Have you ever searched for your company’s information that is available online? That’s pretty much it. The online data about your business is referred to as the local citation.
As you most probably have googled your company, you are likely to find details such as name, address, and contact information, among other data.
What if any of these details are inaccurate? Considering the fact that this data is your chance to make the first impression, you must be spot on with your essentials.
What if your potential customers encounter erroneous or outdated company data? Unfavorably, your brand reputation will take a hit; your conversions will go down, and people will move over to your competitors.
In concrete terms, you just can’t let that happen. After all, you know how challenging it is to establish an online reputation on the utterly dynamic search engine.
As a small business owner, how can you address this problem?
Let’s find out:
Why Does It Matter?
First, let’s get to the root of the subject matter. Why does it even matter to maintain updated information across all local business directories, social media platforms, apps, and websites?
The Three R’s
The reason is three-fold:
Impact on Reputation
Can you envisage the frustration of a person who drops by a wrong address all because the information online was not precise?
Accurate citations will not only increase the foot traffic but also boost the number of visitors on your website as well as sales calls. This will strengthen the trust of your customers, thereby improving the retention rate and word of mouth marketing.
Impact on Revenue
Imagine a scenario where a prospect comes looking for your business, finds the contact information online, and dials the phone number provided by the business directory/website/app.
As it turns out, the number no longer exists.
What do you think will happen in that case? Will the customer dig the internet for an accurate phone number? In most cases, the answer is no. They will instead rush to your competitor who has accurate, updated information.
Unfortunately, you have just lost a customer. More losses like these will certainly hurt your company’s overall revenue.
Impact on Ranking
Search engines such as Google take into consideration the local citations in order to rank your business online. If its algorithms find that the data is misleading, your company’s website will be downranked, which adversely affects its SEO capabilities.
Three main factors, namely, quality, number, and accuracy of local citations, determine your site’s ranking on Google and various other search engines. Hence, building local citations is imperative to get a head start.
Important Note: Many businesses ignore the fact that local citations significantly contribute to SEO. Make sure not to be a part of a business circle where SEO aspects are not valued.
What Are Its Various Elements?
Apart from the name, phone number, and address, there are various other elements of local citations. Some of them include, but are not limited to:
- Alternate phone number
- Social media links
- Link to company’s website
- Taglines, business descriptions
- Email address
- Videos and images
- Geo-coordinates, driving directions
- Business attributes, categories, reviews
- Modes of payment
- Owner responses
- Hours of operation
- Call to actions
The sole purpose of filling out all these components is to make it easier for customers to locate your business. Failing to do so can have a negative impact on one of the three R’s that we discussed earlier.
Where Can You Develop Local Citations?
Now that you are familiar with the importance of local citations let’s take a look at various platforms where you can create citations as a local business owner/marketer.
Top Business Data Platforms
These include key platforms such as Infogroup, Localeze/Neustar, Acxiom, and Google My Business, which have been designed for publishing such data.
Besides, you can leverage Yelp and Facebook, which are popular among customers owing to their review-oriented nature, but if you don’t have the time to enter your data on all these sites and create accounts then your best option is a citation software.
Certain platforms pertaining to your industry or geographic location are important for building local citations.
Examples of these include professional associations and chamber of commerce websites.
The Wider Web
It includes government databases, maps, apps, news sites, and blogs where you can build supplementary citations.
How Can a Business Directory Software Help?
Manual local citation management is a tedious endeavor that can cost you precious time and effort while still leaving some room for error. With so many components and online sources to take care of, investing in automated software should be the preferred choice.
Following are some of the benefits of local citation software or business directory software:
- Take complete control of your own data
- Easily identify inconsistencies in citations
- Improve local search rankings
- Update incorrect/outdated information
- Prevent the loss of revenue and customers
- Manager online reviews
- Edit local citations after re-branding, mergers, and acquisitions
- Enhance the probability of your business being discovered
- Remove duplicate business listings
- Maintain accurate citations across all platforms
These are indispensable benefits of automated business directory software, which will give you the much-needed competitive edge in the local market.
Let’s Wind Up
Building local citations are vital for your brand’s reputation, revenue, and ranking. Manual local citation management is quite time-consuming and not worth it when you’ve got a business to run.
https://webmasterexperts.ca/website-essential/Leave your worries about local SEO on citation software tools and focus on what you do better. Depending on the software you choose, you may also benefit from link building and voice search optimization services. We recommend visiting www.webmasterexperts.ca for the software.
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