Local Citations Building - Complete Easy Guide
Citation management for local businesses is one of the main components of local optimization and SEO and can be a good foundation for local businesses starting out in local SEO.
This comprehensive guide will show you how acquiring, creating, and managing online business directories and citations should work correctly. You will also most likely bookmark this resource for future reference during your adventure in building citations for your business.
What is a Local Citation?
Let's start at the beginning and explain what's behind the phrase 'local citation.' A local citation means publishing information about a particular business on other websites and industry directories.
It can take many different forms. Citations for a company may include the business name, phone number, or zip code combination. Sometimes they also have website URLs, opening hours, a brief description of the company, and other essential information about the business.
Building local citations is critical if you want to improve the visibility of your business' local searches within a certain radius and area around it.
What is building local citations?
Building local citations consist of creating a list of the most popular and relevant directories and websites for your company and industry. You can publish information about your company, and your competitors have already done it. Then you prepare the company's data and try to post information about it on as many of these sites as possible.
How do I build citations for my business?
Despite appearances, it is not as difficult as it seems. With the help of the following tutorial, I am sure that you will learn how to do it easily, quickly, and effectively. If you are ready to learn how to build local citations right away, let's get started!
Prepare basic information about your business
First, to streamline the whole process, write down all your business data in one place on your computer (later, I will tell you which one). Why?
To build local citations quickly and make sure your data is consistent, you should have it written down where you can soon go back to, copy the data, and continue creating your business listing in the local directory.
Be sure to prepare:
- Company Name. (As it appears in your company profile on Google and your website)
- Main category
- Phone number
- Website address
- Opening hours
- Brief description of the company
We can move on to step number two with these details written down.
Prepare a list of directories in which you will publish your company
At this stage, you need to prepare a list of websites, directories, and other data aggregators on which you will start building local citations for your company in Google.
To do this, you should first and foremost go through all of your biggest competitors and find common, strong, and topical sites and directories where they are listed. It's going to be the perfect starting point for you.
To avoid wasting time, you can use dedicated tools for this. One of them is Surfer Local, whose feature of auditing your business profile on Google is to create a list of local business directories where your business should appear.
Manually you'll be doing this for a minimum of a day. The tool will do this analysis for you several times a month in seconds.
Learn more about the business local citations feature in Surfer Local.
Publish your business in these local business directories
Ok, now that you have your business data and found a list of local directories, it's time to start building local SEO citations for your business.
The process is very simple. Visit each site you have on your list. Then, try to list your business there with as much information as possible. Sometimes it will be just the title, and sometimes the title or address and phone number. Sometimes you will publish a lot of business information.
Remember, the information about your company should be consistent with each other in every business directory and on every page—the same name, category, opening hours, and so on.
Local citations and consistency
If you've read the content above, you probably know the importance of consistency in your structured citations. Posting accurate ones in local search engines is essential to ensure you correctly post your directories' profiles.
Regarding local search rankings and potential negative effects, improperly created local business listings can significantly impact rankings.
When will my company listing show up in the directory?
If you've already made one or more local citations, they probably won't show up on those pages right away, and Google won't notice them either.
At first, they have to be verified by the administrators of the given site, and then the company's entry will be published.
Then, you have to wait about one month for Google to find the entry and index it (store it in its system).
From this point on, the entry starts to affect your business, popularity, and visibility positively. Still, it may take another few weeks or months before you start getting maximum value from it.
Why are local citations important for (local) SEO?
Local citations are one of the most critical ranking factors that Google talks about, based on the ranking and visibility of local businesses in a specific area (per publicity/popularity of the business).
In a nutshell, the way it works is that the more often your business is mentioned on other sites, the more visible it becomes on Google.
How do I track whether citations are improving my business visibility and ranking?
Like all local business owners, you want to know if your actions are having the desired effect and impacting the ranking and visibility of your business in Google's local search results. Most likely, you also want to check to see if you've already outperformed your competitors and left them far behind in the local rankings.
Manually checking the visibility of your business can be cumbersome, so it may be ideal for you to invest a small amount in automatic monitoring of local rankings and visibility of your business profile on Google.
Building local citations is not so challenging, but definitely crucial for promoting your business online. It is one of the most effective tactics for doing marketing for small business smartly. Remember to make sure your business information is consistent across all industry directories.
Ensuring it will help you take your business to the top in Google's local search results. Don't forget to optimize your business profile on Google and your website. Building local citations is one part of the overall strategy.