How can local SEO citations help my business?
Numerous and relevant citations get your business in front of the consumers looking for a business like yours
Putting SEO to one side for the moment, it should be highlighted that consumers in the research phase of their buyer’s journey frequently use local business listings to find businesses. Regardless of what citations can do for your rankings and online visibility, doesn’t it just make sense to get your business listed in the places people are hunting for you?
Accurate citations can boost your organic and local pack rankings
Though not quite as powerful a ranking factor as they once were, citation signals still have an impact on your local pack and organic rankings. This is because search engines trust the key business listings sites and online directories to provide accurate information, and if this information is consistent and accurate across numerous trusted sites, search engines will give more prominence to it in SERPs.
You’ll be one step away from the first page of organic SERPs
As mentioned earlier in this article, directories make up a significant proportion of organic search results for local business types. In fact, a recent SERP results click study showed that the majority of clicks on the whole first page (including PPC, local pack, and more) go to these business directories when consumers search for local businesses covering a service area. When asked why they clicked where they did, 31% said ‘because it was a list of businesses’.
This gives you an idea of how important directory listings are to local business visibility.
More links back to your website from authoritative and trusted sites
We all know that getting links back to your site from trusted and authoritative websites are important for any kind of SEO, and this is where citations come in really handy. These days, pretty much every business listings directory will contain a ‘Website URL’ field. The great news is that some of these sites even display these as ‘dofollow’ links, meaning that search engines can use them to pass link equity on to your site, further boosting your SEO.
Opportunities for third-party reviews
One of the three core pillars of ranking well in the Google Local pack is ‘prominence’, and this is defined by a positive online reputation and positive mentions across the web. So it’s very useful that many citation sites double up as review sites, allowing consumers to grade and describe their local business experiences.
As long as you’re delivering truly great customer service, this added business listing feature will be of huge benefit, especially as the importance of review signals to your position in the local pack is growing.