Here's the audio version of this post:
Build Locally, Win Globally
For the local business owner, growing a customer base on a global scale may not seem like a smart approach. And for the business who resides on the web only, localizing your market to your business headquarters may seem pointless.
Logic, Google, and search engine rankings will often defy logic. So to stay in the game of this thing we call “the web”, you need to understand the rules in order to play, and win.
What Are Local Citations and Why Are They Important?
Put your internet-user hat on for a minute. Let’s say you’re looking for a specific product, ice-cream that can be created and flavored to your liking. Ice cream customization to the endth degree. As you enter your search for this online, Google will populate listings that have the most relevance related to your criteria. Let’s also consider that this discussion is based on organic search and not paid ads.
If this company has multiple brick-and-mortar locations in the Southeastern United States and you, as the consumer, reside in Hoboken, New Jersey, this establishment may not be a fit.
HOWEVER, this ice cream can be drop shipped via dry freezer. So physical location is not as much of an obstacle.
Here’s where local citations come in. Each time your business has a presence on the worldwide web, it scores ranking points with Google. A local citation of your business includes your business name but can include your physical address, phone number, website, and map to where you can be found.
There are structured and unstructured citations. Structured citations are common and readily found through business listing directories such as Yelp, Mapquest, Facebook and more. Business mentions in online media outlets, wikis, and blogs are unstructured.
The More Local Citations, The Merrier
Search engine algorithms factor in local citations for ranking. It isn’t just about the quantity of local citations that you have but also the quality of them.
Quality local citation assessment includes:
- Core Search Engines
- Primary Data Sources
- Tier 1 – more prominent websites
Local Citations Are a Powerful Tool for Non-Local Sites
Even though many online businesses may not have a physical storefront, the benefits from local citations will still serve them well by increasing their rankings.
Here’s How to Build Local Citations in 5 Easy Steps
Need ideas on where to get started and how to find viable citation sources in your geographic area? Try these.
- Do an online search for a competitor but use the results that do NOT include that company’s website.
- Search for two local businesses by including their names together in a single search. What will likely pop up are other content sources that list these business names.
- Do a location-based search for the city, town, or region that is of interest to you. Those search listings may reveal businesses that would be interested in adding your business as a local citation to their content.
- Use geo-targeting tools: Moz has a great one called Link Intersect
- Try Google Alerts to find which media outlets are giving these same businesses online exposure. Those may prove to be some great sources to connect with.
89% of Marketers Increase Sales by Using Location Data
A 2019 Lawless Research and Factual survey measured the outcomes of marketer participants who used location data in their campaigns. The findings indicate that the primary use of location data was to target specific audiences, gain engagement, hone strategy, and enhance the customer experience. If these aren’t reasons enough to include location data in your marketing efforts, some may call you a dinosaur.
Marketing Tips & News
From the Eminent Team
What Is a Local Citation?
The more other people talk about your business online, the greater you can rank for local searches. Think of it like web gossip with a purpose.