3 Steps to Successful Citation Building
If your business has a physical store or shopfront, then citation building is for you. Local citations help to improve your rankings and get more people visiting your store.
So, what are citations exactly?
In simple terms, citations are any mention of your company’s name on the internet combined with physical location, telephone number or web address, like this New York restaurant on Yelp:
Not all citations are equal however, and it’s not just a case of generating as many mentions of your business as possible. The quality of citations is far more important than the quantity say 86% of local SEO experts.
This article will give you the steps you need to follow to create high-quality citations that will supercharge your SEO.
1. Define your goals
Ok, so it may seem obvious – you want to improve your local SEO. Simple, right? But there’s more to it than that.
When setting your goals make sure they’re as specific as possible. Do you want to appear on the first page of Google results for a local search? Are you trying to increase foot-traffic in your store? Do you want to generate more local leads? The answers to these questions will govern the type and quantity of citations you should look to build.
2. Build structured citations
You have two choices at this stage. You can go through the long, arduous job of researching keywords and trying to find hundreds of relevant sites.
If that doesn’t sound like your idea of fun you can make life much easier by using a tool such Whitespark Citation Finder. This clever resource (which you can try for free), allows you to discover citation opportunities related to keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business. Within minutes you can find hundreds of places to list your business, as well as check out the citations of competitors that rank highly in the search engines, performing an in-depth analysis of their citation profiles.
These are the top 10 citation websites in the US, taken from Whitespark’s top 50 list:
Then all you have to is build the citations which is best done by hand to make sure you have the correct details in place. The more comprehensive your citations are, the more effective they will be, so make sure you fill in all the required details for each site.
3. Monitor success
It’s time to evaluate the results. The best way to do this is to look at both your Google ranking and your site analytics before and after the citation building campaign, using tools such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics. You should notice that you not only rank higher, but you also have a marked increase in local traffic and overall page visits.
If not, then you need to do perform a citation audit and check the quality and quantity of the citation links you built. You may find that they don’t quite match your keyword, or too many have incomplete information. As a quick rule of thumb, use the NAP acronym, which stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. This is usually the bare minimum you should display for each citation.
Citations are an effective way to boost local SEO and traffic. Using tools such as Whitespark Citation Finder makes the task far easier and improves the quality of links.