Competition is fierce out there and standing out in the crowd is no easy task. Instead of marketing your business on a large scale, why not consider focusing your efforts locally? When it comes to driving traffic to your website via search engines, local SEO citations are a great way to go about ranking your website successfully in local searches.
What are local SEO citations?
Citations are any acknowledgement of your business throughout the internet. Whether these mentions include a link to your website or not, simply does not matter. Typically, complete citations include the following information:
- Company name
- Phone Number
If you include the above information in your citation, that form of a citation is referred to by the acronym, "NAP." You can also include a link to your website which is known as a "NAP+W."
Sometimes businesses prefer to use partial citations. These can include just the company name itself, the company name and phone number, or even just the phone number. Regardless of which format you wish to use, the key is to keep your citations consistent. The way in which you format the citation on your website should match your citations throughout the web. If you include "Road" in your citation, be sure to avoid using "Rd." in future citations.
Why are citations important to local SEO?
Local SEO citations are one of the most important factors that come into play when ranking a website locally. Search Engine Watch has even gone on to say that local SEO citations are the new link building. This is completely understandable and here's why: using link building to gain the popularity and ranking of a website became saturated with spam techniques. Citations are far more credible than links as you are held accountable by using your company name, address and/or phone number.
When it comes to establishing a solid foundation for your local SEO campaign, citations are certainly equal to, if not more important than link building.
How do you get local SEO citations?
- First off, you want to make sure you have established a format in which you would like to present your citations. Whether it be a full citation or a partial citation is entirely up to you. Pick the format that you like and remain consistent.
- Enter your information into directories such as, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, Urban Spoon, Insider Pages, etc.
- Locate where your competitors are listing by doing a Google search of their business name and phone number in quotations. List your business where your competitors are listing theirs.
- Complete your contact information (again, keeping the same format) on all of your social networking profiles.
Remember, a citation can be anywhere you list your company info - even when guest posting on another blog!
Link building is definitely becoming more challenging and less significant as time goes on. It should always play a role, but other factors such as local SEO citations are gaining ground and can make or break your website rankings for local searches.