What are local citations and why do they matter for local search?

local directories for seo

What are local citations, and why do they matter for local search? That’s a question you might be wondering while you try to market your own local business in the busy online world. With SEO being the target goal in getting a local business to the top of Google and other search engines, you have to do more than worry about keywords on your website. Local citations are going to do just as much in helping you rank on search engines as keywords do or someone linking to your site from another location.

In the case of local citations, you don’t have to worry about direct links. Just having your business mentioned in strategic places online will make a huge difference in your search engine rankings. According to GetListed.org, citations are increasingly becoming a major part of search engine algorithms in determining where a local business ranks.

But how do you go about gaining local citations so you can ensure you’ll be found?

Local online directories

Considering how many local online directories there are, you might feel overwhelmed placing a citation for your business on all of them. You may not be able to get to every single one, yet you should place your business information on as many as you can find. (You can start with this list.) Consider citations on places like Yelp, Superpages, Yahoo! Local, or Dex Knows. Those are just four of many others that people use regularly to find information on local businesses.

Of course, reviews on Yelp are increasingly becoming a major factor in determining where local businesses rank, despite continuing controversies about review rankings there.

The emergence of local blogs

Many bloggers who blog about local business provide citations of local businesses that relate to the blog’s theme. They may already list you, though you should contact them about having your business listed if they don’t. You might be able to find even more industry specific blogs online by typing in your city name alongside the type of business you have.

Localized blogging has increased in recent years and being mentioned there is going to truly matter in the overall algorithm. They should go hand in hand with providing your complete contact information on your social media accounts. Be sure to keep your contact information consistent to avoid discrepancies in determining your business’s street address.

Also consider getting cited on some national blogs that have editions designed for local cities. These get bigger audiences and can potentially help you gain wider exposure.

Going with standard newspaper directories

Most local newspapers have an online edition where they have directories listing local businesses. Be sure you’re listed there because many people use these online tools to look up businesses in specific areas. It seems that the more local you can get in online citations, the easier you can be found during a time when local search now makes up 20% of all Google searches.

Here at Flagstone Search Marketing, we want to make sure your local B2B business gets found easier on search engines. With an expert team in SEO and search engine marketing, we can help your local business get discovered during a time when local businesses are beginning to thrive in the online world. Contact us and we’ll tell you more about what we’ll provide you in our marketing plans. Some of that includes pay-per-click management and responsive web design for local mobile search.

photo credit: OnTask via photopin cc

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