Local citation management is a vital part of a small business’ online presence and SEO ranking. But what are citations? Simply put, citations are mentions of your business name and address on websites other than your own—regardless of whether there’s a link back to your site. For example, this includes if your business is listed on the online yellow pages, the local chamber of commerce site, or a local community website.
The ranking algorithms in search engines like Google consider the number of citations a business has—and, as with most things, the more the better. This is where local citation management becomes essential to small businesses. Ensuring your company is listed on as many local sites as possible can radically improve your business’s online ranking. In service-based niches where not all companies have websites, search engines are able to find, categorize, and confirm businesses in a local area search, all based on the available local citations.
Benefits of Local Citation Management
- Confirmation – Citations confirm your business’ validity to search engines. Essentially, citations are roadmaps back to your business and prove that you provide services/products of value to online users.
- Local Community – Citations prove you’re local, which improves your rankings for local searches and, once again, validates your business.
- Consistency – With staffing turnover rates (and changes in email addresses), outside citations listing your company contact information helps prove to search engines that you are a company and that your presence is consistent and solid.
Local Citation Management Tips
- Spread the Word – Put your company name in every local directory you can and talk to your local Chamber of Commerce. Once you’ve done this, consider all other potential avenues of valid citations: press releases (on your site and others), blog posts (your site), and guest blog posts (others). For example, you could submit a blog post to the local Chamber of Commerce on a topic that interests you regarding starting and building your own business.
- Track the Citations – It’s vital that information about your company is correct. Set up a Google alert so that any time your company is mentioned you’ll be able to review it for accuracy (and possibly link back to it from your own site as good PR).
If you would like the help of experts, contact us at Growth Squad and we will be glad to help.