Local citations play a major role in local search optimization and helping your business get found online. If you’re not building and managing local listings across the web, you could be losing out on potential business from customers nearby. Here are four reasons why local citations are important for small businesses!
- Improves Local Search Ranking
- Makes Business Information Accessible
- Increases Brand Awareness
- Helps Your Online Reputation
Improves Local Search Ranking
The more local citations search engines can find for your business online, the more likely it is that your business ranks higher in search engine results. But just setting up local citations in local business listings won’t do much. The quality of your citations affects how search engines like Google rank local businesses.
If your citations are inaccurate, out of date, or incomplete—meaning you only list an address, but no phone number or website—then you run the risk of getting pushed down in the results of local businesses Google displays, which can lead to missing out on potential business.
That’s why it’s important to be consistent with your business name, address, and phone number across all online business directories. You should also consider adding business descriptions to your citations and relevant information like hours of operation, all of which help search engines better understand your business and what it is that you offer so that they know when and where to show you in search results.
Makes Business Information Accessible
When it comes to searching for a business nearby, local consumers want your information. 46% of searchers use Google to find local information, so not taking the time to add local citations to relevant online directories can be detrimental. Local listings give potential customers the details they need to reach you.
If you’re not sure where to add your information, Google Business Profile (a.k.a. Google My Business) is a great place to start. It’s free to use and allows businesses to add information directly into Google’s directory, which makes it easier for Google to then show your business in local search results and Google Maps. This is an easy way to show Google that your small local business is trustworthy.
Increases Brand Awareness
You can help improve your own brand awareness and lend credibility to your business’ online presence by investing more time into ensuring your local business listings are found in high-quality online directories. While it may be easy to assume that “everyone just uses Google,” that’s not always the case. To expand your business’ reach while also increasing brand visibility, you should be adding local citations in places such as:
- Bing Places
By adding your business contact information in more local business directories, you can get in front of potential customers in your local area where they’re already searching online.
Helps Your Online Reputation
If you’re looking to improve your current online reputation through review marketing and management, the same local directories mentioned above not only allow customers to find your contact information, but they also provide customers the ability to leave reviews for businesses (and for businesses to respond).
Potential customers are more likely to see you as a reliable business if you take the time to thank reviewers for leaving a comment on your business while responding to their praise or criticism. Replying to negative reviews can be hard, but it’s necessary for maintaining a good online reputation. In fact, ReviewTrackers found in 2018 that nearly 45% of consumers are more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews.
Want to compete more effectively in local search results and get found by more customers online? Local Search Fuel by Hurrdat is designed specifically to help small businesses claim, update, and manage their local business listings. Sign up today!