The 3-Step Process for Local Citation Building
There is a distinct difference in local citation building versus link building where creating a successfully SEO optimized websites require additional work aside from the traditional link building strategies. While building traditional links improve a website’s rankings and ultimately drive traffic, it doesn’t validate businesses that are in a particular location. David Mihm’s blog post Local vs Traditional SEO: why citation is the new link put it best,
- In Local SEO, not all links matter
- “Links” that matter for Local SEO aren’t necessarily links.
To accommodate Google’s Local Algorithm, you should begin your local citation efforts in these three steps.
Step 1: Find Relevant Citations
This is the easy part; the guys from getlisted.org have organized a list of citations that have a lot of authority for the different industries in the various geographic areas. You could just input your business name and zip code and getlisted will populate which citations are the most optimal for your business. They also provide top citation sources by city as well as categories by industry. Keep in mind that one of the most integral citations is Google’s own creation, Google+ local.
Step 2: Building the Citations
If you decide to build the citations manually, there should be a template set up so the process is much easier and could be replicated for each citation source.
One of the key components you must have is matching NAP(s) throughout your listings otherwise known as Name, Address, and Phone number. It’s critical that this information is 100% accurate and consistent throughout your listings across the different citations otherwise you won’t be able to maximize the effectiveness of the citation. Aside from the NAP, the following information is needed by the citation.
- Email Address
- Suite or Floor Number
- Zip Code
- Facebook Page
- Twitter Handle
- Product/Services + descriptions
- Business description
- Hours of operation
- Payment methods
The more information that is given per citation, the more likely the citation will stand out in search, therefore making your business more relevant.
Step 3: Submitting and Maintaining the Citations
Depending on your business needs and budget, you could submit citations manually to each of the various different citations, which gives you full control as far as accuracy is concerned but at the cost of time and manpower. However, there are alternatives to manual submissions. One is to use a data aggregator to get your citations submitted for you. Look into using UBL.org as a relatively cheap aggregator to submit your business data by using the InfoGroup network. If your business has scale, it may more advantageous for you to use Neustar Localeze or InfoGroup or Yext paid services because they can get your information out to the citations much quicker and effectively. You could also hire a SEO marketing agency to do the submissions for you. Regardless of the route you choose to get your citations submitted, make sure you keep your listings up to date with new product/services if they exist or coupon options.
All of this work will pay off and make your business relevant to search not only organically, but locally as well!