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A Complete Guide to Optimizing SEO Citations

Seo Citations May 25 2024

There are 200 million websites on Google. That means 199 million websites to outrank, 199 million websites to outvoice, and 199 million budgets to compete with right? Not really.

Even with millions of websites on the internet waging for attention, not all are your competitors.

SEO is a hard battle. But one where preparation will ensure you don’t get lost in the noise.

To stand out on the net, you need to guarantee that your content is before the relevant audience. And that means employing local SEO.

Using SEO citations can help ensure that you are before the right audience.

Not sure what that is or why it should matter to you? We may have insight for you below.

What Are Local SEO Citations?

SEO citations are your business’s name, address, and phone number listed on various platforms. This could be on websites or social media platforms. The three are often referred to as NAP.

In concept, citations mimic online business directories.
Now, your SEO citations are a group of these listings.

Types of SEO Citations

Having your NAP details listed on the right platform is the key to discoverability. One major factor to take into consideration when deciding on the platform to list your business is the target audience.

Know which websites and platforms your audience frequents. High domain authority doesn’t necessarily equate to your audience. You want to list on websites that your specific audience uses to find services.

It wouldn’t do a law firm any service to advertise on a plumbing citation website, even if its domain authority is 98. That is because a law firm doesn’t target the same audience as a plumbing company.

There are thousands of listing websites you can pick from. But here are our top three must websites for listing your NAP details regardless of niche:

Google My Business

Google My Business is the top place to ensure your business is listed. According to Backlinko, 86% of customers use Google Maps to search for local services.

This makes the platform a premier place to let your audience know you exist.

Facebook

With over 2.9 billion people on the platform, there is no underestimating the power of listing on Facebook.

Granted, not all 2.9 billion of them are your target customers. But with the right strategy, you can sift through the noise and use the platform to reach your customers. There are several Facebook strategies you can employ for your citation.

Yelp

From restaurants to dentists, Yelp is the ultimate place for Americans to find local businesses. The review and listing site prides itself in its wide library of businesses and honest customer reviews.

Why Are SEO Local Citations Important

For any local business, there are several ways SEO citations can help increase reach. Here are some of the reasons you cannot ignore citations:

Improved Local Ranking

SEO citations can help you improve your rank in local queries.

The Google algorithm used to determine the rank of websites is the same algorithm that plays a role in determining results in local searches.

If you have ever completed a link-building campaign, then you know the importance of having reputable websites back your business.

As crawlers search through the net and discover that your listing details are consistent on several websites, it tells them that they can trust your list. It is like a way of verifying that your business is where you say it is.

As a business, always bear in mind that Google strives to return only the best results for every query. And it will prioritize easily verifiable businesses.

Leverage Domain Authority

One other benefit of SEO citations is increased visibility. If you have your NAP details listed on a reputable website, you can easily leverage their authority. And the trust they have built with Google.

Think of a website like Yelp. It has a high domain authority and often ranks at the top of SERPs. This means that when a query within your industry appears, Google will prioritize listings from Yelp versus another website or platform with a lower ranking. This way, even if your website didn’t have that great authority, there is still a possibility you can rank well.

Increased Visibility

SEO citations are also a great way to increase your business’s visibility. Citation websites already have their own audience. And the more directories you target, the more visible your business will be. This gives your business a wider reach.

Steps to Optimize Local SEO Citation

Optimizing your citation is not always easy. It takes some work. But all of that is worth it in the end.
Here are some steps to take to optimize your citation

Pursue Relevant Citation Websites

As we have already discussed, not every website matters to your business. Some citations may have good authority, but they may also not be targeting the same audience as you are. Avoid these sites. Prioritize websites that are populated with your target audience. This will give you more direct traffic.

Ensure NAP Consistency

An important aspect of optimizing SEO citations lies with consistency. Ensure that your name, address, and phone number are consistent across all your listings. Inconsistency in NAP details will not only throw your customers off, but it can affect your SEO ranking.

So, don’t leave it to chance.

Visit all the websites where your business is listed and verify that your NAP details are the same across the board.

If you have recently moved into a new building, you have two aspects to verify. Firstly, ensure that your location is updated across all directories. And certify that the company which previously occupied the location has also changed its location.

Cite Proprietary Information

Your listing doesn’t have to end with NAP details. In your citation, include details that matter to your customers. You can add operating hours, pictures, and even links to your several platforms. This will make it easier for your clients to verify that they are interacting with your business.

Add a Keyword-Centered Description

Another slot often available on citation sites is the description box. Instead of leaving this empty, add an engaging description laced with your targeted keywords. This will help make your visibility battle a lot easier to win.

The Perfect SEO Citation

If it exists, we are not sure. But what we do know is an effective SEO citation. SEO citations are vital to your entire SEO and marketing strategy. When done right, they can increase organic traffic and boost both your visibility and ranking score.

Here at Bipper Media, we have been helping clients develop local SEO strategies for the past ten years.

Contact us to hear how we can help you develop your own SEO citation strategy for your business.

Bipper Media
Bipper Mediahttp://bippermedia.com
Bipper Media is a global leader in search engine optimization.

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