What is Citation Building in local SEO? Citation building is a part of any local SEO strategy. It helps promote your brand on the internet and increases your reach across various platforms, which in turn, can improve your ranking in search engines.
In local SEO, citation building pertains to getting listed on other sites that include your business address (or GPS coordinates), phone number, website URL, social media links, photos, videos, reviews, and more.
When you submit your business details to another website along with the link to your website then you’re essentially building citations. It’s the process of acquiring inbound links from other websites to your website.
Since citations contain your company’s name, address, phone number, or other contact information, these are usually posted on sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Sometimes, citations can be in news articles about your company or industry.
But most commonly, citations can also be found on local business directories like Google My Business (GMB).
What are the benefits of citation building?
Citation building in local SEO is a form of link building that helps your website get more exposure, better rankings, and drive more traffic to your site. These links may be text-based or image-based and are typically embedded using HTML code.
Aside from the above benefits, citations are important because they are one of the most common ways people find businesses online.
If someone searches for something like “auto repair” in Google, they don’t want to see just your website — they want to see all the information about you that’s available online.
Another example is when someone searches for a “bakery near me.” Google will return results with information about bakeries that are near that person’s location and have been reviewed favorably by customers.
The main purpose of citation building is to increase your website’s page rank and help increase organic traffic. This is especially valuable if you’re a local business since having citations from local directories will help Google understand that you’re a local business
Doing this can help increase your click-through rate (CTR) from Google organically and thus boost your ranking on Google Maps for local searches as well as organic rankings in Google Search Results.
Other common sites that local businesses usually post in order to build citation links are Foursquare, Facebook, and Angi (previously Angie’s List), to name just a few.
When people search for a particular service or product, any of your business listings will likely show up in response to their queries. That’s why it’s so important for businesses to have them — especially if you want to increase your local visibility and reputation.
Once you have these citations in place (and have optimized them), people can find you more easily online. People will get to see all the relevant information about your business along with any customer reviews that your business may have.
How Do You Get Started With Citation Building?
If you’re just starting with citation building, start by listing your business NAP on the most common sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
Once you’ve exhausted the most common options, find sites that are relevant to your niche or one that features local businesses. Other forms of citation building include forming relationships with influencers in your area or industry and then asking them on how to get featured on their site.
Remember that your goal should be to acquire high-quality links from other websites that are relevant to your niche.
Here are different citation-building strategies in detail:
- Niche-specific citations like WeddingWire or Thumbtack – Getting featured on niche-specific sites that are relevant to your business will help drive traffic to your site from their audience as well as gain exposure for your brand.
- Business listings such as Yelp or TripAdvisor – Getting your business listed on these sites can help people discover your business as well as raise awareness about your brand.
- Local citations like Yellow Pages or Superpages – Listing yourself in local business directories such as these will not only help with your local SEO efforts but also drive new customers directly to the door of your physical store.
Why is Citation Building Important?
Citation building is essential for building your local SEO profile because it allows search engines to show your website for local-based queries.
If you have a lot of citations pointing to your site, it signals to Google that you’re a legitimate business and can be trusted by consumers. This will then help improve your rankings in local search results.
When done properly, it can also help improve your local organic rankings and increase traffic to your site. It will also help get your business in front of potential customers that are specifically searching for what your business has to offer.
Think of a citation as an online reference to your business or brand. It’s like a business card, except it’s online and can be crawled by search engines.
For example, if you own a restaurant and get listed on Yelp, then Yelp will create a link back to your website that can be clicked by anyone who wants to get to know your restaurant more.
Building citations should be an integral part of your local SEO strategy so Google will know that your website exists and where it’s located.
What is Citation Building in local SEO? What Happens If You Don’t Have Citations?
If you don’t have any citations built for your business, then people won’t be able to find you online when they search for your brand name on the web. This can potentially lead to missed opportunities for getting potential customers to buy from you.
Without citations, you’re invisible — they’re how people find you!
According to BrightLocal’s citations survey, 90% of all businesses need local SEO optimization.
This is especially true if you’re a small business in a highly competitive market with lots of large corporations who have more resources than you do. If they don’t have these citations but you do, it makes it easier for you to outrank them on local search results.
Nowadays, you can’t just create a website, post it on the internet, and expect that you’ll rank high or suddenly appear in local search results. You need to take the time to create a list of all of your business locations and put them on every one of those websites so that Google knows where you’re located and can index them appropriately.
How Long Does It Take To Build Citations?
Citations are important for SEO because they provide additional proof that your business exists. When people search for your business online, they will be able to find you easier if you have citations.
But more than that, citations also help build credibility and authority in your industry and locale.
However, it does take time to build citations correctly. Typically, most citation building takes between 1 to 4 weeks (or even longer) depending on how much effort you’re willing to put in.
In terms of when you’re likely to see results, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for a new website to start seeing any results from the citation-building process. Although this timeline varies on a number of factors, the more citations you have pointing back to your website, the faster results will come in.
One way to build citations is by using tools like Moz Local or Ahrefs’ Citation Finder tool to help find all of the different places where you should be listed for Google to properly index them.
Takeway: Use local citations to improve your local SEO and visibility in search results
Local citation building is an amazing and easy way to improve your business’s local SEO as well as your website’s overall visibility on Google. However, it does take time. The key is to set up realistic deadlines for your citation-building efforts using the strategies above to track your progress.
In no time, you’ll be able to see the positive results build over time.
This is why citation building isn’t something you should ignore, as it can provide a wide range of benefits for your business. By taking the simple steps outlined above, you can drive more traffic to your website while helping potential customers learn more about your brand and services.
So start small and improve your local SEO profile, one tip at a time. If you need help, feel free to ask us for recommendations or technical assistance.
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