How to Unlock the Power of Local Citations: FAQs for Small Businesses Oct32023
Welcome to the final installment in our three-part series on local citations. In this article, you can review the top Frequently Asked Questions about local citations. Our local citation FAQ is designed to help small business owners like you understand local citations and turn them into real business value fast.
“What are local citations?”
Local citations are online references to your company’s name, address, and phone number on other websites, especially websites that are regularly used and trusted by people in your community. You might see this info referred to as “(NAP)” (Name, Address, Phone) for short.
“Why are local citations important?”
Local citations are vital for boosting your company’s online visibility, local SEO, and trust and credibility with your potential customers. Search engines like Google and Bing use local citations as part of their calculations deciding which businesses are highlighted when a user searches for a business “near me.”
These “near me” searches are usually made when a prospective customer is ready to make a purchase that day. The more local citations you have, and the higher quality they are, the more likely you are to reach the highly visible “Map Pack” results that occupy the top three positions of the search page.
“What are some examples of local citations?”
Some of the most popular local citations are found in business directories like Google My Business (also called Google Business Profile), Yelp, Bing Places, Yellow Pages, and Facebook. While some of these websites create a business directory entry for you automatically, you’ll need to sign up to claim it and update it yourself.
Other local citations take some work to find, but they are worth the effort. These come from local organizations and publications including local newspapers, neighborhood blogs, and chambers of commerce. They have high local SEO impact because real people read them to make buying decisions every single day.
“How can I conduct a citation audit?”
Tools like Moz Local, BrightLocal, and Whitespark can scan references to your business across the Web and give you a detailed report including likely inconsistencies or inaccuracies for you to follow up on. Many of these offer a free trial so you can conduct your first local citation audit at no cost. They’ll also help uncover contact details for each citation so you can get problems corrected.
“How often should I update my local citations?”
Keeping local citations up to date ensures they’ll provide a positive SEO impact. Citations that are incorrect or lead customers to the wrong place may harm your business. We recommend checking citations at least once a year or any time there are significant changes to your business information the public should know about.
Local citations are important, but small business owners already wear many hats. Want to stay focused on what you do best while still reaping the SEO benefits of great local citations? We can help. Contact us today to learn more about done-for-your local citation SEO and find out whether it’s right for you.