Can you name someone in your life, over the age of 18, who doesn’t have a mobile device?
With 60% of all online searches carried out on a mobile device, and some sectors (like food and beverage) now reaching 72%, Google now takes the user’s location into consideration when determining search results.
No one needs to tell you that ranking at the top of search results is incredibly important! The question becomes, how do you improve your local search results? One way is with local citations.
What’s a citation?
Simply put, a citation is your business’ information (particularly name, address and phone number (abbreviated as NAP)) in any combination listed accurately (this is super important!) on the web. These listings can occur in a variety of formats such as directories, websites, apps or social platforms; they are a significant contributor to local search results.
The benefit of having your business listed means that search engines will look at a user’s search query and determine the businesses that are local to the individual. Being local to the user means that the search engine is more likely to award the website with a higher ranking on the search results page. Just having your business’s NAP on a website isn’t enough anymore, you’ll want to list your business in other strategic places as well.
Where do I list my business?
The best places to list yourself are websites like Yelp, Facebook and Yellowpages (you may be familiar with them). These pages are highly rated as they tend to be used most often by people searching for businesses. Other directory sites that don’t have the same popularity are still useful but aren’t as valued as the bigger ones. It is best to start with the most valued sites, and branch out from there.
How do I list my business?
It’s super easy to collect the information you need to create a local citation. You just need the following:
- Name, address and phone number of your business.
- A link to the homepage of your website.
- An email address – bonus points for an email that is domain-based. (Ex. You@digitalmarketingbusiness.com)
- A category that accurately describes your business such as ‘restaurant’ or ‘auto dealer’
- Links to your social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc…
- A short description of your business that goes into detail about what it is that you do.
Having this information available will allow your business to be listed accurately and consistently. Search engines love that accuracy and consistency.You’ll want to make sure you’ve listed yourself consistently and correctly because any discrepancy in information can hurt your ranking! If you ever change any of your business information you’ll need to update it as soon as possible in order to keep your search engine rankings up.
The future is mobile and the future is already here. Local search results are more important and competitive every single day. A citation can help you climb the search engine results page and connect your business to nearby customers. So get listed and get found!