Local SEO Citation Building
So you want to improve your online business visibility?
Imagine a new pizza joint everyone is talking about, I heard they make the best pizzas. Too bad I can't remember the location, but at least I can remember the name - It's such a catchy name, I can't forget it. Since everything is online nowadays, I just need to type in the name of the pizza place and in a matter of seconds; I should have the address or at least a telephone number to order a home delivery. A few seconds later, I can't seem to find anything online, even a Facebook link. I guess it does not exist - that would be my conclusion.
In this day and age at least some sort of online presence should be easily available even for the newest businesses; otherwise, that is just business suicide. Setting up an online presence today for your business can be said to be the most important step towards creating legitimacy for your business. It may sound alarmist, but that's just the simple truth.
How many potential clients are you losing every time a potential client search online for any information relating to your business, but finds nothing or even worse the information that he finds is not easy to come across? It would be a bad scenario if he had to go through the trouble and find nothing. A worse scenario would be where you have taken the initiative to create some digital footprint - it could be you have a website or a social media presence - but the potential client does not find any information when they search for your business.
These are situations that shouldn't exist in our modern world even for that small business owner who is just starting out. So If for any reason you could be falling short, it could be high time you considered online citation building as the first step in creating that online validation.
Citation building is basically taking any information available about your business on other websites and making it become more visible through online searches. So the more your business information is available on other websites the more it becomes easily available for potential clients to find it when doing a search for your business. Due to the mammoth of information available on the internet today, how do you make sure that your business is mentioned enough to rank in search engines?
In order for your business to be more visible then it will need many mentions. But these mentions should be from credible sources so as to rank higher. So what are these credible sources that will help your business rank higher on those search engines?
1. Local search engines
If your business gets listed frequently in other websites like Yelp, Foursquare, Super pages, and other similar websites, that can have a major impact especially when search engines crawl the web to validate information in their indexes.
Getting listed on these websites will show accuracy in the confidence of your business name, location, and website.
Citation building will involve a lot of campaigns to have your business listed on these websites. For instance, actively having clients rate your hotel in Yelp when they visit will increase your business visibility in local search engines.
2. Data aggregators
Data aggregators are those primary information providers in a given country that collect the data available on a particular business, for instance from yellow pages, review websites, or business registry directories and provide this information to search engines. In the United States, the primary ones are Infogroup, Localeze, Neustar, and Acxiom. These data aggregators play a vital role since the information they have about your business in their databases will most probably be the same information available on search engines.
3. Local directories
Directories like Facebook, Google+ Local, LinkedIn, Yellow pages, Yelp can contain a lot of information about a business. Also, they are well-indexed by search engines and are associated with a particular city, country or region. These are by far the most helpful because of the amount of traffic that they carry. It's no secret that Facebook is the most used social media application in the world. So having a strong presence there will automatically result in a higher visibility for your business in the search engines. Citation building on these directories will prove to be highly favored by most people because they can attach a lot more information about their businesses.
4. Local blogs
Local blogs can be powerful in getting your business ranked in a search engine since their results are viewed as relevant results in local engine searches. Active citation building can be done by having blog pieces about the business, either sponsored or otherwise. The campaign will be to have the popular blog mentioning or linking your business in a blog post.
5. Industry-focused directories or blogs
Industry focused approach will mean having citation building in industry directories and blogs which are related or identical to your business because it may be included among the sites that the local search engines count as a citation source. This is helpful because people visiting these directories and blogs may be interested in your information but may haven't heard or come across any of your business information anywhere else.
The sheer importance of citation building cannot be over-emphasized since it's the most basic form of a business development strategy that one can implement in his/her business. SEO has become such a wide area and new SEO methods keep coming up, but the most basic form of SEO will be citation building. The more citation building a business is willing to do, the more they will be relevant in the local or global search engines. And what says more about the legitimacy of a business than showing up on the first page of a search engine.
However, this can be time-consuming and unchartered territories for some businesses. That's why it's only logical to hire the best citation building people to do all the work as you concentrate to do what you do best. So why not get some citation building done and see your business prosper to newer heights.
Top 50 local citation sites for the US
Local search means more than a presence on Google+ Local, Facebook and Bing. Allowing customers to find you means building a presence on local citation sites and directories, both general and niche to your business. This list of the top 50 local citation sites in the USA gives a great foundation to your local listing optimization!
Check out Bright Local's list of top citations by business category below