What Are Local Citations
Building local citations allows your business to promote your services online to local customers. It uses search engines like Google and business directories like Yelp, Superpages and Manta to build an online listing of local business that enable customers in their area to find the best local business to meet their needs.
Citations are online reference to your business's name, address, and phone number (NAP). Google uses these references to evaluate the online authority of your business. It's important that your NAP matches exactly what Google finds on your website, your Google+ local page, and other online directories. You should be 100% consistent. So for example if you have your phone number listed as 715.555.1212 on your website then you should not list it as 715-555-1212 elsewhere.
Google's logic is that if your business is mentioned a lot online then it deserves a higher ranking than one that's hardly mentioned at all. This is especially important if those places where it is mentioned are relevant to the search being performed.
Why Are Local Citations Important to You?
- Local customers are switching to the internet to find businesses.
- Mobile internet growth - more customers are using their phones to search for service providers to meet their needs.
- Fewer and Fewer people are reading the local newspaper
- Customers trust online reviews
Local Citation Building Starts on Your Website
If your website was built by Nerd Free Marketing, then your local citation building has been started. We used what Google refers to as Schema Markup which some special coding which Google uses to identify important info such as your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number). When you look at your website and see where your company name, address, and phone number is listed you can't see the special coding but Google sees it and uses it to identify your business information.
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If your website was built by another designer, it's a good idea to have it reviewed to determine if Schema Markup was included in the coding of your website. If it is absent, then it should be added into your website.
Do It Yourself or Have It Done For You?
Setting up your Google Places profile isn't a complex process. You can do it yourself or have someone within your company do it if they're very careful to be extremely consistent.
However building quality local citations can be quite time consuming and you may face some technical issues and roadblocks including some of the following
- Removing/merging duplicate listings
- Waiting for responses from citation source sites
- Phone/mail verification and workarounds
- NAP consistency
- Service based business and multi-location business listings
There are many other nuances that go along with quality local citation building that if not handled properly can make a real mess of your online local citation building efforts.
What Can You Do
- Create a consistent NAP format you wish to use and be sure to use it religiously wherever your business is mentioned online.
- Claim your listing on Google Places - be sure you complete this 100% and don't leave any spaces blank. You will need to add images, videos, and more. Be sure to use only keywords and locations that are only critical to accurately describe your business.
- Search for your business name and claim any listings you find.
- Contact your clients and have them post reviews on Google places. Let them know they can rate their experience with you on your Google Places profile.
- Check your listings on the top six directories - make sure you claim them and update your information
The top six directories include Yelp, Facebook, Apple Maps, Four Square, Superpage, and YP.
Local Citations Are An Ongoing Process
Keep in mind, this should be an ongoing process - not something you set and forget. After initially setting up your new citations and reviews, you should also be looking for additional citations to create as well as have a plan in place to help your clients create online reviews for you.
It's also important to regularly audit your citations because the information may change. Sometime a well-meaning user may submit information to "correct" the info the already exists or one of the aggregators may push incorrect information which overwrites the correct one.
Nerd Free Marketing's Local Citation Services
Nerd Free Marketing's Local Citation Building services, you know you'll receive quality work at a fair and reasonable price. Based on customer feedback, we've created two options for building your local citations.
Both options offer the same services:
- Full Citation Audit
- Fix, update, or create Google My Business page
- Fix existing listings
- Submit to data aggregators
- Build new citations
- Send update report on new citations which are built
If your website was not built by Nerd Free Marketing, we will also review your website for Schema Markup and implement it where necessary.
We offer two options to correct and set up your local citations
- All-in-one option which takes 4-6 weeks to complete once we have all your information
- Monthly local citation building option which spreads out the work and payments over several months