What is Local SEO?

Local Search Engine Optimization is the method used to maximize the reach of a website in order to help it garner higher traffic, generate leads and increase the awareness of the brand running the website. The techniques used to carry out this process are finding keywords that the consumers are susceptible to using and building “NAP” citations. Google ranks local search results on the basis of multiple factors. This makes Local SEO different compared to a regular Google search. NAP results the location of the user, keywords, social media shares. These are some of the ranking signals of local SEO that differentiate from a Google search. 

What are Local Listings?

Businesses have portfolios that are available online. Those portfolios contain various facets of information regarding the business such as its name, address, phone number, social media handles, website link and the likes. These are referred to as local business listings. When the information regarding a business is more transparent, it is easier for potential users to want to engage with that brand and consume its content. This makes those organizations come off as a more credible and reliable source thus, aiding in its search engine optimization. However, these listings need to be updated regularly because local websites share its index with other websites so wrong information in one area that translate into wrong information throughout the chain. 

Working in local business listings, building “NAP” citations and using local keywords play an important role in being the ultimate guide to local SEO

What are Citations?

Citations for a website are different from backlinks. It is simply the mention of one website on another website. It tends to contain the NAP (name, address, phone number) of the website. It helps optimize a website and acts as a catalyst in increasing its overall SEO score. There is a belief that a listing is of no use without a backlink. However, citations can be more important than backlinks when it comes to local listings. 

How are citations more beneficial than backlinks?

Visibility Boost

Online catalogues normally permit clients to channel results by specific categories such as administrations, business classification, and location. On the off chance that your brand has local citations on the directories which are being utilized by customers to discover local organizations, you’ll get an immediate boost in your brand visibility. Indeed, even in occurrences where prospective customers settle for your brand’s competitor, they might be bound to think about your business the next time if they continue to see the citations of your brand. 

Improvement of Business Reputation

Local business directories or listings often allow their users to post their feedbacks and reviews regarding a business such as Google My Business. Yes, it is highly beneficial for local search engine optimization, however, reviews regarding a business helps build the online reputation of the brand. With positive reviews comes the power of attracting more customers. Since negative reviews can backfire on your business, you must make sure that you are taking the right steps and are tying your loose ends. It is necessary for businesses to take up the criticisms and work on them to optimize their business. As a matter of face, the average customer tends to appreciate and rely on a brand that puts the effort to address its issues and resolve them. Citations play a huge role in building this reputation because it makes the brand more reliable, the listings make it come off as a customer oriented company and even if your brand is established, the lack of citations might make potential customers confuse it for a sketchy new business which is not very reliable which is why citations for local listing is an ultimate guide to local SEO

Attracts potential clients, investors and generates leads 

Yes, a business-to-customer relationship is important. However, citations in local business listings go beyond that. Targeting other organizations or investors in the market makes a business attract potential investors, partners or clients. This type of citation falls under B2B (business-to-business) citation. B2B citations appeal more to consumers when a) references are made to the brand’s primary products and services, b) links to the social media handles of the business is available so that the consumer gets to acquire more organic information about the brand and c) it gives out the contacts details of important people associated with the business such as the owner of the business or the sales representatives. 

How to find citations for any business?

Google

Brands must work with Google and its policies through and through because it is the most popular search engine. It is a fundamental asset for local businesses. However, its widespread use is a reason why many experts do not consider it as a citation or a source for citation. Since citations fall under the ultimate guide to local SEO and Google My Business listing happens to be the most important listing for a brand, getting cited over there is incredibly valuable for any business due to its immense popularity. 

Geo- and industry-specific platforms

Contingent upon your industry and the actual area of your business, extra stages may offer open doors for building all the more high-esteem organized citations. For instance, inns and other accommodation industry undertakings can get recorded on the extremely famous travel audit site,TripAdvisor.com. Doctors and other medical specialists can get cited on a site like HealthGrades.com. Lawyers, attorneys and advocates can get recorded at FindLaw.com. General temporary workers, home specialist co-ops, and numerous other plans of action will have the option to search out professional/exchange affiliation destinations on the basis of which they get to construct and build extra citations. Chamber of commerce sites, local business affiliations, and network centres additionally offer spots to get listed which are specific to the geographical location of your organization. Brands can choose to pay for a listing if it is guaranteed to help it acquire enough traffic so that the brand can cover its expenses.

Brands can adopt several other ways of using citations in local listings as the ultimate guide to local SEO.