Ranking highly organically on Google or other search engines is no easy feat. However, your website’s rank is incredibly important—research has shown that75% of people never look past the first pages of search results. If your business is hitting page two or three, it’s likely getting lost in the millions of results that search engines serve in response to a query. The search engine’s algorithm determines which results are most relevant to that specific query based on a variety of factors, including content, readability, authority, and keyword frequency. Depending on the search terms, physical location can play a role in the rankings as well. Experts call this local search.
What is Local Search?
Local search refers to cases in which users are looking for a service based in a certain area. Examples of local search terms may include “physicians near me,” “pizza in [name of city],” or “accountants in the [name of city] area” – essentially, any query that defines a specific physical location. Local search can be an incredibly effective marketing tool for any business with a brick-and-mortar store that serves customers. In fact, in 2019, 46% of all Google searches were looking for local information, and 72% of users who conducted a local search visited a store within five miles.
Practicing local search engine optimization (SEO) can greatly improve search rankings if your business is working to drive customers into your brick-and-mortar location. However, keep in mind that local SEO encompasses all the components of general SEO as well as citation management.
What are Citations?
A local citation is any mention of your business on the web. It can be any combination of your company name, phone number, address, zip or postal code, and website address (commonly referred to as NAP data – Name, Address, Phone). Citations can also include other information for your customers, including:
- Hours of Operation
- Driving Directions
- Images and/or Videos
- Social Media Links
- Accepted Forms of Payment
- Any other information you may deem useful for your audience
A common example of a citation is your company’s “Google My Business” profile, but citations also occur frequently on social media sites like Facebook, review sites like Yelp, and directories like Yellow Pages. However, simply listing your business on these websites is not enough. It’s important that these sites show information that is accurate and identical.
Citation management is extremely important in gaining a higher ranking with Google – the more citations you have on the web, the more authority you gain within Google’s algorithm. However, incorrect citations on any of the previously mentioned platforms could hurt your credibility and therefore lower your ranking. Because of this, finding any mention of your business online and correcting information that does not reflect what is posted on your website should be a vital part of your digital marketing plan. This can be a tedious task but is truly crucial for helping your business appear in local search results.
How Media Venue Can Help with Citation Management
Media Venue’s digital team understands the importance of search engine rankings and is very familiar with the components of SEO. Our citation management services use a sophisticated set of tools to identify any existing citations for your business and update them as necessary, as well as create new citations on key platforms. We also offer other SEO and reputation management services to give your company the best online profile possible. Contact Cassie Rogers to learn more!