses based on the niche and the physical location of the business entity.
Content is a king and thus, creating content for these structured and unstructured citations on vivid platforms can change the way how search engines like Google see your business providing high-quality traffic, leads and potential conversions, and more and that’s all while targeting a specific geographical area and a particular industry and niche.
5. Use Online Business Directories for Local Citations
Remember ‘Yellow Pages’?
Think that it is a thing of the past. Think again because now we have online business directories that basically serve the same purpose as the yellow pages. It lets the business list themselves in the particular category, niche and this allows the search engines to pull relevant data when a user searches for a specific niche of business such as an SEO agency in Mumbai, etc.
There are a lot of aspects that you’ll have to look forward to getting the entry on online business directory right such as searching the best directory online is a tedious task in itself. Further, you need to maintain consistency over entering NAP, adding images when asked, company description, URL, and other attributes that are required to be provided whilst mentioning a business on any online business directory.
6. Get Cited from Local Businesses
It is vital to creating links and backlinks, when you are a local business and especially when it’s a new setup. A lot of things can be done to get links or references from other local businesses and people.
The thing to remember is, word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing strategies and thus, you must leverage its the capability to gain leads and conversions.
You can organize events, giveaways, deals and offers to the local people to leverage their social media accounts and other profiles to spread the word about your business and in turn, it will help your business flourish in the long run because remember, word of mouth never stops but it can impact negatively too so beware of it.
7. Check for Inconsistencies
Google compares the details regarding your business from your website, other sources that cute your business and the Google My Business (GMB) account that you create and any inconsistency could hamper business’s visibility on the web. Therefore, it is highly recommended to streamline the consistency but checking out all sources or mentions and citations.
And rectify if there is any inconsistency, inaccuracy, and duplicate data that you might have entered or might have injected into the search engine via unstructured citations. Also, feeding in all the required information, check back on any edits, suggestions, questions, updating business data as and when it changes is important too.
8. Ask Customers for Reviews
According to BrightLocal 2018 survey on online reviews, about 85% of users online depend or refer reviews, comments, and responses from other users and customers in order to make decisions. It is true to ourselves too because we tend to rely on reviews more than we can ever think.
For instance, What’s a good movie to watch today?
Where is the best sushi restaurant in Toronto?
Also, Google gauges reviews as a pointer to rank a website or a local business and that is why it is vital to get positive reviews and responses while trying to minimize negative and eliminating defaming responses.
To put things into perspective, local businesses must ask for reviews after closing a sale. They must appoint the customer to decide whether to receive any surveys or emails in the future. Also, it is crucial to respond to any negative comment or complaint which is something proven to raise brand reputation and awareness since people do check out services and products of businesses that respond to their ‘negative comments’ and are willing to give a second chance.
9. Perfect Your Unstructured Citations
Once you are established your Google My Business (GMB) account and other sources that club under the category ‘structured citations’.
Its time to move on to ‘unstructured citations’ which is basically mentions of your business on other websites that do not support structured format for business listings. These are basically mentions of your business within an article, blog post, social media post, etc. You can promote your business on newspapers, news websites, and apps among other portals to attract a new audience and convert them into leads and conversions and since the coverage is vast, it is highly profitable for a business.
10. Try & Learn the Strategy
The most effective way to do local citations for your business is to actually learn about the strategy and execute it whilst making changes and tweaks to get the best results. Once you have claimed your business with your Google My Business GMB listing, it is time to maintain accuracy and consistency across all structured and unstructured citations and curbing those with inconsistency.
Adding categories and services offered which is are two of the attributes one could find on Google My Business allow search engines to offer relevant results to the users when searched. Answering questions, queries, posting videos, images and descriptions are few of the attributes that GMB offers which act as an effective marketing gimmick for a business when the results are shown to the users who could either click-through (CTR) or ignore (bounce rate) which determines whether a listing would get leads and conversions or not.
Conclusion on Business Local Citation
Here are 10 best tips and trick on Local Business citation, and you should apply it right away in your strategy if you’re missing something from the list. Jitendra Ahlawat is always ready to answer your curiosity and would love to help your business grow faster then your competition. Just start type your questions or doubt right here in the comment box.
Will see you soon with the new post, till then take care of your business.