Local businesses need citations to build an online presence. Search engines use citations to build a reputation for a business on the web. If your business doesn’t actively manage these, you will have more than just poor rankings in Google. You will have frustrated customers and poor reviews.
What is a Citation?
Simply put, a citation is any online mention of a business’ name, address, or phone number (sometimes referred to as their NAP). These mentions could be on a website, social platform, or in an app.
Citations can appear on major platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, and even social platforms such as Facebook. There are also geo/industry-specific platforms such as chamber of commerce websites, professional associations, and guilds.
You want to manage and maintain the accuracy of your citations because odds are, you are already listed in many directories, but it could be with inaccurate information. Not only would your local search ranking suffer, but also an inaccurate listing will lead to a poor customer experience and negative reviews. An accurate listing will help customers discover your business which will lead to more web, phone, and foot traffic.
Not only will your listings impact customer experience, but they will also affect your rankings in local search. Search engines take the number of citations and the accuracy of the information into account when determining position. Making sure all of your citations match with accurate information will build trust with Google and result in higher rankings.
A Word About Edits
Anyone can suggest an edit to your Google My Business listing. Competitors or users with malicious intent can adjust business hours and other elements of your listing. A proactive approach is the best way to go.
Going Beyond NAP
Google triangulates the data it finds on the web by three data points: name, address, and phone number. However, if those are the only things you are worried about with your citations, you are missing out on a great opportunity. Keeping accurate business hours, categories, a description, as well as monitoring and responding to reviews are crucial to having a rich listing and ensuring a positive online experience for customers.
Citations In Conclusion
Citations build your business’ online reputation. If you share more than just your name, address and phone number, your Google My Business listing will have more value, and your customers will have a better online shopping experience. Their maintenance is important, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Contact Foremost Media and let our experts clean up your citations.