Did your business move locations? Did you update your business name or change your business phone number? When you made the change, you probably updated your business cards, mailers, letterheads, and informed your patients of the new information.
A Local SEO Directories Boost does the same thing for your business online! It’s the “forwarding address” you leave search engines, so they can find your business again.
Read on to learn why having accurate and consistent business information is essential for getting good rankings.
What is a citation?
Any mention of the following information regarding your business is known as a local citation: Company name, phone number, address, zip code, and website address. The most basic citation contains your business name, address, and phone number (also referred as “NAP”).
Search engines rely on many different factors to rank your website. Local citations make up about 13% of the top 50 factors for SEO, making it crucial to keep them updated and accurate. This results in higher rankings, which will ultimately lead to more people finding you online!
Structured and unstructured citations
There are two types of citations: Structured and unstructured. An example of a structured citation is a listing of your business on online directory sites, such as Yelp, Facebook, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, etc.
An unstructured citation mentions your business information in an article or blog post, such as a write-up about your business on a local news station website or magazine site. Any mention of your business data on a site that isn’t a directory site is an unstructured citation.
Q: Is there a difference in value between a structured and unstructured citation?
They are different, however not more or less valuable. Each has its place and importance. Like gas and oil for your car, you need both to have a properly performing machine.
Why are local citations important?
Local citations are significant because Google identifies your business through your NAP information, which verifies the legitimacy of your business. The more your business information is listed online, the better. Google gives you credit for these mentions and in turn, assigns greater trust and authority to your business.
Think of Google rankings as a popularity contest. Google simply wants to provide the best results for its users. The more your business is listed and mentioned online is like other people saying “Hey! Trust these guys; they are great!” These improve your score and ranking.
The importance of consistency in your citations
You can see why it is vital to present consistent and accurate NAP information of your business citations to the most influential search engines – Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This consistency is especially mandatory for your business to be found in the maps area of Google. This is your “local search queries.” Any variations in your business name, address or phone number will be listed by search bots as a separate business, resulting in conflicting information being sent to search engines.
It’s just as important to have accurate and matching NAP data on primary data sources and other important listing sites throughout the local ecosystem of your SEO management. Doing so backs up the data present on the search engines and gives validity and power to your business listings.
Inconsistent local citations dilute your search rankings as they broadcast conflicting information and lower your credibility in the eyes of search bots.
What Roadside can do to help:
- There are hundreds of local directories available to list your citations on.
- Your local citations need to contain consistent information across the web.
- Inconsistent information can affect your credibility with search engines.
Having an accurate and complete citation profile is one of the simplest and most effective steps you can take to have a strong local presence online. Once your NAP citations are properly filled out and populated, you can then move to other areas of SEO, such as link building, high-quality web content, and managing your brand’s reputation both on and offline.
Did you undergo a business change? Contact Angela to discuss a Local Directories Boost.