Local citation is nothing new. It has been there in our life in decades, just its medium has changed, and actually changed a lot.
Small businesses used to register their name, address, and telephone (call it NAT) in different agencies where they operated for many years. Registering your business in local lists simply increases your chance of getting new customers.
Nowadays, this is simple done online, almost entirely.
There are thousands of websites that hold directories of businesses. Some allow registering your business in different category. The biggest and most well known of them is Google Small Business directory.
Why is it important for small businesses to get registered in the listing directories?
Local citation is vital for your search engine marketing strategy, why? Because more and more consumers search Google and other social media for what they need. Local citation and directory listing is vital for small businesses as they need to be more visible in their local community, when a potential customer search online for their products and services.
I never registered on these business directories, how did they get my details in there?
This could be done through automated software, or done manually when a directory try to populate their category by browsing other directories, for example browsing the Yellow Pages.
What information should I provide to online directories?
Most of the online directory listings need your email, name, address telephone. More sophisticated ones like LocoBiz.com allow you to add working hours, images and videos about your business, coordination and exact address of your business on the map, full description of your business, motto or slang of your business, a comprehensive image gallery, link to your social fan pages, and even features and frequently-asked-questions.
Are directory listing sites free?
There are free and there are paid citation and directory sites. The general business directory sites are usually free. They make income on advertising. The special and category directories could be members-only and charge a membership fee, or a sign up fee.
Where can I find all the local citation and directory listing sites?
Your best resource will be Google. Search for local directory or local citation list in your target market. Here is a list for US local citation, UK local citation and Canada local citation and business category local citation lists.
How much details should I enter into the local citation sites?
The guideline about the information you post on the local citation sites is simple, the more the better, and that’s for a simple reason. It elevates your ranking on search engine results page (SERP). In my experience a complete profile optimized for business keywords put a user’s profile on LocoBiz in the first page of Google, much higher than the website of the business itself. Yes, local directories could be so powerful in improving your ranking on Google.
Can I do local citation myself, or shall I leave it to experts?
Sure, if you have time you can do it yourself. Listing in 100 to 200 directories might take a lot of time though. You would get a better result in terms of Google ranking if you do a proper keyword search so your profile description is well developed for your niche and your target market.
What should I watch when hiring someone to do local citation for me?
There are many agencies that can do local citation for you. You can make a Google search to find few candidates. Ask if they do local markets too for example local citation in the United Kingdom, or Canada. Also see if they do niche category, for example local citation in Automotive sector or in photography, or doctors and medical. the other critical factor to keep in mind is that they have a system to keep the links and records of the citations centralized, so in future you could simply edit and amend as needed, for example in the event of an address change. LocoBiz.io is our preferred service provider that covers all that mentioned above.
What if there are discrepancies on my records in different directories?
Don’t panic. If your business has changed address in the past 10-15 years it is likely that you have multiple NAT records on the Internet. Simply contact the directory and ask them for correction. If you hire an agency to do your citation ask for citation clean up services.
I post classifieds on Kijiji, Craig-list, gum-tree and get some clients from there, should I still care about local citation?
Yes, absolutely. The records that you create on local directories are part of your reputation building plan. You need to make sure that the name, address and other details of your business are up to date and without any mistake and discrepancies. this gives the search engines the confidence about your business and help rank your website higher. The post that you create on free classifieds are more of one off effort to catch a customer. After all your time is your currency and part of your overall resource in your marketing.
The world is trending towards online search for their need. Small businesses need to get familiar with search engine marketing or face losing ground to rivals. Stay tuned on this blog for more tips on digital and search engine marketing.
Please feel free to share your concerns or questions about local citation below.
Tags: #LocalCitation #hireLocal #LocalDirectoryListing