There are many SEO ranking factors out there, and they go beyond domain authority and optimized content. It’s not always about you. Sometimes, it’s also about how others talk about you. This is where citations come in – a ranking factor that is especially important at the local level.
Thankfully, there are a lot of companies that offer local citation services. Here’s everything you need to know about them.
Table of contents
- What is a local citation?
- Why are local citations important for local SEO?
- Who are the top local citation services companies?
- How do you choose local citation services companies?
- Can you do local citations yourself?
- What are the top citation sources you should look into?
- Why is it important to monitor and update citations?
What is a local citation?
First things first – what exactly is a local citation?
A local citation is a listing or mention of your company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) anywhere online. You can get local citations in any digital space. You can get them from websites such as blogs and directories like Google My Business. And you can also get them from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
There are two types of local citations, structured and unstructured:
- Structured citations – These are more formal citations that come in the form of listings in directories. The most popular directories include Foursquare, Superpages, Yellow Pages, and Yelp.
- Unstructured citations – These are more informal mentions of your business in any space online that is not a dedicated directory. Mentions in blogs, social media platforms, news sites, and websites are considered unstructured citations.
Local citations can go beyond NAP. They can also include directions to your office, images, links to your social media profiles, operating hours, and even reviews and testimonials.
Why are local citations important for local SEO?
Local citations have one ultimate goal – making sure that the online world, including potential customers and search engines, properly know your business. They should know your business name, where you operate, how to contact you – and everything else they need to know.
This is where local citation services come in. Digital marketing companies that offer local citation services can build structured and unstructured citations for you. They can also help clean up citation errors, such as duplicate listings and wrong information.
Here are the core reasons why building local citations are crucial:
- Local citations tell search engines that you are relevant. SEO, especially on the local level, is not just about optimizing your website and content. It’s also about the online clout you are getting elsewhere. When Google crawls the web and finds you have a lot of listings in directories and mentions in websites and social media platforms, it will view your business in a good light. This can help with your rankings. But take note that local citations are not the magic bullets that will take you to the top of the SERP. They are just one of the many SEO ranking factors you should work on.
- They create brand awareness and help build a customer base. Many people use data aggregators and directories like Foursquare and Google Maps. In these spaces, they discover new businesses and find ones that interest them and seem competent. Many people also read blogs and social media posts for the same purpose. If you have structured and unstructured citations on digital spaces that matter, you are putting your business out there for real people to see, not just search engines.
- They let you ride with the popularity of directories. Structured citations are particularly important because both people and search engines look at the most popular directories with high regard. Look at Google Maps, for instance. When people search for a particular business and you appear in the Google Maps Pack, the people will automatically assume that you are the most competent and relevant to their search query, giving them a higher chance to turn into your paying customers. Take advantage of the authority directories bring by creating a business listing in them.
Who are the top local citation services companies?
Building and managing local citations can be a daunting task. You are not just writing listings in directories and mentions in blogs. You are also tracking all local citations and looking for errors. Thankfully, you don’t have to do all these yourself. There are digital marketing companies out there that have local citation services. Here are the top ones you should consider.
Marketer’s Center is a white label digital marketing company. They have a lot of local SEO services, including white label GMB optimization, and of course, local citations. They practically have a complete local citation service – going from the most authoritative and general citations to the most location and niche-specific ones. Here are the specifics:
- Marketer’s Center can focus on authoritative citations to get you started. In their Big Citations service, Marketer’s Center focuses on the most important citations to jumpstart your citation building. They submit to big data aggregators like Acxiom and Infogroup and to the best business listing sites like Foursquare. If you don’t have a lot of citations built up, this is the perfect service to try.
- They can then niche down with industry and city-specific citations. You shouldn’t settle for only the most authoritative citations. You should not overlook niche and location-specific listings and mentions. And this is where their Hyper-Local Citation service comes into play.
- They can remove duplicate and inconsistent citations. Citation building is all about consistency. After all, you want to share the same business information with everybody online. This is why it’s very important to remove duplicate citations and citations with inconsistent or just flat-out wrong information about your business. Marketer’s Center’s Citation Clean Up service is the perfect service to get these done.
Marketer’s Center is located at 4010 Foothills Blvd #103 Roseville, CA with the phone number 310-627-2486.
Moz is one of the most well-known SEO companies out there. The best thing about this company is that they have the infrastructure to make everything easier for their clients. With their tools, they can analyze domains, track rankings, and even run high-impact SEO campaigns. Of course, their local citation services are not left behind. Here are the details of their services:
- Moz Local can keep your listings consistent throughout the web. Moz Local’s local SEO and reputation management tool can sync all your listings with ease, including those in data aggregators, online directories, and social media platforms. You can do all these in the comfort of their tool’s dashboard.
- They can optimize your profiles. The listings for you are also top-tier. This is thanks to the fact that Moz just knows what makes listings effective. They include relevant business information and images to all your listings to make sure they are optimized. And they also have an automated process to remove duplicate listings that may confuse everyone online.
- They have insights and reporting features. The company also has reporting tools to give you insights on what you can improve on. They can understand the parts of your profiles and listings that need to be worked on for better optimization and effectiveness. This is very helpful because, in all digital marketing campaigns, adaptability is important. Change everything you need to change now with Moz Local’s powerful tools.
Moz is located at 1752 NW Market Street #4073 Seattle, WA with the phone number 206-602-2005.
Direction is an award-winning SEO firm. And like Moz, they have their own infrastructure to help clients with their local SEO needs. They have one mission – to have millions of US businesses using their software. Here’s everything you need to know about Direction Local and their cutting-edge local SEO software:
- Direction Local can create business profiles with a few clicks. Going around the web and manually creating listings can be a daunting task. But with Direct Local’s tools, you can create business profiles on the biggest search networks that are being used by US customers, such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo!
- They give you the capability to manage and optimize listings with ease. They have incredible integration with Google Business Profile. This means you can optimize your listings for Google Maps, Local Search, and Voice Search. With their tools, you can also manage and push updates in your listings and even reply to customer feedback.
- They have a publishing suite you can use. Being active in your business listings and social media profiles is important. This shows that you care about your online presence and customers. Thankfully, Direction Local has the infrastructure to make it easy to share events, news, and special offers with your customers. Keep your customers engaged with Direction Local’s publishing suite.
Direction is located at 4005 Guadalupe St Suite B Austin, TX with the phone number 866-519-3169.
BrightLocal is run by bright local SEO experts around the world. They have experts from the US, the UK, Ukraine, and the Philippines. They pride themselves on accomplishing 72,000 submissions and 2,000 campaigns for their customers every month. Here are details of their gargantuan endeavors:
- BrightLocal has a one-stop shop to create and fix listings. BrightLocal has a Citation Builder that automatically scans the web for existing citations and new opportunities. Simply select citations and new opportunities you want to work on. And then the Citation Builder will send these to the company’s in-house local SEO experts to create and update them.
- They combine data aggregator and manual submissions. Data aggregators are great because they send your business information to hundreds of directories and mapping services. Manual submissions of listings are also great, especially if you have industry and location-specific needs. BrightLocal provides both. They can work on data aggregator submissions and manual submissions to broaden your local citation network.
- They can scale their process. BrightLocal is no stranger to big enterprises. They can work with clients with multiple locations. For other local citation services companies, this can be overwhelming. But BrightLocal has the ability to scale. They will even give you a dedicated campaign manager to handle the intense workload. This is exactly what digital marketing companies need if they want to sell local SEO to clients at scale – and BrightLocal knows it.
BrightLocal is located at 2nd Floor, Blenheim House 120 Church Street Brighton BN1 1UD, UK with the phone number +44 1273 605027.
Synup is all about branding. And here’s the thing about branding – it’s not just about brand awareness. It’s also about brand consistency. This is where local citations become important. Your brand information should be consistent throughout the web. And Synup has everything you need for this. Here are the details of their listing services:
- Synup allows you to manage listings in one place for brand consistency. Do you want to manage your listings on Bing, Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, and other prominent online spaces? Synup is the answer. They have the platform to create and edit listings in one place. You can even optimize your listings for voice search.
- They get your team involved. With Synup, you can organize listings in folders and tags. This is especially helpful for enterprises with multiple locations. And you can also get your team involved by allowing and restricting access across locations for your employees. You can give broad access to brand executives and limited access to rank-and-files, for instance.
- Their analytics comes with a revenue calculator. Like other dashboards, Synup’s come with insights and reporting systems. But what separates them from the others is their revenue calculator. With this feature, you can directly monitor the impact of your business profiles. And you will be able to do more data-driven decisions.
Synup is located at 101 AvenueofAmericas, Floors 8 and 9 New York, NY with the phone number 844-228-2852.
Whitespark is run by local SEO specialists and software builders. You may be thinking that they completely rely on automation and software for your local SEO needs. But this simply isn’t the case. They have a manual approach for their citation building and cleanup.
- Whitespark manually lists you on the most important sites. As software builders, Whitespark understands that automated systems are not perfect. They may miss duplicates, inconsistencies, and wrong information about your business across the web. This is why they create, optimize, and clean up your local citation portfolio manually with their in-house experts. They also white label their services. If you need to manage a local client base and deliver good results at the same time, Whitespark will be the best option for you.
- Their local citation services cost less compared to others. Because other companies have their own platforms, they can cost more, primarily because of recurring fees. This is another advantage of Whitespark’s manual approach. They believe you shouldn’t be paying annually for listings that are just, you know, just there.
- They let you actually own your listings. Another problem with the platforms of others is that they basically own your listings. Your listings are essentially tied to these platforms, and this is part of the reason why they have recurring fees. With Whitespark, you can actually own your listings because they are not tied to a platform.
Whitespark is located at Edmonton, AB, Canada with the phone number 855-406-6050.
Yext has one of the most powerful tools for digital marketing solutions – the Answers Platform. Basically, Yext tries to answer all the questions everybody online has for your business. These questions, of course, include basic business information like NAP and multimedia like logos and photos. And this is where Yext’s Location Listings services come in. Here are the details you need to know:
- Yext has deep integrations with search platforms. If Whitespark likes the manual approach, then Yext is the exact opposite. With Yext’s infrastructure, you can create and update listings with a single login. You don’t need to manually go to directories to manage your listings. Yext’s platform is directly integrated with the most important search platforms across various industries, such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Maps, Google Maps, and even Waze.
- They allow you to answer questions about your business with ease. The company is really serious about the questions-answers thing associated with their Answers Platform. With their tools, you can easily manage the questions of your customers in all your profiles. You can even include pre-answered FAQs.
- They are experts in particular industries. If you are in the financial, food, and healthcare industries, you may want to find local citation services companies that specifically work in these areas. They have better know-how compared to others who have a more generalist approach. Thankfully, the team behind Yext are experts in these industries, among others like hospitality, retail, and even tech.
Yext is located at 61 Ninth Avenue New York, NY with the phone number 212-994-3900.
Outpace SEO is an SEO agency that offers both on-page and off-page solutions. One of their off-page solutions is, of course, local citations. As a company, Outpace SEO outpaces the competition because of the fact that it is composed of computer scientists, programmers, and SEO professionals. They have a data-driven approach in everything, including their local citation services. Here are the relevant details you should know:
- Outpace SEO makes sure you have high-quality citations. Like the other local citation services companies in this list, Outpace SEO creates business listings and corrects inconsistent citations. But they have an edge over the others – they make sure you get listed in industry-specific directories and websites. These are the kinds of quality citations you should be looking for, and Outpace SEO has them for you.
- They have many SEO solutions you can try. The world of digital marketing and SEO is so much bigger than just local citations. The great thing about Outpace SEO is that they can be a one-stop shop for all your SEO needs. They have both on-page and off-page solutions, from content optimization and keyword research to link acquisition and reputation SEO.
- They serve a vast array of industries. This company also has a lot of experience in various industries. Some of the industries they have extensive knowledge of are e-commerce, SaaS, and tech. If you are in these spaces, go with Outpace SEO. They will be able to give you industry-specific listings.
Outpace SEO is located at 3000 Sunset Ln, Oklahoma City, OK with the phone number 405-544-0208.
How do you choose local citation services companies?
The local citation services companies above are all top-tier. And they are known even among their peers in the digital marketing world. However, you should not just randomly hire a local citation services company and call it a day. There are some things to consider to ensure that you are hiring the best ones that suit you. Here are the considerations:
- Determine goals and budgets first. Your digital marketing and local SEO strategy may require different methods to rank, get eyeballs, and convert. After all, there are so many SEO factors you should work on. You should determine first how local citations will play a part in your strategy. And then allocate the necessary budget for local citation services. With that said, you shouldn’t always go for the cheapest company out there. Sometimes, they are indirectly more expensive because of the damage they can do with their incompetence.
- Consider your industry and location. It’s not always about Apple Maps, Better Business Bureau, Bing Places, Facebook, Foursquare, Google My Business, Instagram, Nextdoor, and Yelp. It’s also about industry-specific and location-specific apps and directories. Some local citation services companies specialize in specific industries and locations. Consider those that fit yours perfectly.
- Read what their clients say. Results don’t always speak for themselves. Do your own research about the company you are eyeing. Take a look at their website. You may find case studies there. You may also find some featured reviews and testimonials there. And then take a look at their own listings, like their Google Business Profile. You will find some reviews there. You will also find how they write their own listings, which is useful to know when you are shopping for local citations.
Can you do local citations yourself?
You can rely on local citation services companies like Marketer’s Center for all your local citation needs. But you can also build local citations yourself if you want more control or if you don’t have the budget for them. Here are some quick tips:
- Set up the most impactful listings. Again, ride the popularity of directories. Make sure to claim your business and have a listing on the most popular directories out there, such as Foursquare, Google My Business, and Yelp. Do you know that ranking in Google Maps can actually help with organic rankings too? If you are trying to build local citations online by yourself, these popular platforms are the best places to start. They can jumpstart your campaign as they have the most clout around the web.
- Build unstructured citations by being newsworthy or submitting to editorials. Do you want people to talk about your business? Well, your business should be worth talking about. They may even dedicate an entire article if it’s that interesting. A recurring problem in digital marketing is that some people think they will automatically get online clout. But this is simply not the case. You have to work for it. Become newsworthy, and if possible, submit the news to editorials. They may feature your business if they find it interesting. This is basically how press release SEO works. And it works with local citations too.
- Do manual and automated citation management. Once you go beyond the most popular directories, things can get more complicated. This is especially true when it comes to local citation management. Thankfully, there are tools you can use to manually check and manage citations. You can even literally use Microsoft Excel to create a database of local citations and manage them from there. However, you will have an easier time with local citation services companies. Some of them have special tools to help you automate and manage everything easier.
What are the top citation sources you should look into?
Citations in general, not just local citations, are an important part of your digital marketing strategy. They improve SEO, especially on the local level. They increase your online visibility and build credibility and trust. And they can also be a competitive advantage, especially when your competitors don’t have citations from the top citation sources out there.
Here are the top citation sources you should look into. Make sure you get your business listed on these platforms for maximum competitiveness and SEO points.
Google My Business is one of the most powerful citation sources out there simply because it belongs to Google, the most popular search engine on the planet by far. If you have a Google My Business profile, you are more likely to appear on Google’s search engine results pages. Naturally, Google is more trusting of its own properties, so a Google My Business profile gives you a lot of plus points to the search engine. Here are some tips for your Google My Business profile:
- Claim and verify your Google My Business listing. You have to verify that you “own” the business. Once the listing has been verified, you will have absolute control over the information displayed on it. There are many ways to verify – emails, texts, phone calls, postcards, and even video calls.
- Fill out your listing and optimize. In your listing, you can add your business name, address, phone number, business hours, and business category. You can also put a link to your website, add images to make the profile more visually appealing, and showcase product and service reviews. You can optimize these details by adding keywords, especially locally relevant ones.
- Take advantage of other GMB features. The great thing about Google My Business is that it’s not just a stationary directory. It has features that can make your business stand out. For example, you can make posts about company updates, special offers and events, and product photos. There is also a section where you can receive reviews and answer to them. Make sure to utilize these features to maximize the GMB experience.
Facebook is a top citation source because it’s still one of the most popular social media platforms out there. It has an insanely wide audience reach, with billions of active users around the world. It can also act as a local directory as users try to look for businesses in their location. When you are getting local citation services, chances are, the company working on your local citations will create a Facebook account for you. Here are some things you can do:
- Create and optimize a Facebook page. Create a Facebook page if you don’t already have one. Like with GMB, fill it up with the appropriate details, such as your business name, address, phone number, business hours, and all that. And then optimize the page with an engaging business description and some relevant photos.
- Engage with your audience. Obviously, Facebook is not just a directory. There is so much more you can do to the platform other than just creating what is essentially a business profile. Write and share engaging content, such as industry news and product promotions. And don’t forget to respond to comments and inquiries.
- Try Facebook advertising. Local citations are good for visibility, but targeted advertising is even better. You do have to pay to keep it going, but it can be worth it because of the kind of leads it can give you. Facebook has a lot of information about their users. If you set up your ad campaigns correctly, you can reach the users that are most likely to convert.
3. Apple Maps
As one of the leading tech companies in the world, Apple has an incredibly huge user base. These users are basically “trapped” in the Apple ecosystem. And if you want to reach them, you have to be in the Apple ecosystem yourself. One way to do this is to get listed in Apple Maps, which is basically the Google Maps and Google My Business counterpart you should look into. Here are some quick tips:
- Create an Apple ID. You need to have an Apple ID account first before you can make and manage your Apple Maps listing. The registration is just like everywhere else – you put your name, email address, and other relevant details in the appropriate fields. Create a strong password. And agree to the terms and conditions.
- Claim your business and optimize your listing. Once you have an Apple ID with a verified email address, you can use it in Apple Maps Connect where you can search for your business and claim it. You can optimize your listing like on Google My Business. Put your business name, address, phone number, and other relevant details.
- Monitor and update your Apple Maps listing. It’s important to monitor and update your business listings to make sure they are displaying accurate information. But it’s especially important for your Apple Maps listing because it’s one of the few ways you can reach Apple users. You don’t want to lose leads by having the wrong information displayed on your listing.
4. Bing Places
Bing Places is a local business listing platform from Bing, another search engine giant. Like being in Google My Business, being in Bing Places gives you more leverage to its mother search engine. Getting listed in Bing Places gives you a higher chance of appearing in Bing local search results. Get started with Bing Places with these tips:
- Sign up and add your business information. Bing Places is a service from Microsoft. You will need a Microsoft account to access and manage your Bing Places listing. Thankfully, creating such an account is straightforward. And you can even create one directly on the Bing Places website. Once you have an account, use it to log in to Bing Places where you can finally enter your business information.
- Verify your business and optimize your listing. Microsoft may require you to verify your business to ensure that it is legitimate. Follow the instructions to complete the verification process. Usually, you can do the process through email, phone, and other accessible means. Once you are verified, you can now optimize your listing, the same way you have optimized your other listings.
- Keep your listing updated. There are many things you can do in Bing Places, such as communicating special offers to your audience, responding to reviews, and even monitoring analytics to optimize your Bing Places strategy even more. Improve your online presence in Microsoft properties using Bing Places today.
Yelp is a popular platform used by many people to find local businesses. If you have a presence in Yelp, you are increasing your chances of getting found in your locality. This is why Yelp is such a powerful source of local citations. The platform also has a comprehensive review system, which you can leverage to build your credibility and legitimacy as a business. Here are some Yelp tips you can try:
- Claim and optimize your listing. You know the drill. Like in the other citation sources, you need to claim and verify your business on Yelp. Once you are verified, you can now add relevant business information to your listing. And then optimize your listing even more by adding photos, website URLs, and even keywords in business descriptions.
- Engage with reviewers. Reviews are great for building credibility. But take note that Yelp discourages you from directly soliciting positive reviews. You can still encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your Yelp listing though. Always engage with your reviewers. Thank them for the positive reviews. And address concerns and issues that you see in negative reviews. Engaging with both positive and negative reviews shows that you care for your customers.
- Use Yelp badges and widgets. Yelp understands the power of reviews. And that’s why they have tools that allow businesses to showcase these reviews on their websites and other digital platforms. Badges and widgets are their tools of choice. With badges and widgets, you can have graphic elements and interactive elements that you can embed elsewhere to display your business’s overall Yelp rating, number of reviews, and even specific reviews.
Are you in the hospitality and travel industry? If you are, getting listed on TripAdvisor is a must. It’s one of the top citation sources because it’s a widely recognized platform to get information about attractions, hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality and travel-related businesses. You can attract highly targeted and relevant traffic with your TripAdvisor listing. As usual, you will have to claim your business and add your business information. Here are other things you can do to optimize your TripAdvisor profile:
- Leverage the power of visual appeal. In the hospitality and travel industry, visual appeal is particularly important. Make sure you include in your listing high-quality images of your business. You can include images of your amenities, products and services, and room to entice potential customers and improve the visual appeal of your listing.
- Use TripAdvisor’s widgets. Like Yelp, TripAdvisor has widgets you can use to display different TripAdvisor elements on your website and other digital platforms. There are many widgets to choose from to complement your strategy. There are award widgets to showcase the awards you have received on TripAdvisor. There are rating widgets to display your ratings, such as for cleanliness and service quality. And there are review widgets to highlight specific reviews.
- Try their advertising options. You can create, manage, and optimize ad campaigns on TripAdvisor to attract more customers and gain a competitive edge. There are a lot of advertising opportunities on the platform, such as business listing enhancements and sponsored placements.
Foursquare is great not just because of its large user base, but also because of how intuitive the platform is. It’s very mobile-friendly, which makes it an excellent tool for targeting users who are on the go and actively looking for businesses in their vicinity. This makes Foursquare crucial for your local citation building strategy. Claim your business now and optimize your listing. Here are more Foursquare tips:
- Encourage users to check-in on Foursquare. When customers visit your physical location, ask them to “check-in” on Foursquare, or at least incentivize them by offering special discounts and rewards. Check-ins are great for increased visibility and social proof. They also give the impression that the business is really being visited and is legitimate.
- Try Foursquare Swarm. Foursquare has a companion app called Swarm. It’s now actually more focused on check-ins and location sharing compared to the original Foursquare app. If you want to maximize check-ins, Swarm is the way to go. If you want to maximize location sharing, create and participate in Swarm challenges, wherein users will be encouraged to visit your business to participate in specific activities.
- Integrate Foursquare into your social media strategy. You can link Foursquare to your business’s social media profiles. This will make it easy to manage and share check-ins, specials, and tips on different social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This can help increase your brand’s visibility and build a strong brand online presence.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a non-profit organization that aims to provide information about businesses and charities. Getting listed in the BBB is not just great for building local citations. It’s also great for increasing your visibility and improving your credibility as a business. The organization can handle complaints about businesses. It also has a rating system. You can take advantage of these features to gain a competitive edge. Here are some things to take note of:
- Know the Better Business Bureau requirements for your local region. Getting listed to the BBB can be rigorous. You have to know the accreditation requirements, the application process, and fees for your local region. Compiling the requirements and meeting the accreditation standards can take some time, but getting listed in their directory will be worth it.
- Display the BBB-accredited business seal on your online properties. Once your business is accredited by the organization, you can display the BBB-accredited business seal on your online properties, such as your website and social media profiles. The seal will signify not just your company’s legitimacy, but also its commitment to ethical business practices.
- Encourage ratings and reviews and respond to complaints. Some of the best things about the BBB are their rating and review systems. Encourage customers to leave ratings and reviews to bolster your credibility. If there are complaints, respond to them in a timely and professional manner. Show your commitment to customer satisfaction.
9. Location and niche-specific directories
Generalist directories like Google My Business are important for your overall citation building campaign. But there are directories that are more specific to your location and your niche, potentially giving you more benefits. Location and niche-specific directories are great for getting targeted exposure, capturing relevant leads, and improving local SEO. Here are some quick tips about them:
- Try your local chamber of commerce. Cities and regions may have local chambers of commerce. Many times, these local chambers of commerce maintain business directories that cater to businesses in their jurisdiction. Get listed in these directories for more targeted local citations.
- Get into local business associations. Local business associations are associations that represent and support businesses within a specific area of jurisdiction. Local chambers of commerce are essentially local business associations. But there are other types, such as downtown business associations and small business associations. Many of these local business associations maintain directories. Get listed and be locally relevant.
- Explore industry-specific associations. Industry-specific associations are associations that bring together businesses, professionals, and individuals who are in a particular industry or niche. Some examples are the American Medical Association, the National Restaurant Association, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Many industry-specific associations maintain directories, and you can get listed in them as long as you are in the same industry or niche.
See? Citations are not just about building the citations themselves. They could also be about managing the citations and leveraging the features of the platforms that hold these citations to give you an edge over your competitors. This can be too much work, and that’s why many prefer to just get local citation services.
Why is it important to monitor and update citations?
Monitoring and updating citations is crucial in citation building. It’s the key to maintaining accurate and consistent information about your business online. Without monitoring and updating citations, you may lose potential leads, weaken your online credibility and presence, and get rid of your competitive advantage.
Thankfully, many of the companies that offer local citation services have their own citation management tools and dashboards to make monitoring and updating citations easy. This highlights the importance of getting local citation services over building citations yourself.
Consistency is about ensuring that your business information online is consistent across all online platforms. The most important business information includes your business name, address, and phone number.
Consistency helps data aggregators and search engines in gathering information about your business and understanding your business better. If they understand your business well enough, you will appear in the most relevant queries and get more targeted leads.
Consistency also helps users. Imagine how frustrating it is if the business you are eyeing in Google My Business has a different address input in Yelp. You can lose leads because of confusion and frustration.
2. Reputation management
Reputation management is about controlling and influencing public perception of your business. If you don’t have a good public perception, naturally, you will lose a lot of business opportunities.
A big portion of reputation management in relation to local citation services is review management. Do you notice how many of the top citation sources have platforms for reviews? With the help of local citation services companies, you can encourage reviews, respond to positive and negative ones, and help bolster your credibility with the public. A positive public perception can also indirectly help with SEO.
3. Local customer targeting
Local customer targeting is about directing your marketing efforts toward specific local audiences or geographical areas. It’s important to prioritize citation sources that are relevant to the local customer base. Yes, Google My Business and the others are great. But location-specific directories can be the secret ingredient to bring your citation building campaign to the next level.
When you are building citations, local citation services companies can help optimize your citations further by incorporating local keywords into your listings, creating locally relevant content, and just in general having a more localized digital marketing strategy.
4. Local search ranking
General and global SEO is super-competitive, and many times, they are not even worth it, especially for mom-and-pop shops and service-area businesses. Local SEO is much more relevant to their business models. Citations can affect local rankings. Fortunately, most local citation services companies are digital marketing companies that have a lot more to offer, including local SEO.
With their help, your business can have a more localized citation building campaign and content optimization strategy that will make it more locally competitive. The first step is building citations and locally optimizing them.
5. Competitor analysis
Being listed on the top citation sources and locally and industry-relevant sources can be a competitive advantage. The more visible you are online and the more platforms you are in, the higher the chances of getting more leads and outshining your competition.
Monitoring and updating citations can also play a role in competitor analysis. By tracking the citations and activities of your competitors, you can see which citation sources they are active in, and you can get listed there too if you haven’t already. You can also see their strategies to know what works and what doesn’t for your shared audience.
Local citations are important for local SEO
Local citations are formal listings of your business in directories and informal mentions on websites and social media platforms. They are important for local SEO because they tell customers and search engines everything they need to know about your business.
Thankfully, there are many local citation services companies out there. They can create and update business profiles, remove duplicate listings, and allow you to manage multiple profiles on their own platforms.