There are four main pillars that underpin any online marketing strategy, these four pillars are:
Trusted location info, a diverse and quality link building strategy, a website which is locally focused and supplies relevant and unique content and finally reliable and trustworthy reviews. If you are looking to provide trusted information about your business location details, then you should be considering making use of local citations.
However, when using citations ensure that you concentrate specifically on accuracy across the high ranking and trusted citation sites, then your Google listing will be affected if your details including your business name, phone number, mail address and office location are not identical across all of them. Every business needs citation, because they offer a trusted and credible source of information about those businesses listed upon them and tend to rank well in the search engines.
Factors that influence local search results based on a Moz survey:
If a business combines citation signals with Google My Business (GMB) then it could make up to 32% of the finder ranking factors or local pack pie chart according to a Moz survey. These citations also have a huge impact on factors associated with localised organic ranking, filling around 15% of the complete pie chart.
It is widely considered that citations and Google my business (GMB) results if used consistently and published correctly using the correct name, phone number and address details can have a significant impact on a business’s local rankings and as a result could positively influence the rankings associated with local organic searches too.
Further benefits of citations:
Apart from increasing the local pack rankings as well as localised organic results, a citation can also help to achieve the following for any businesses that uses them:
1. Expands your footprint across the web:
With proper use of citation you can increase the number of your local customers as well as your online clients. This includes third-party sites such as Bing, Apple Maps, Foursquare, Yelp, MapQuest etc. and even niche sites.
2. Expands footprint on the organic results pages of Google:
Listings and websites containing citations are mostly ranked closer to the top search results of Google organically for brand searches as well as keyword searches. This is because search engines trust such websites as well as their published content to be of high relevance, ensuring you have a proper citation on such websites as well as on your Google my business account will help to get your business noticed.
3. Backlinks, both “do-follow” and “no-follow”: Most of the citation websites provide backlinks as part of their service offering. Most of these links are of type no-follow, but sometimes these links might contain do-follow links too, especially the paid listings.
4. Third party reviews:
Most websites that are used for citation purposes are also review websites. These websites provide valuable feedback on niche sites and also third-party generic websites. Such review sites have a considerable impact on local rankings for websites that use them as well as impacting the general search term rankings too.
5. Vertical and town specific directories:
Apart from data aggregators, the use of GMB and top tier citation websites is considered to play an important role in establishing an online presence for any website owner
The benefits of citation are so substantial, that they are considered to be one of the first and most important stages in building any online presence for a local business, get it right and the benefits are plentiful, however if you should get it wrong your website could be penalised for simple errors including duplication & content discrepancies.
Getting it right the first time is crucial, so no matter if you are a startup or a well-established online business, if you have little or no experience with online marketing we would always recommend seeking the advice of an award winning SEO company just like SEO Flatrate who specialise in helping small to medium sized businesses across the UK to raise their profile on the web.