Read Time - 5 mins
Benefits Of Local Citations
So what are local citations, and how can they help your website and business? In short, they are references to your business in various places. The more times you have your business referenced in this way, the easier it will be to gain traffic and authority in your industry. Citation building is one of the first things our SEO agency does when starting any local SEO campaign.
What Is NAP?
Before we discuss citations and how they help your business, we'll first explain what NAP is. NAP is an acronym for name, address, and phone number. Google will keep track of each time your company's NAP is referenced on the web. Everywhere your NAP is listed online will be evaluated by Google. The more often it differs from how it is described in your GMB, the more you will lose credibility in Google's eyes. A trustworthy and established business is always great about providing quality, relevant, and up-to-date information regarding their business. So the more often you have outdated or incorrect information pointing back to your business Google will be less likely to trust, rank, and promote your website/business. Just like with keywords in SEO, it's important to have an exact match for each reference of your NAP.
What is a NAP citation, and why is it important? NAP citations are references on the internet of your business name, address, and phone number. If you hope to increase your chances of showing up in front of the most people possible, you must ensure each mention of your NAP is exactly the same. Not only that, but when potential customers find your NAP, you want them to find accurate information so they can contact you! NAP management is one of the first things any SEO will do for these reasons.
Once you have optimized your NAP citations, you improve your chances of getting clients on hundreds of other websites and legitimize your business in the eyes of Google. Legitimacy in this way can help speed up the process of Google determining that you are an authority in your industry - meaning they will start promoting your content to more and more people.
What Is A Local Citation?
A local citation is any mention of your NAP on a local website. Citations are usually text-based, not links. A backlink would be a mention of your website that also links to your website. However, citations are text-based mentions without a link of any kind. The website you get a citation from can be anything from the BBB, Yelp, business directories, lists, etc. Building these up is one of the vital first steps in any SEO campaign. You'll also want to check the reviews your citations receive on places like Yelp because responding to reviews like this is also great for SEO.
Why Are Local Citations Important?
Citations are important because they get your business name and message in front of thousands of potential customers each month. Putting your NAP on 30-100 local places will cause whatever traffic they receive to trickle down to your business. There are many benefits to having them in terms of SEO - but these benefits aside - just the exposure alone is a huge benefit.
Citations are business cards you leave behind at various trustworthy places that potential customers are sure to find.
Why Are Local Citations Important For SEO?
Local citations are important for SEO for several reasons. This is an excellent way to increase the traffic your website receives. You can get more traffic and customers from your as well if you have a great message, photos, and updated NAP. Not only can you get more traffic, but you'll also make it a lot easier to rank and dominate your local area online. If you have a lot of local citations, and each one is accurate and identical, Google will make it easier for you to show up to your local audience. These citations are amazing to have especially if you have any intention of creating any type of landing page or pillar page, because your increased authority will bring more traffic to them.
Citation building is the process of submitting your NAP to various relevant and local places in order to gain exposure and authority in your industry. Generally businesses have an SEO consultant take care of this for them. However, business owners can easily do this in their spare time and without knowing anything related to SEO. All you need is an internet connection and the ability to Google & find websites similar to Yelp, BBB, Hotfrog, etc.
How Many Local Citations Is Good?
There isn't a limit to the number of citations you should have. You want to have - at least - 50+. While it might sound like a high number, you can easily acquire 50+ within a few weeks. If you added a few each day, you could easily hit this number in less than a month. However, the more, the merrier, so you don't want to stop at just 50. 50 is the bare minimum. Ideally, you are always building local citations and will eventually hit 100-200+ as time goes on. Eventually, you will run out of local places, and you will move into statewide and national resources as well.
Local Citation Services
While you won't find any agencies offering local citation services alone, you can expect that any SEO agency worth its salt will offer this service in addition to an SEO campaign. If the SEO you're talking to doesn't know what NAP is, or what local citations are, run! It's a given that your SEO expert will handle local citation building, but asking them about citations is a great way to learn about their process and how citations fit into their process.
Include Your NAP On Your Website
Now, you don't want to include your Nap in a bad way. Don't make it awkward. It's important to have your NAP on your contact page at least, just so Google can more easily pick up on the relevance. However, you don't ever want to include this info on your website at the cost of the quality of your copy. The location, and display of your NAP matters. You generally want to make it very clearly separated from the rest of the copy on your website, but done so in a way that it's easily read and understood by your users. More important than just including this information on your website however is making sure you have quality copy, and we have an article walking you through exactly how to do that!
Hopefully this article answered any questions you have regarding citations and how they help businesses grow. If you feel we missed anything, or have any additional questions, we'd love to hear from you! Feel free to email us, message us on our contact us page, or book a call with us.