What’s all this talk about local citations? Do you really need them for your business? How can you build them yourself or have someone on your team build them?
Don’t worry, I’ll answer all of these pressing questions. Lets start here…
What the heck is a citation?
A citation is a listing on a local directory site. Take one of the most well known sites, Yelp. Your business listing on Yelp would be considered a local citation. Or how about Yellowpages, that companies still around? Yep it is and that’s another citation.
The process of building citations is long and somewhat painful because you need to do each one manually. You could use an automated service but if you’re serious about local SEO then you need to put some sweat and tears into it and build them yourself (or hire an SEO company to build them for you… hint hint).
Do I really need these for my business?
Absolutely. You should start today if you can. Two main reasons why citations are so important.
1. It’s a place for your customers to find your business.
2. It’s tells Google that you’re a real business and are listed on legit platforms.
Some SEO experts say the local citation is the new backlink. I can see that and it’s important that you start immediately on these.
This is all too much! Where do I start?
Stop freakin, I’m here to help. Below you’ll find my tools and and some tips that I use when working with my clients.
Moz Local Service: https://moz.com/local/search
This is a scanning tool that I use and I actually submit my clients to their yearly service. They will submit your information to all the major data aggregators so it gets pushed out to many platforms. Some of these aggregators supply info for the smaller directories. I like to do this first and then wait a few weeks to see which I’m listed on.
Yahoo’s Scanning Tool: https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/localworks
This one is a beauty. It’s a Yahoo tool that will scan the web for your citations. You can of course subscribe to their service but again I recommend you fix and add your citations manually. Google doesn’t like any automated nonsense.
Citation Building Tips
Get Google My Business Straight
You want to get your Google profile perfect before starting any other citations. The process is pretty simple. Create a Google My Business listing and then claim it. It usually takes 1-2 weeks to claim. You want to use the address that Google shows on your listing. If they list your address as St put St, not Street. MAKE IT EXACTLY THE SAME!
Now Shimmy on Over To Your website…
And make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) is listed on each and every page. Again it must be identical to how Google is displaying it. If Google listed your street as Smith Road, do not put Smith Rd. I know I’m repeating myself but this is very important.
You need to download my spreadsheet, fill it out and make sure you use the exact same info for each site. Your NAP must be an exact match on all of these local directory sites.
Slow and steady wins the race!
Don’t do 30 one month and then call it quits. I like to do a few a month. If you can do around 2-3 a month then that’s around 30 a year! It’s more natural to slowly build these citations then just bang them out all in one shot.
The more places your business is listed, the better chance your customer will have finding your information. Again this isn’t a race so do a few a month and you’ll be WAY ahead of your competitors because trust me, most companies aren’t putting the time into doing this.
You can also always sign up for Review Boom! service that will help out with all this jazz. If you have any questions on building citations let me know down below.