Local businesses have a wealth of opportunities to build their audiences online and offline. However, checking the accuracy of your business citations on all channels is imperative to ensure your audience can land on your doorstep after they’ve found you online.
For local businesses, if your audience can’t find you, they can’t buy from you.
Stick with us, and we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of citation accuracy, so you can troubleshoot yours and invite more people to discover you online and find you in person.
At Romain Berg, checking your citation accuracy is an essential piece of our comprehensive digital marketing services. Since we deliver results over hype, our first goal is to optimize all the channels that may impact your SEO results.
Contact us today to discover our superior level of detail and strategy for getting you seen and paid as a local business.
What are citations?
No, we are not the internet police, and we’re not ticketing you for a parking violation. Because that’s probably what most of us think when we see the word “citation.”
In the land of the internet, citations are your business locators. Your business name, address, phone number, city, state, country, and zip code are part of your citations.
Additional citation components can include:
- Hours of operation
- Business category or industry
- Map and driving directions
- Customer reviews
- Social pages
- Alternate phone numbers
- Payment forms
Though many businesses have Google My Business accounts where this information lives, your citations can appear in many more online places than Google. And, there’s all kinds of potential for those citations to be incorrect, out of date, or otherwise flawed.
For instance, if you changed business locations or domain names, your old information is likely still “at large” on the interwebs, even if you’ve taken pains to update your GMB account and social pages.
So, how many places do my citations typically appear, anyway?
Believe it or not, depending on the size of your market, your business info could appear in literally hundreds of online citation sites.
Your citations can be active (you’re posting and updating them, like on Google My Business or Facebook) or passive (like Yelp, the Yellow Pages, or White pages)–they appear whether you’ve requested the listing or not.
Here’s a list of the top 50 of these citation sites for reference.
We bet you’re surprised to learn you could appear in many of those places. We are too, but it’s a reality you must address to optimize your search rank fully.
Citations and SEO
With more citation sites, there’s so much opportunity for your citation info to be less than perfect. When errors occur, and your business info is not listed consistently, Google pays attention and may lower your rank.
It all comes down to trust. Trust is a currency on search engines like Google. If all your business info shows up the same everywhere it’s listed, Google can trust the information is correct. If there are differences, Google downgrades your online trust level, and therefore your rank.
Improving SEO takes time, patience, and attention to detail. Accurate citation info is one of those crucial details that often gets overlooked.
Ensuring citation accuracy is also a simple measure to correct. Still, you may want to outsource this service if you don’t have hours to spend combing citation sites for your company.
Citations and customers
Need we state the obvious? Everyone, even the people in the apartment complex next door to your business, searches online for everything, all the time.
When someone desperately needs the amazing Thai food your restaurant serves or the dental care your office provides, and your address is wrong, you just lost a customer.
Those searchers will drive to the wrong address, get all irritated that they wasted their time, and may even leave you a bad Yelp review, at worst. At best, they will write off your business name as untrustworthy and never bother to darken your doorstep, even if they eventually succeed in locating it.
Outsource your active citation management
Handing the task of citation management over to a trusted partner enables you to ensure your accurate business listings online, improve your SEO, and free up more time to run your business.
When you outsource this aspect of your SEO with the agency of your choice, make sure the following is included at a minimum in the service you purchase:
- Complete citation analysis, across 50 top citation sites, with data on citation accuracy or errors on each site
- Troubleshooting citation errors for duplication and inaccuracy
- Closing duplicate accounts
- Creating a strategy for managing customer reviews
- Ensuring your company is accurately and favorably represented in your citation information across all common and not-so-common channels
Romain Berg is a superior partner in citation accuracy, as well as providing a full complement of SEO and digital marketing strategy and services for our clients. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to building online trust for your business.
Contact us today to find out more about your overall citation accuracy online.