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Rank Well: The Importance of Local Citation Cleanup and Upkeep

Local Citation May 22 2024

When trying to rank locally on search engines, there are a number of things you must do. One of the most important things is to create local citations.

But what’s a local citation?

A local citation is essentially a listing of your business information, in particular, your business name, phone number, and address.

If these 3 pieces of information are listed consistently from citation to citation, all will be well. If they’re inconsistent, however, problems can arise, the likes of which can hurt your local authority on Google Maps and other search engines.

This is why local citation cleanup and upkeep are important. They protect your ranking and ensure that you’re still getting the same amount of traffic to your site.

Looking to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know!

Understanding NAP

In order to understand the importance of local citation upkeep, you must first understand the importance of NAP. NAP stands for “Name, Address, Phone”, and it’s the most important information to include within a local citation.

Every business should have a set NAP, and shouldn’t deviate from it at all. This same NAP should be used in every citation.

Let’s say that the name of your business is Ray’s Brake Shop, the address of your business is 123 Fake Street, and the number of your business is 555-555-5555. Your NAP should read Ray’s Brake Shop-123 Fake Street-555-555-5555.

It shouldn’t read, for example, Ray’s Brake Company-123 Fake St.-555-5555-5552. It should remain exactly the same regardless of where it’s listed.

If you don’t use consistent NAP from citation to citation, you’ll confuse the search engine, thereby hurting your search engine ranking. The inconsistent citations will make it difficult for the search engine to recognize your business, and therefore hinder its credibility with the search engine.

How Do Local Citation Inconsistencies Occur?

Local citation inconsistencies can occur in a number of ways. Some of the most common scenarios that result in these inconsistencies include the following:

Address Changes

Let’s say that your business used to be based out of your home. As such, when you first started listing it online, you were associating it with your home address.

At some point, though, you moved your business. Now, it has an entirely different address than it did before.

Because of this, your local citations have differing address information. Some of your citations show your old address, and others show your new address. This is undoubtedly going to confuse Google and other search engines.

For this reason, it’s vital that you go back to your old citations and clean them up manually. Until they have the same address information as your more recent citations, your search engine ranking will suffer.

Mistakes When Inputting Information

Another way that NAP inconsistencies can occur is by inputting incorrect information when filling out online listings. Even a small typo could affect a search engine’s ability to relate two citations. And if you were trying to get the job done quickly, typos are a probability.

In these cases, you’re going to want to go back and correct any mistakes that were made. Only by correcting these mistakes can you optimize the quality of your local citations.

Improper Info Entered By Third Parties

Let’s say that your business information gets listed in the newspaper. This counts as a local citation.

Now, let’s say that your information was entered incorrectly. Rest assured, this will negatively impact your search engine ranking.

This may not be your fault. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to fix it. Try to contact the publisher of the information and do everything possible to ensure that it’s entered correctly.

The Benefits of Using a Local Citation Cleanup Service

If you wish, you can alter every one of your inconsistent citations manually. There’s nothing wrong with doing this. However, an alternative would be to use a local citation cleanup service.

Curious as to the benefits of doing so? They include the following:

Save Time

Cleaning up citations seems like it would be a quick process. After all, it’s just 3 pieces of information. However, in reality, it can take hours to clean up even a few citations.

If you’re a busy business owner, you don’t have the time to dedicate hours to this endeavor. This is why you should consider hiring a local citation cleanup service.

By hiring such a service, you outsource the task entirely. As such, you don’t have to dedicate any time to the cleanup at all.

Cover All Your Bases

You could have hundreds of location citations out there. The trouble is, without the proper tools, you could easily miss a few of them. Therefore, even if you do put countless hours into editing them, they could still be harming your SEO.

This is where a local citation cleanup service comes in. These services have digital tools that will enable them to locate all of your local citations. As such, they’ll cover all the bases and ensure that no bad citations are affecting your ranking.

If you’re interested in a local citation audit, give us a call!

Receive Full Optimization

When you hire a local citation cleanup service, you’re not just getting the basics. Yes, the service you hire will ensure that your name, address, and phone are entered correctly. However, they’ll also add additional information to each citation to ensure that it’s fully optimized.

See, most business listing sites provide areas in which to input pertinent business information. These areas allow you to input all sorts of relevant keywords, not to mention portray your business in the most positive light possible.

Yes, you could fill these out on your own. However, doing so would be extremely time-consuming. Plus, you might not understand how to use the right keywords.

Your local citation cleanup service will understand exactly what’s required and will make sure that your listings are optimized for maximum ranking power.

Need Help With Local Citation Cleanup and Upkeep?

As you can see, maintaining and organizing local citations is a vital part of local SEO. If you don’t do it, your website ranking will eventually suffer.

Need help with local citation cleanup and upkeep? Bipper Media has you covered. Contact us now to schedule a call!

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