As the owner of a small business, you’re continually looking for ways to get more customers through your door. You know that the Internet needs to be a part of your marketing strategy, so you’re learning about things like social media marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) and how they can help you attract more people to your website and grow your business.
But how does it all work? Where should you focus your efforts and resources to get the most bang for your buck? One of the most important things you can do to improve your search rankings and get more web traffic is to get more local citations out there online.
What Are Local Citations?
To rank well in local search, you want to make sure that your company has many citations all over the web and that those citations send consistent signals to search engines regarding your contact info, particularly your business name, address and phone number (NAP).
If you still have old phone numbers and old addresses floating around online, those old, inaccurate citations are going to dilute your NAP, and that’s going to hurt your rankings in local search. So it’s important to periodically check out your business listings on various platforms and business directories and keep everything updated.
1. Citations Are A Major Ranking Factor In Local SEO
Google and other search engines consider many factors when ranking different websites and web pages in their search results for various terms and keywords. Some of these factors are more important for SEO as a whole, but when it comes to local SEO and ranking for search terms particular to your geographical location, these citations are extremely important, because they bring you targeted web traffic.
Many SEO tactics can bring traffic to your website, but many of those visitors will never become customers because they don’t live anywhere near your physical location. That’s where these citations come in and help you get on the radar when local people are searching for the kinds of goods and services that your company sells.
2. Accurate Citations Help Customers Find You
But this is not only for SEO purposes, though. Keeping your citations updated helps you when it comes to real customers searching for your business. As a consumer, it’s very frustrating to drive around looking for a local business location that you found on Yelp, for instance, only to find that the listing in inaccurate. That’s not only a lost sale, but it might be a lost customer for life. That person is not someone else’s customer – all because of an inaccurate citation that got overlooked.
3. More Citations Builds Brand Awareness And Reputation
Think of every NAP as a fishing line out in the water. If you’ve ever tried fishing with multiple fishing poles, then you know that the more lines you have out in the water, the more fish you are likely to catch.
It’s the same way with promoting your business on the Internet. You want people to see your business name and location mentioned as often as possible, even if there aren’t any links to go with those citations. Just being out there makes a difference, because people are seeing your business and that increases awareness of your brand. It might not lead to immediate sales, but people in your community are noticing and are subconsciously logging your info away in their brains for a later date.
4. Some Local Businesses Thrive On Citations Alone
Believe it or not, there are still tons of small, local businesses out there that don’t even have websites, so for them, local citations are just about the only presence they have on the Internet outside of their social media profiles – which should also contain their NAP info, by the way.
There are two interesting movements at work here. On the one hand, more and more local businesses are setting up websites to establish their online presence, and that’s definitely a good thing. That helps their businesses tremendously. But there’s another trend in the opposite direction too: many platforms – particularly smartphone apps – are popping up that might someday make websites unnecessary for some types of businesses. But that is still quite a way off.
With over 15 years of marketing experience I have helped over 1,000 businesses amplify their customer base. I have spent the man hours to make sure every one of my clients have had a positive experience. I take the time to sit and get to know every company I work with on a personal level. I started this company to put qualified leads in front of the companies who are looking for them. The Website Marketing Company headquarters in Orlando, FL. 32803 services clients across the country.
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