The art of running a local business doesn’t look anything like it did a mere 10 years ago. Back then, all you had to do was ensure that you had a decent sized ad in the local phone book, and run a few ads in the community newspaper. But those days are gone and today’s successful local business owners make sure that their store, restaurant or service business can be found online by engaging in online advertising.
But a little known secret that most local business owners don’t know is that citations play a key role in whether or not potential customers can find your business online. Let’s first talk about what citations are, and then talk about the role they play in your business and how to get them.
What are Local Citations?
In its simplest form, a citation is a mention of your business on the internet. But not all local citations are the same, and in order to positively affect your business’ search engine rankings, you’ll need the right citations. For example, when your business is listed on a quality local business directory, that’s considered a positive and effective citation. But when it’s mentioned on your Aunt Betty’s Facebook page, not so much.
Why are Local Citations so Important?
The major search engines like Google and Bing operate with algorithms. Those algorithms are software programs that anticipate and analyze the vast information on the web in order to rank the millions of websites there. And one of the key things the algorithm uses for local businesses is citations.
You see, the search engine deploys “spiders” to crawl the web and look for local citations, and the more it finds for a local business, the more importance it places on that business. And as you probably know, when a major search engine deems a website or local business important, that means it will show up higher in the search engine results.
What can you do to be thought of as important by the search engine spiders? If you guessed citations, you’re correct.
How to Get Local Citations
Now that you understand just how important local citations are to your local business success, let’s talk about how to get them. Luckily, it’s not that difficult to get a few good citations that will boost your business in the search engine rankings. Here are 3 steps that will give you instant results.
- Search out quality local business directories. Since having a good local business listing is one of the best ways to get effective citations, you’ll need to identify a few good local business directories. Look for directories that utilize GEO location technology on their site, so consumers will automatically see the results from their local area. And look for a local directory that offers consumers more than just local listings. For example, FindUsLocal.com uses the cutting edge location technology, and offers consumers all kinds of special features to keep them coming back again and again.
- Once you choose a few local business directories, it’s time to create your local business listings. To do so, simply claim your business on the directory and then fill in as many details as you can. Remember, the local business listings that offer consumers all the details they want, like the business address, phone number, and hours of operation, are the most effective.
- After you’ve set up your local business listings, it’s time to promote them. Ask your current customers to leave online reviews, and interact with them in real time by using the comments section on local business directories like FindUsLocal.com. There is a difference between online reviews and the comments section, so be sure to visit the local directory to learn how to use each of them.
Local business directories play an important role in today’s local business success, and if you haven’t already set up your local business listing at a quality directory like FindUsLocal.com, isn’t it time to get started? Simply log onto the site, and then claim your local listing. Then, follow the steps listing above and watch how new customers find your store and visit it to make purchases. Soon, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t create your local business listing a long time ago!