Today’s consumers love local, and so does the Internet.
Finding local businesses for specific needs is becoming one of the web’s primary purposes. Consider these statistics:
Four out of five mobile phone and tablet owners use their gadgets to learn more about local businesses; 80% of those resulted in purchases.
Google also adds that 50% of consumers who searched with mobile phones bought from the store within 24 hours.
The data is impressive, but it’s a different story when applied to local SEO.
For local marketing experts, local SEO focuses less on content optimization. Instead, it’s all about citation building: getting your business’s name and address mentioned by authoritative local sites. It’s the new age of link building.
The Anatomy of a Citation
Citations serve as a business’s online reference when it comes to NAP (name, address, and phone number). These also serve as the local SEO’s counterpart of links.
Google, similar to links, uses citations to evaluate the authority of your business. The search engine giant considers distance, relevance, and prominence. You have control over your business’s relevance and prominence, but none over “distance.”
Plain text or not, as long as the citations reference the business’s name, address, and phone number, you’ll build authority.
The Right Way(s) to Build Citation
What are the different ways you can build citations properly? You have two options: do-it-yourself or hire an expert.
The DIY route is fairly simple. Start the process by searching for major SEO places that enable citations. Think big review sites: Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook. Then move on to the main aggregators (suppliers of data) of all major search engines.
If you’re up for manual link building, hiring an expert is the best alternative. Digital agencies have a better knowledge on how to locally present your brand. Trust them to tie citations with broader SEO, leveraging your company toward the best advantage.
The Bottom Line
Citation building can be overwhelming, but it is an effective tool in generating local SEO juice. To make it work, it should be a part of your cohesive digital strategy. The road may be rough, but the rewards are worth it.