Of the many factors that can affect local SEO for businesses large and small, one of the most frequently overlooked is “citations.” Whether you have many citations or only a handful, strong citations can help grow your rankings in the search engines for location-specific keywords and attract more potential customers. Learn more about citations and why they’re an essential component of SEO for local businesses.
What are Citations?
A citation is a mention of your company’s business details on various websites. The most important parts of your citations include the NAP information: Name, Address, Phone number.
Citations can have a huge impact on local SEO for companies in Albany, Saratoga, Lake George and beyond, as your listings help build a profile of your business across the web. Naturally, search engines want to see that a company’s business details are consistent wherever they’re being displayed online, and keeping your citations up-to-date ensures that potential customers are finding the right information about your business.
When it comes to increasing your competitiveness for keywords that target a specific geographic region (such as “hotels in Lake George, NY” or “restaurants in Saratoga Springs”), optimizing citations is a major component of a well-rounded local SEO program.
Where to Find Your Company’s Citations
When you consider the many places online where you’ve set up an account or listing for your business, the list can start to feel endless.
Some of the most common websites where your citations show up include:
- Google My Business (Google Maps)
- Bing Places
- Facebook Business Page
- Apple Maps
- Niche Online Directories (such as LakeGeorge.com, Albany.com, and TripAdvisor.com)
- Chamber of Commerce Websites
Google offers a free tool which lets businesses see how their Google My Business (Google Map) listing is being displayed. Companies can check their listing here: https://smallbusiness.withgoogle.com/#!/
If you haven’t recently logged into your Google My Business account to update your listing, you could be at risk for losing your Google My Business account verification (yet another reason to check into your account!).
Strengthen Your Local SEO with Optimized Citations
Whether you’ve gone through a rebranding campaign, moved to a new location, or changed your contact information, it’s essential to check up on your citations to ensure they’re providing current information about your business.
As you’re reviewing your local citations, be sure that the following details about your business are optimized:
- Company name
- Physical address
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
- Category / Industry
- Business description
- Link to your website
- Photos of your business
- Verified account
Get Help with Your Local SEO
Absent the most accurate and up-to-date information about your business, weak citations can hurt your chances of getting found for local keywords and may be preventing potential customers from contacting you. When you’re ready to start a conversation about improving your citations and local SEO strategy, feel free to contact our team at Mannix Marketing.