For a local business looking to build their reputation and find new customers, citations are a key component. Mentions of a business across relevant sites offer a number of benefits, but few of these benefits are usually considered in the process of gaining citations.
So what are the main benefits?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Citations are an important factor in ranking a local site. For a successful SEO campaign, it is important to get backlinks from sites with authority and relevance. Top directories, news sites, and local blogs can offer these elements, providing a solid backlink profile. Citations won’t be enough in competitive niches, but they can be included alongside on-site optimization, reviews, and social media. A combination of local knowledge, research, and using a website & marketing company like ourselves, can help you uncover numerous citation opportunities.
The Website’s Traffic
Most local businesses build citations for SEO, but there’s more to it than that. While gaining some quick and easy backlinks is a good first step, there is also plenty of opportunity to drive traffic to your site. Quality directory sites, for example, have a lot of visitors, so you can funnel these people to your site by creating a complete listing. Add images and videos, complete the bio details, and encourage people to click over to your page with incentives.
In 2018, Just as in the offline world, building your brand is super important online. It is far easier to drive traffic and find customers when people are already aware of your brand. When you create citations, visitors to industry sites will see your business name and logo. These sites often appear in the search engines for relevant terms, so you benefit from good branding without needing to promote each platform yourself.
Reviews are helpful for SEO and encouraging potential customers to take the next step. Unfortunately, gaining reviews can sometimes be a tricky process. Building citations can help the review process, though, making it easier for your customers to offer their thoughts on the platform of their choice. Your customers might have active accounts registered on popular sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, so they will be more likely to add a review without too much prompting.
We’re soon going to be introducing a new Review Service, to help you connect with your clients and get actual reviews from them in one beautiful and smooth experience. For an early bird demo – contact us.
Relying on SEO for your traffic can be risky. Algorithm changes, strong competition, or negative linking campaigns could potentially lead to a drop in traffic. Building quality citations can help minimize this risk, though, with a number of platforms ranking across a range of keywords. If you encounter any problems, you already have a selection of completed profiles to focus on. You may need to pay a fee to have your profile given a priority position, but it will ensure your traffic does not dry up.
Citations should provide one aspect of an overall local business campaign. Citations alone won’t be enough to maximize traffic and sales, but it is possible to make an impact in the less competitive markets. There are numerous potential opportunities for citation building, but it is important to stick to the platforms that are relevant to your space and are authoritative.
Have you ever run a citations check? Check out our post where we discuss the details, and how to do this here.
When you avoid thinking of citation building as a means to rank in the search engines, you can focus on all the benefits they can provide to a business.