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Citations are mentions of your brick and mortar business data on the Internet.

Build Citations for Local Business

Citations are mentions of your brick and mortar business data on the Internet. Local citations impact your business by letting online client discovering your business and improve local search engine rankings. Building a citation involves registering NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) along with as much details of your local business including business category, Geo location, Driving directions, Business email, Working hours etc. at reputed and relevant business portals. Building consistent citations helps improve local SEO ranking resulting in increased online visibility and thus new business from a new wave of online clients.

How to prepare data for building local citations?


Data is vital when you build local citations. Data should be consistent, valid, detailed, and informative and portray your business at the best. Collect as much information as possible for the following fields

Name of Business: Provide the exact business name

Address: Furnish the Floor/Number if any, Building Name/Number, Street Address, Locality, City, State/Region, Zipcode, Country.

Phone Number:Your business Landline number, Mobile Number & Toll free number if any.

Category of Business: Identify the category of your business; in some cases you can build citations under multiple business categories.

Days/Hours of Operation: Indicate the days and hours of operation. This is very important when building citations and if you offer emergency services you can provide 24X7.

Driving Directions: Typically you can mention landmarks, parking lots etc. along with access roads to your business.

About Business: Vision, Mission of Business, History, founders, directors and other information.

Photos & Videos: Multimedia, Photos and videos of events, celebrations etc.

Payment Accepted: Mode of payments, eg. Credit Card, Check, Cash, Online transfers etc.

Geo-coordinates: Latitude and Longitude of business location.

Logo &Tagline: Establishing your brand with logo, Tagline.

Email: Business email Id(s).

Social Media Properties: GMB(Google My Business), FB Business Page, Twitter, Insta, Pinterest

Alternate Phone Numbers: Alternate phone numbers if any.


How to Audit & Update existing local business citations before building citations?


The most important step which is overlooked by most of citation building tools is audit existing citations. Chances are your business is listed in a good number of business portals and they may not be consistent or may have outdated data. A leading research indicates that 90% of clients are frustrated by incorrect business listings with over 70% losing their trust on business with incorrect citations. No citation building tool can efficiently update these listings. This needs manual citation audit which you should perform before you build new citations.

Discover existing citations


Google your business with the below search terms

  • Your business name, short and long form.
  • Your business name + phone number.
  • Your Business address.
  • Your business name + website.
  • Your business name + City/State/Region

Collect all the information in an excel sheet under respective titles.

Fixing existing citations


If you find any differences in the existing citations, you have to update the citations using your account. If you do not remember the credentials, you can either use forgot password option or contact the business portal and request them to change the business information. In some cases you may have to claim your listings with your business email, which you can authenticate and update the citations.

How to find reputed and relevant sources to build citations?


While building citations, it is important that the quality matters over quantity. Citations from reputed and relevant sources help you get more clients and positive impact on search results compared to 1000's of low quality citations. Let us identify the good sources for building citations.

The major players you should build citations first:


GMB - Google My Business is the first place to build your citation. Your business may be listed in GMB and in that case, you need to claim it and update your business profile with as much data as possible.

FB Pages- Facebook offers business page and you can reach a number of local groups, clients and visibility through FB pages.

Twitter - Claim your twitter handle even if you are not tweeting regularly as competitors may misuse your brand.

Yelp - Needless to say it is the best review site for local business.

Bing Local, Yellow Pages, BBB, Superpages etc.

Hyper Local Citation Sources

Google "your business location/city/state" + "chamber of commerce/business associations/news portals/business directory" and analyze the portals for reputation like age of domain, listings, DA etc. and build citations. Some of these portals may only have a paid option, and you have to decide if it is worth paying for. Mostly the best portals out there will have a free and paid option.

Industry Niche's

Google "your business category" + "Portal, Directory, Web directory,  Business directory, Organization" and analyze the portals to build your industry specific niche citations. Citations on business niche's are very effective in search rankings as they are very relevant and drive in more clients.

Data Aggregators for Citation Building

Citations built on data aggregators such as Factual, Neustar,Localeze, Foursquare and Infogroup supply data to thousands of local directories, mobile apps, and maps.

Competitor Citations

This is an excellent source to build new citation. Research your competitor citations and build your citations on those sources.

Press Release & News Portals

Have your business listed in PR and News portals.

What are the risks involved in ignoring citations?


Ignoring citations will damage your business rankings, reputation, and revenue as this may cause

  • Inconsistent citations
  • Competitors damaging your business reputation
  • Unable to reach target clients with accurate data
  • No control over your business citations
  • Unable to manage and reply to reviews, good and bad

Does backlinks matter while creating citations?


While backlinks will be an added advantage of business citations, the actual idea of building citations is to have an accurate mention of your business. So no matter you get a backlink or not, you have to build the citation from reputed and relevant source.

Should I build citations in-house or use a tool or hire an agency?


The choice is yours, if you have the right resources to build citations it is always good to build it in-house. Instead of using automated tools, we suggest you hire an agency experienced in citation building and can deliver the best results at reasonable rates.

How much should I pay to build citations?


Citation building is an art and the rates depend on where and how you build citations. For example if you are to build a GMB or BBB listing it may cost you more compared to a regular citation. Citation building tools have a subscription model, where you can build and manage your citation yourself. This again requires lot of work from your side. The best option is to hire an agency to build your citations and maintain them which should be in the range of $2-4 to build a citation. To manage citations as and when the data is changed you may pay them a hourly rate of $10-15. One can update a minimum of 20 citations in an hour. This is cost effective and you have greater control over individual citations.

 

Image courtesy: https://unsplash.com/@emmamatthews

Category :

SEO News

Tags :

Citations, local business

About Guna Nadar

Guna Nadar

Brief Info about Guna Nadar +

I mostly write technical aspects and not much into creative writing. For the past decade I worked along with top notch SEO & Internet Marketing professionals which naturally lured me into the world of Search Engines. When I am not writing I read from comics to philosophy.Antiques, Fishing, hunting are my passions. Currently I am working on Google Penalty protection and .... more info