February 11, 2013
When it comes to SEO, it’s always linking, linking, and more linking. After all, it’s the links that Google bots follow and it’s the links that move you up on a search engine results page (SERP). However, what many companies don’t realize is that citations are also incredibly important for local SEO. While links might be a tad more influential when it comes to Google’s ranking algorithm, citations are still taken into consideration.
For those who are unfamiliar, a citation is simply just a mention of your company name or contact information without a link somewhere across the web. A few examples of where you can find a citation include:
As you can see, local plays a big role when it comes to citations. In general, it is the local listings and websites that you have control over when it comes to citations. You can list your name in a yellow pages or a local directory, and even if there is no backlink, you’ll still be gaining the benefits of a citation.
Top Reasons Why Local Citations are Important for SEO
You probably won’t see a huge jump in rankings when it comes to citations; however you will likely be bumped up on a SERP if you’re competing with sites that have a very similar SEO standing as you. Some of the reasons Google likes to see citations include:
Finding your local citations isn’t always easy, but it is a good idea to start keeping track now. Consider setting up a Google Alert for your company so that every time your company is mentioned online you will get an email. When it comes to directories and yellow pages, simply search for your company name and then check over all of the information to make sure it is correct.
Strategies for Earning More Local SEO Citations
Trying to earn more local SEO citations is essentially the same as trying to earn backlinks. You first want to put your name in every local directory you can, and you then want to consider talking to your local chamber of commerce. Once you’ve made this happen, you should consider expanding your reach to some of the same places you do when link building by putting out: Press releases, blog posts and guest blog posts, RSS feeds, banner ads, PPC ads, and even email signatures.
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