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When it comes to local search marketing services pre internet one traditional way to search for a local service or product would be to reach for the yellow pages or local directory.  Fast forward to today and for many people google is the default place to go to obtain information about services and products.  One factor to help you increase local SERP for your website is to build local citations.

What is a Local Citation?

A local citation is any online mention of the name, address, postcode (NAP) and phone number for a local business. Citations can occur on local business directories, on websites 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.

Citations can occur on:

Local generic business directories

  • Yell.com
  • Thomsonlocal.com
  • Scoot.co.uk
  • 192.com
  • 118118.com

Social and Review – oriented sites

  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Foursquare
  • Google reviews

Geo/Industry-Specific Niche Platforms

A business can look at building geographic and industry specific listing citations

An example citation directory of the restaurants industry in London

  • squaremeal.co.uk/restaurants/London

Across The Web

Local business citations can be built or earned by reaching out to a variety of publications such as blogs, news sites, maps, industry specific and government databases and accredited associations.

In addition to the essentional framework of a citation NAP name, address and postcode, citations can also include a number of other core features that enhance the user experience providing them with more information about the business.

The Most Important Citation Site Features

  • Industry relevance
  • Local relevance
  • Domain authority
  • Displays user-generated reviews
  • Audience size

The state of Citations in 2018?

  • 90% of experts believe accurate citations are important to local search ranking
  • 59% think citations are less important than they were 12 months ago

Local Search Experts

“The more prominent and consistent your business is online matters. When a search engine can see that you have more mentions than your competitors it only makes sense that this could affect the way the algorithm sees you as an entity. At the end of the day, getting citations done is a necessary evil. They are not as important as they were a few years ago, but the same thing holds true as it was back in the 90s. If you can get a link or a mention on a relevant website that your customers would care about, then go for it. The worst thing that can happen is you gain more traffic.” Ben Fisher 

Google My Business (GMB)

Google has a specific feature when it comes to local search.  Google my business is a free feature that make it easy for people to start building visibility in Google Search and Maps in your local community.

Core GMB listing Information

Business Name

  • Category – Select the industry category your business should be in
  • Address – Name, Address, Postcode
  • Opening hours of the business
  • Special Hours – Enter hours for days when this business has an irregular schedule
  • Telephone number – Landline, mobile and fax
  • Website address – Primary website

For more information about Google My Business refer to the following article “Promote Your Business For Free With Google My Business Posts 2018″.

Our marketing department have a wealth of experience helping businesses improve their online presence through local marketing services.

Author: Ollie Keates Digital Marketing Executive

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