How to Boost Your Business: The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Local Citations Sep42023

Categories: Digital Marketing
How to Boost Your Business: The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Local Citations

In our previous article about small business local citations , you learned what local citations are. Now, it’s time to discover how to get the most value from each of your local citations. While any valid local citation is better than nothing, there are simple steps you can take to ensure your local citations contribute the utmost to your search engine optimization.

SEO strategy is made up of many interconnected pieces that can all yield results. With four simple steps, you can be confident your local citations will boost your rankings in relevant searches and help you connect with more customers. Let’s take a closer look at optimizing local citations:

1. Conduct a Citation Audit

A citation audit helps you identify errors, inconsistencies, and missing information in your existing citations so they’ll be more attractive both to search engines and your readers. To correct information, you’ll often need to contact the writer or webmaster of the relevant local website directly.

Although citation audits require some outreach, that doesn’t mean it’s all manual work. You can use a variety of tools that will flag common local citation errors. These include solutions like BrightLocal, Whitespark, and Moz Local. Some of these provide a free trial period sufficient to conduct a citation audit.

2. Create and Claim Your Listings

Many services, including Google itself, create local business directory entries by scanning websites for relevant information. With the advent of AI that produces content automatically, even more local directories are sure to open. You maximize the SEO impact of these listings by claiming them, allowing you to update them yourself.

While some directories are automated, others require you to log in and set up your listing manually. Check out Google My Business (also known as Google Business Profile), Yelp, Facebook, Bing Places, and Yellow Pages. Be sure to provide accurate and consistent details including business name, address, phone number, and website.

Some local directories require you to verify your address by inputting a code you will receive by postal mail. With that in mind, the sooner you sign up to claim your directory listing, the better. After you update your listing, it may still take a number of weeks (up to a month) before it affects your search engine optimization.

3. Optimize Your Listings

Optimizing your local listings helps them get more attention from your leads and customers.

Add high quality photos, videos, and descriptions that accurately represent your business. Include the search keywords future customers use in a natural way where possible. Encourage visitors to leave reviews – the more reviews you get, the better! Respond promptly to negative reviews and keep your listings up to date.

Visual content, like photos, is compelling when customers are choosing between two similar local businesses. Videos are another great way to capture your unique value and may help you appear higher in search results.

4. Build Citations from Local Websites

On top of major directories and review sites, don’t overlook smaller local websites that have an outsized impact among consumers in your area. These include local newspapers, blogs, chambers of commerce, and other niche platforms locals trust. Building these citations strengthens your relevance and authority in the community.

Local Citations Are Essential to Local Search Engine Optimization

Local citations play a significant role in improving local visibility, trust, and credibility. Follow the steps in this article and you can optimize your local citations and increase your chance of reaching those coveted top three “Map Pack” results. Remember to conduct a citation audit, claim your listings, optimize them, and build citations from local websites to maximize your online visibility and grow your business.


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