If you want to rank locally, then it's going to be hard to ignore citations. According to recent SEO studies, citations make up more than 25 percent of the local ranking factors.
In the SEO world, websites that want to rank nationwide will often have to chase links to rank well on search engines. However, in the local markets, you don't necessarily want to focus on links, but rather, you're going to want to focus on citations, which are equal to a backlink for a website looking to rank all over the world.
Citations are going to be more than just helping your local business rank. They are going to help develop your brand, draw in new customers and even drive hundreds of new eyeballs to your website. As long as these citations are built properly, success should come your way.
To get you started with building citations the right way, let's explore what you're going to need to do to rank, drive traffic and develop a good reputation online:
1. Accurate Information
The first step that you're going to want to take is by making sure all of your information is correct. Since most citation-based websites will ask for the same information, you're going to want to make sure your address, phone number, website and so forth is 100 percent accurate. The last thing that you want to have happen is have a potential customer land on your profile and be sent to the wrong website.
2. Prepare Your Information
As stated above, most citation websites are going to ask for the same information, and with that being said, it's important that you prepare some data ahead of time. This is going to include:
- Owner's name
- Company name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Logo URL
The best way to store this information is by inserting it into a spreadsheet. That way, when you start building your citations, you can simply copy and paste from the spreadsheet to the website.
3. Building is Tedious
Building hundreds of citations can take a lot of work, and let's not forget that the process can take hours and become extremely boring. Thankfully, there are many well-known services out there who are more than willing to do the dirty work for you.
If you do decide that you want to use a professional service, always make sure that you find out what directories they are going to submit to, how long they have been in business and what kind of work they have done in the past.
4. Logging Information
Regardless of which route you take, always make sure that you log any website that you submit a profile to. That way, if you come across this website in the future, you won't have to worry about filling out the information, only to find out that you have submitted your information before.
To store your information, you will want to use a spreadsheet that notes your username, password, the website URL and when you submitted your profile. This spreadsheet is also going to come in handy because you can go back to make sure that your profile is live on the Internet.
5. Submit to the Best
While it may be tempting to submit to as many citation websites as you can, you have to understand that the amount isn't what matters; it's going to be the quality. The lesson here is that you don't want to waste your time submitting to hundreds of directories that are going to do you no good, but instead, you're going to want to submit to those that send you traffic and boost your rankings. GetListed.org breaks down the best citation websites you should submit to.
Citations will take some time to build, but if it's done right, it's a great way to drive in a lot more traffic. When you finally decide to start the process, just be sure to keep these tips in mind to make sure that your citations are built the right way.