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Are Local Citations dead or alive?
Everyone has thought that local citations are dead since the emergence of Google Pigeon update. Since then, directory listings are not that effective as they were before. Before Google cracked down on local citations, it was so easy to appear on the map results. Just list your business, place your NAP (Name, Address, Place), put back-links, and some keywords, then you are done.
There are two divided crowds right now: the ones who think that local citation is relevant in boosting a website and the ones who think that it’s actually dead. It is tough to side one crowd because both crowd’s sentiments are worth considering and following. However, it is the purpose of this article to see if local citations are still worth it.
Local Citations: To build or not to build?
Google has put importance on the brand prominence of a website for it can rank on Google Search engine. The three things to consider for you to rank higher on Google Search Engine are:
1. The Location (Proximity) of a business
2. Niche (Relevance) of a business
3. Real Entity (brand prominence)
Why do these matter? It is because Google wants to prioritize websites that have real businesses, rather than a fake one. One of the most important things to consider for brand prominence is the NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number). With the help of NAP, there’s a higher chance for Google to recognize your business or brand. This is important for every link that you build for all of your local SEO campaigns. The goal is to establish the authority of your brand.
As you can see, Google has no time for an approach to defeating your competition by building more citations for your business or brand than theirs. It is because Google has become more customer-first when it comes to its algorithms. This makes ranking on Google search engine much harder than expected.
It is about time to recalibrate your local citation strategy on how Google views it now by building on major platforms that can rev-up your local SEO campaign. And then, you can add more supplemental links to it once you are done focusing on major platforms.
Now, the decision is on your hands if to build (local citations), or not to build at all.
It’s all about quality links and quality platforms
Local citations have to be accurate citations more than just building a lot of citations which could be inaccurate. Quality still matters more than quantity. Local citations when done right can help establish a brand’s presence on Google Search Engine and potentially generate web traffic. This is where quality links and quality platforms come to play.
If there is consistency in how your local citations are built, then many people can track your business. This is what Google wants to see in every local citation campaign of businesses. Therefore, take it seriously. Build your local citations on quality sites which are structured and that are authoritative directory sites, so that your business can flourish, instead of suffering.
Wrong or misleading information can definitely be detrimental to your business’ chances of becoming more visible. Take note, every local citation you build counts.
Make sure that you encode your business details (name, address, phone number) correctly, and focus on geo-specific links because these are quality links where most quality platforms are. The backlink authority of the sites where you build your local citations is important because gone are the days when you have to build a lot of links on different directories. The local citation gaming has changed and will continue to change in the years to come.
This is why: QUALITY is important!
Create a great local citation strategy
It is important that all of your moves in local citation building are well-planned and well-executed. This is why you need to create a great local citation strategy and we are here to help you out in doing that.
1. List all of your top local citations sites. Every site has to be authoritative for you to have greater chances of becoming more visible to your people. This is your first step to success.
2. Time to build your local citations on sites that are niche relevant and geo-specific as well. It will help increase consumer confidence in your business. There are some directories that require a small fee if it is worth the pay, then take the opportunity of doing so.
3. Reverse engineer competitors can help you build on each new site where you are building a campaign. It is recommendable to use WhiteSpark or BrightLocal to mine citation opportunities. However, you can use other tools as well. It is at your own disposal. After compiling the list, you can start building.
4. Lastly, you can consider building supporting citations to back your major platforms. It is possible that you can encounter some indexation issues as they poorly built citations. Just take note of it.
This sums up your local citation strategy.
Local Citation Build Specs
Try avoiding poorly constructed citations because you have a great chance of losing them. Being precise in filling out business profiles must be taken into deep consideration. Incomplete business profiles have higher chances to be removed. A complete business profile is valuable to Google’s eyes because it is enough to be an index into people’s public cache.
In filling out a business profile, it is important to have more content that can be textual or media, or even both, on the listing. It has a great chance of staying alive and driving more traffic to your website. Avoid using images that are not yours because Google might consider it not factual. FYI, Google wants to have geo-tagging images that are focused on your business.
Avoid duplication of business descriptions because it can be harmful to your local citation campaign. Google does not see value in duplicated business descriptions. Just be careful!
Lastly, submit your citation to the Google crawl or use an indexer. It will help you with your local citation campaign.
As you have read in this article, local citations can be irrelevant if it is not done the right way. However, local citations are still valuable to local SEO if everything is done the right way, like creating a great local citation strategy and focusing on quality links and platforms.
Local citations can never be dead, rather it will continue to change as years go by because through local citations, people can locate your business, and your business becomes nearer to them.
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