What are local citations?
A local citation includes any mention of your business on the web. A citation normally consists of the name, address and phone number of your business. Citations are used on business directories, websites, applications and social platforms. A citation helps someone using the internet to be able to find your business easily and have the correct contact information. It is important that you maintain your citations with up-to date accurate business information.
Pro Tip: Every single citation on the web should be identical. Sometimes businesses change their phone number, move locations, or rebrand. It is important that when those things happen that you are updating every citation to reflect those changes. Towards the end of this chapter we will reveal how our team manages this for 10+ clients with only a couple minutes of work every week.
Rcbryan Media Corp.
326 S Main Street
Akron Ohio 44311
What are the different types of local citations?
There are a variety of different local citations but we are going to focus on the top 3 that are critical to your business success.
Major Local Business Data Platforms: There are a variety of major local business platforms that you can have your citations on. Some of these include Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, etc. just to name a few. Major Local Business platforms are where the majority of your customers will be looking when trying to find a business that can solve their needs. To create a citation on these platforms all you need to do is create an account and add your business information. Out of all the top citations this one is the most important.
Supplementary Citations: Supplementary citations can be created or earned. You can use different publications, news outlets, blogs, mobile applications, databases, maps and even buffer sites to create a secondary set of citations for your business. The more citations you have (that are all the same and accurate) the more authority your brand will have with Google.
Geo/Industry Specific Platforms: Once you have created citations with the major local business platforms and supplementary sites you should be targeting your core industry websites. Even if your industry does not have specific sites ( i.e. medical journals, government sites, agencies) you can use your location to your advantage. Websites like your local chamber of commerce or local business directories. If you are in the food industry directories like grub hub, doordash and other food delivery services count towards citations.
The good news is that you do not have to create all of these citations one-by-one. There are a variety of tools you can use, that for a small fee, will take your business information and will distribute it out to every major citation platform. We will cover those tools at the end of this chapter.
The most important local citation
Although we provide a variety of ways to make citation management extremely easy for your business one of the most important citation listings your business should have is a Google My Business listing (GMB).
A GMB is Google’s version of a local citation and they use it in organic search results over 80% of the time. See below image of a listing.
Because of the importance of a Google My Business listing head to the end of this chapter to read the exact steps to setup your listing.
What are the components of a local citation?
The three core aspects of a local citation are the business name, address and phone number. In the marketing industry we call this your “NAP”. But there is more to a citation than just those three things. I briefly mentioned the “details” SEMRush allows you to provide in their tool, below is the list of all the things a citation can include. Please keep in mind not all this information is required but the more information you provide the more value will come from the citation.
Why do local citations matter and why you should care?
There are two core reasons why your business needs to care about local citations. The first reason is because of your customer. It only takes a customer a few seconds to google search a term and find a company. If they automatically find yours and click on your phone number and it is outdated you just lost that customer. The same can go with having different information on multiple platforms. If the customer does not feel confident they will move onto the next. By providing the customer with not only your business name, location and contact info but also a description, services, price point and reviews you are allowing them to do the necessary research needed to feel confident in their buying journey.
The second reason is because of Google. Having each web platform have your correct citation with all the details will prove to Google that you are a real company with the necessary information to serve your customer. In order to have local citations affect your local rankings you want to focus on three things:
Where can you get them?
Everyone knows the saying “time is money” and creating hundreds of citations on different platforms will cost you a lot of time. There are a variety of different listing management tools that can manage the entire process for you. The one we have found to be the most successful is SEMRush.
This tool allows you to just enter in your business name, address and phone number and with a few clicks of a button they will begin checking each citation currently on the web for accuracy and if you do not have citations with their list of platforms they will automatically create them for you. The great thing is that if your business ever changes information like phone numbers, address, or business names all you have to do is update the core listing in SEMRush and it will automatically distribute it out to every platform and update automatically.
The biggest reason we like using this tool is because it allows you to provide detailed information like business logos, business hours, business photos, descriptions, products or services you offer, industries you service and much more. This extra detail is extremely important when it comes to ranking your brand and will provide customers with more information to make an informed buying decision. The best part is that their tool only costs you $20 per month for each business you want to create citations for.
There are a variety of factors that affect your local rankings but citations can have a large impact on your business when done correctly and it does not take up much of your time. By using a listing management tool you are able to take 30 minutes to set everything up and then let them do all the work for you. Not only will you see an increase in customers but also in the ranks.
How to Setup a Google My Business Listing
3. Type in the following business information
4. Once you click submit Google will notify that in order to verify the listing you will receive a postcard to your business location within 2 weeks with a code. Once you receive the postcard you will have to go back to your Google My Business listing and enter in the code to be officially verified.
5. Once you have an account you can view your GMB easily by clicking on the square to the left of your google icon and click on the blue business icon.
6. Once you have a verified GMB we recommend adding as much business information as possible to increase the value. Some of the best things to add include
Welcome to the blog of Roger Bryan. Keep up to date with the latest trends in Data Driven Marketing, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and the occasional book review!
SEO Consultant Roger Bryan
775 Elm Ridge Ave
Canal Fulton, OH 44614