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You’ve got the goods. The products you sell and the services you provide are top-notch. You’re an industry leader — Respected. So why do your online efforts consistently fall flat? More specifically, why are your local search rankings so darn low? It could be something as simple — and yet fundamental — as poorly executed, outdated, or insufficiently broadcast listings and citations.
The gurus at Moz provide us with a solid definition of “citations” that provides a good springboard for us to discuss this concept further.
“A local citation is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number for a local business. Citations can occur on local business directories, on websites and apps, and on social platforms. Citations help internet users to discover local businesses and can also impact local search engine rankings. Local businesses can actively manage many citations to ensure data accuracy.” (Moz)
That’s the view from 38,000 feet. Once we get down to the nitty-gritty, granular details, a whole world of opportunity opens up — one which can position your business at the forefront of local business searches, or at the bottom of the heap, where nobody is interested in clicking or converting.
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The fundamental pieces of a citation are the business’ name, address and phone number — known in industry parlance as the NAP. But there’s a lot more that goes into a successful and search-returnable citation, including but not limited to store hours, directions to the physical location, pictures, videos, reviews, and more.
In order for a local business to separate itself in the search engine rankings — that is to say, in order to rise toward the first page — its citations must be constantly monitored and updated.
Although the accuracy of citations and listings aren’t the be-all and end-all of search engine optimization, it’s extremely important. Potential customers are more likely to abandon a platform and head for a competitor’s site if they think they’re being misled (intentionally or otherwise).
And that’s a death knell for your search rankings.
Think about your own web browsing habits. How likely are you to contact a business if you’re having trouble establishing the basics of their operations (their NAP, for example)? You’ll probably head to a competitor’s website to find the information you need.
Now imagine several hundred (thousand? million?) potential customers doing that each time they come across a bogus citation that’s linked to your business.
It’s not uncommon for the first page of Google results to contain nothing but citation sites. That’s because search engines love citations.
At Webfor, we take these citations seriously — maybe more than most. That’s because we’ve taken a close look under the hood of search engine optimization, and we know that to rank well in local search — especially where Google Maps is concerned — it’s absolutely critical for your business’ NAP to remain consistent across all local listing websites. This is super important in cases where your business may have relocated or updated its phone number. If you’ve made changes like this, your business listings and citations could be outdated, leading to poor search engine results.
Elsewhere on the Webfor site, we’ve done some deep dives into the various types of SEO — E-commerce SEO, franchise SEO, enterprise SEO. Make sure you take a look at those articles to get a fuller picture of just how powerful search engine optimization can be for your website and your business.
Learn more about our SEO services.
Beth Anderson / Simpson Plumbing
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