Why citation building is key for local SEO

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SEO written in colorful letters

If you’re active on forums, you know that there’s a lot of talk about citations. People are asking how relevant these are and if they help your SEO at all. And if you want a simple answer, it’s yes. You can go as far as to say that these are vital for anyone who wants to dominate the local searches. So, today, we’re looking at why citation building is key for local SEO.

In essence, high-quality citations make your website more visible. That’s how things are and how they always have been. And this can be of great help to businesses that work locally.

For instance, if you have a moving company, the more people know about you in the city you’re from, the more work you’ll have. People know that technology makes relocation easier, so they use it. They’ll research the web and take their pick according to what they read there. And if your name pops up everywhere they look, you can be sure that they’ll call you.

So, we’ve learned that building citations can cost you nothing and that it can be of great help to your business. However, we still don’t know what these are, so let’s dive right into that.

What are citations?

In general, any mention of a business online is a citation. Most commonly, it’s the basic information about the business. We’re talking about things like name, address, phone number, and website. And there are many platforms for local listings. Here are some of the most famous among them:

  • Search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo)
  • Maps services (Google Maps, Apple Maps)
  • Local business directories
  • Social media
  • Review sites
A person trying to find out why citation building is key for local SEO on Google.
If you don’t know where to list your citations, start with Google.

Why are these so important?

As we already mentioned, if you want people to find you online, you need citations. Without them, it’s not going to happen. And when it comes to local searches, it’s all about your NAP information (name, address, phone) and whether it is correct. However, simply correct information might not be enough. It has to be consistent as well.

You see, search engines like Google use consistent data to determine if a business is legitimate or not. If your info isn’t the same on every platform, search engines will get confused. They won’t know which information to display in search results, so they’ll show none. The bad thing about this is that even if someone searches for your brand, a competitor with a similar name might outrank you.

Incorrect listings can only harm you. Your user experience will get worse, and your customers will lose their trust in your brand. And if they start posting negative reviews, it’s all downhill from there. On the other hand, precise and relevant citations can boost you quite a bit. So, if you pair up with AZ Citation Services or a similar business, you’ll build both online presence and reputation. It’s an investment that will certainly pay off.

What does this mean for local search visibility?

It goes without saying that a citation won’t work if it’s isolated. The information needs to flow between different search engines, directories, review sites, and maps applications. So, you can get new citations when directories partner with other sources. However, this creates more work for you. Not only do you need to claim and submit to directories, but you also have to monitor and maintain what they have about you.

Therefore, audits are part of a standard procedure, and you need to do them. Luckily, it’s clear what you want to achieve with these. You want to find duplicate listings, update the existing ones, and highlight any new citations. This may sound easy, but you can make a mess if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can learn a lot about the process from our article about common link audit mistakes and how to fix them.

A person looking for a store on Google maps.
With good citations, you’ll pop up in Google Maps, and that’s a good enough reason why citation building is key for local SEO.

You need to maintain your citations

It goes without saying that a citation won’t work if it’s isolated. The information needs to flow between different search engines, directories, review sites, and maps applications. So, you can get new citations when directories partner with other sources. However, this creates more work for you. Not only do you need to claim and submit to directories, but you also have to monitor and maintain what they have about you.

Therefore, audits are part of a standard procedure, and you need to do them. Luckily, it’s clear what you want to achieve with these. You want to find duplicate listings, update the existing ones, and highlight any new citations. This may sound easy, but you can make a mess if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can learn a lot about the process from our article about common link audit mistakes and how to fix them.

No one has time for manual citation building

If you have multiple locations across multiple citations, you’ll have a tough time trying to manage them all. This quickly turns into a big job, and the worst thing about it is that you can easily make an error. Let us explain what we’re on about.

Let’s say it takes you five minutes to update the opening hours of one store in one directory. On average, successful businesses are present in about 35 directories. If that’s the case with your business, you’ll need about three hours to update all of them. That’s already a lot of your time. However, if you have 50 stores, you’ll need four weeks just to change opening hours. And no one has to spare that kind of time.

To battle this issue, you have two paths you can follow. You can either outsource citation maintenance or automate it. This way, you’re clearing your time up, and you’re eliminating the possibility of human error. So, trying to fix things manually is one of the things not to do when your Google ranking drops. All the chances are that you have lots of other things to think about.

Woman stressing out in front of her laptop.
Don’t try to build citations manually by yourself.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many reasons why citation building is key for local SEO. However, there’s a lot more to the local search marketing puzzle, and you won’t get far without working on all of them. But when it comes to citations, you know everything you need to. Now you can buckle up, get some help, and become the strongest competitor in your niche.

 



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