What is Local SEO?
The focus of local SEO is to improve targeted visibility. Local SEO is the process that involves optimizing your site, focusing on local keywords, and building citations that help you rank higher for search queries in a particular local area.
Local SEO is very important if you own a shop, bakery, hospital, or any local agency where your target audience is concentrated on a particular geographic area. In today’s age with increasing competition, building a strong online presence can help you provide an edge over other businesses. Thus, Local SEO is essential for a business that aspires to rank locally in Google organic results.
How does Local SEO work?
Local SEO uses a varied set of ranking factors for extracting the most relevant local search results for each query. Some of the unique ranking signals include the device’s location, Google My Business listings, Keywords used in Google My Business profile, number of check-ins at that location, and Google Maps ratings. Businesses can increase organic traffic from local searches by adopting best practices for improving local SEO.
How can I improve my local SEO?
There are multiple approaches and aspects to consider while optimizing your site for local SEO. From focussing on local keywords to optimizing for voice search, businesses adopt multiple strategies to rank higher for local searches.
However, some of the most prominent and effective Local SEO tips include optimizing for Google My Business, improving internal linking structure, adding location pages to your site, and participating in the local community forums to get more relevant inbound links.
Local citations are an essential aspect of local SEO that can help you rank higher in the map pack. Citations as critical to your local SEO efforts as backlinks. It helps customers find you easily and improves business visibility.
What are local citations?
Citations are listings of your company on other websites that contain relevant details about your business, including Your company’s name, address, contact details, and other required information.
However, unlike backlinks, citations are not clickable, and the listed pages do not have a link to you.
What are the different types of citations?
There are primarily two types of citations :
- Structured Citations: Citations mentioned in directories containing information on a large number of businesses in a given geographic region are called structured citations.
Some of the examples of structured citations include Yellowpages, Google Maps, Yelp, etc.
- Unstructured Citations: When the company’s information appears on a website that isn’t strictly a business directory, a blog, review site, or some other website is known as an unstructured citation.
Some examples of unstructured citations include newspaper articles, mentions in a blog post, a citation on some social media platform, etc.
How to Build Citations for a Business to Increase Local SEO?
Building local citations for your business could be a cumbersome process. Still, with the correct and consistent approach, you’ll be able to witness results depending on the number of citations as well as the competition in your industry.
Some of the ways to build citations for your business are:
Build on Core Structure Citations
You should ensure that your business is listed on the common business directories to optimize your exposure. As a result, your target audience would refer to these directories on a more frequent basis, and they can also help you achieve a strong local ranking.
Some of the common listings where you can post your structured citations are Yelp, Bing, Facebook, Yahoo! Local, Apple Maps, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, CityGrid, etc.
Leverage Industry-specific and Geography-specific citation Platforms
Besides the common business directories, you should further explore industry-specific listing sites. Especially if you are involved in providing professional services such as real estate consulting, legal advisory, hospitality, or medical, having your business listed on these industry-specific sites would add credibility to your company and allow it to reach the more targeted audience.
For example, If you are a restaurant and want to leverage industry-specific platforms, some examples are Zomato, Opentable, Dineout, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, Grubhub, and many more.
List your company on Government Websites.
There are also government databases for local businesses where you can list your business. Usually, these sites have a rigorous vetting process that can add to your brand authenticity and improve the credibility of your business.
Look out for your competitor’s listings.
Research on few competitors listed the highest on local searches and search for listing websites they have put their businesses on. You can also find local listings for specific cities to discover more citation sources and platforms to place your website’s name, address and contact details.
Guest posting on High DA sites
Local SEO also depends on your website’s authority. Getting backlinks from high domain-authority sites can bring a new audience to your website, increasing your website traffic. In addition, when a relevant audience finds information about your business on other authoritative sites, it helps inform both search engines and your customers about your local presence.
How can Local Citations help your business?
Building Local Citations have several positive impacts on your business, such as:
- Improved Local SEO Rankings- Local citations can help your search engines assess the credibility of information provided by your company through multiple citations. If your company’s information appears online more often, it reflects the authority and popularity of your website, which ultimately boosts your local SEO rankings.
- Boost Website Traffic – As a consequence of improved local SEO rankings, increased visibility can lead to more website traffic. Even unstructured and unlinked citations can help boost website visibility that can introduce your business to more customers.
- Brand Awareness- Building your listings on numerous websites citing the same information about your company, particularly high-authority, trusted websites, goes a long way in building brand awareness and brand credibility as customers are more likely to trust a brand has heard, seen, or read about.
Local SEO has huge potential to bring in more traffic, more credibility, and consequently more sales to your business. Your strategy of obtaining more local citations will also depend on your geographic area and your industry. It is important to place your citations on familiar sites with your target audience and cater to the same service or products as you do.
Building core citations can give your business the much-needed edge and boost overall business growth. Contact us at Majorbrains – Top Ranked SEO Company in Pune