What Are Local SEO Citations?
What are local seo citations and why are they important to your Google My Business?
What are citations? Citations are directories. And I’ll use the two terms interchangeably to kind of help make sense of it. But a directory is things like the BBB, Yellow Pages, etc. There’s some directories that are very generic, and there’s some directories that are very specific to an industry. And when I do an audit, one of the things that we’ll look for is their profile on those directories. But also, more importantly, are the directories information is a consistent across all of them. And going back to your Google My Business, because what Google does is it looks at all these directories to determine if your business is valid. It also provides you a back end. So that’s kind of two things going on there. So if there’s even if you have a The Piatchek Law Firm, and then over here, you have Piatchek Law Firm, that’s a discrepancy and Google flags it negatively. So you want to make sure everything is consistent.
Make sure your directories are found and consistent. When your directories are consistent this tells Google your business is valid.
When looking at the directories you want to make sure you’re found. You want to make sure you claim them, which is kind of the same thing, but not always. And then, you want to make sure that it’s consistent. So for example, here at the BBB, Evan, who is the owner of Earthworks, has not claimed it, but it’s there. And he has everything else listed. But then on Facebook, he doesn’t have his address listed as because he doesn’t want people showing up at his business, which I get. But it does create a small issue on your SEO. They should all be the same.
Make sure you have optimized Google My Business and updated all citations. This is step one to improving your rankings on Google.
What we do almost in month one, when we take on a new client, if they have a physical business, we will optimize their Google My Business and update all their citations. And there’s various ways to do it. Bright Local has ways that you can do it manually. There’s tools out there, like Yext, that does it automatically. Yext has dedicated relationships with certain providers and they will only work with those providers and they have access to the API, and they automatically update it. But they don’t have access to all of them. So Yext isn’t good for legal, they almost have no relationship with any of the legal directories, so then you have to go and do it manually.
That is what citations and directories are. And when you fix these, your rankings improve. Anybody can do it, the biggest challenge usually is time, and also access to the tools. But it’s really important to know where you stand. If you’re wanting an audit, I can create a PDF report, just leave a comment, send a comment, send me an email, reach out to me on my website. The audits are free. And then we can hop on a call and I can explain to you what’s going on.