Local Search: Why Consumer Citations are the Future
So, you’re all over SEO, and you know how you can help your business get higher rankings with your marketing strategies… Your keywords are figured out, your social media is thriving, and you know how local search can make or break your SEO.
What’s left? Well, SEO is a complex issue. As it turns out, there’s always a bit of extra work left for your marketing team. We want to help you make sure you keep up with all the aspects of SEO that can help make you visible to customers.
This post breaks down how you can take your local search SEO strategy to the next level with consumer citations.
Why local search is SEO’s biggest shift right now
Since the beginning, search engines have had to regularly change their algorithms to improve results.
There were tons of businesses with false information who ranked without issue. At the same time, trustworthy businesses couldn’t make the first page.
With each algorithm update, legitimate businesses saw those false competitors get run out.
But search engines like Google continue to streamline their search results since more people are using their phones for local searches.
This means that businesses have to take a few extra steps to continue ranking with the new emphasis on local search.
Focus on the physical information
We’re taught to not focus on the physical, right? Well, this isn’t true all the time. Especially with SEO.
Adding information like the physical address, a local phone number, and working hours to all online platforms is an important step.
Even adding photos of your business to pages like your Google Business profile can boost your ranking.
The goal of all this? You’re proving that you actually are local to the area and that your business is relevant to users.
Bring in those reviews
Like it or not, many users will decide which business to work with, what store to shop at, or what restaurant to eat at depending on the reviews and ratings.
That’s why local search algorithms crawl the web for businesses that match with local addresses, seem legitimate through great online presence, and have reviews.
Smart businesses take this into account and do all they can to get customers to check in or write reviews for their business.
What are consumer citations?
Search engine algorithms are obviously catering to the users who are using their phones for local searches. Since phones allow GPS location to be easily logged, it just makes sense.
For this reason, it is a priority to get get reviews, update your online info, and keep up with your other SEO strategies.
But you will also want to start paying attention to customer citations.
Customer citations are the comments or situations where a user will reference your business online.
Think of Facebook: When you chat with a friend, just typing their name in will usually link to their profile unless you undo this.
Or if you read peer-reviewed research, you’ll see citations everywhere. Over time, you’ll see the same names getting cited over and over again, so you know that person has something good to say.
This is what a customer citation indicates to search engines: your business is offering something great and drumming up a conversation in different places of the web.
When someone makes a post and mentions your business (or its related info) in it, and you’re linked, you’ve just received a customer citation. And
Consumer citations are different
Unlike reviews or interacting with you on your social media platforms, consumer citations point to something totally different.
They’re actually really exciting if you think about it.
If someone mentions your business outside of your direct reviews or accounts, it means they’re spreading the word. They’re mentioning your business when they don’t really have to, and sharing it with their friends or followers.
In a way, they’re a very honest way of the way they analyze how valuable a business is to users. So, that’s exactly how search engines are using these citations.
They help your other SEO strategies
Have you heard the phrase “any press is good press”?
This idea is basically the main point when it comes to building your company’s SEO and rankings on the web. Whenever someone reviews, shares your content, or interacts with your business, you get “publicity” with the search engines.
So consumer citations are just icing on top of that SEO cake. You’re getting free press to platforms you may have never accessed. Your business is reaching consumers that may have been previously unaware of the services you offer.
Anything counts when it comes to SEO. These algorithms are smart, and thankfully this works in the favour of your business.
How? Because these algorithms search everything on the web. They pick up the information (like citations, reviews, etc) to add extra points to your company’s name.
The more you have out there, the more “points”, and the higher your SEO ranking.
The takeaway you should keep in mind
The goal of any business owner is to make sure the success of the business continues to grow. With so many people relying on the web to get their information, SEO is something already worth investing in.
SEO is all about building trust in your company. We all know that the internet can be full of misinformation and that there can be people with malicious intentions lurking behind a good looking website.
That’s why all of these little details, like gaining more reviews and consumer citations, really go a long way in proving that your business is truth worthy and worth checking out.
Your job is to build products and services that really help people and keep them coming back for more. So, it is important to work with a marketing company that will help people find you online.