Why are citations important?
Citations are one of the most important factors in local search rankings. Google and other search engines rely on citations to determine where your business is in order to reliably deliver good local search results to their users. The more citations you have with your business’s correct information, the more confident Google will be in recommending your business to their users.
A common problem with citations is that they will not be consistent across the web. If your business name is spelled differently on Yelp than it is in the Yellow Pages and an industry listing is displaying your old address, Google and the other search engines will consider this information unreliable and penalize you in local search. If you are a locally based business and you’re trying to attract new business online, you need to make sure your digital footprint is clear.
How do I build my digital footprint?
All this talk about citations and making sure your NAP is consistent can sound confusing, but the process of building your digital footprint is actually very straightforward. After all, all you need to do is submit your correct (and consistent) NAP to as many listings and directories as possible. It’s not difficult, but it can be very time consuming. We have some tips to help make sure that you’re making the most of the time you invest in building your digital footprint.
Make sure your NAP is correct and consistent
Before you go out and actually start adding your business to various listings, double and triple check to make sure that your business name and address is in the correct format. Type it out in a Word document or in a spreadsheet so that you can easily copy and paste it. This will help you avoid common mistakes like calling your business “Rick’s Plumbing” on one site and “Rick’s Plumbing and Heating” on another site, or giving your address both with and without a suite number. Consistency is key to building your digital footprint.
Start with the big sites
When you have a limited amount of time to work on citations, focusing on the big listing sites can often have the biggest impact. Sites like YP.com, Superpages.com, FourSquare.com and Yelp.com are all extremely popular sites that will help your business get exposure as well as provide you with a digital footprint. Make sure your business name and address are listed on your social media profiles (Facebook, Google My Business) as well.
Check on your competitors
Searching the NAP of your local competitors can help you find listing sites that you may have missed. Many cities and states have local directories of businesses, and adding your NAP to these can only help you. Find the places where your competitors are listed and submit your information to those sites as well. If you’re not sure what their correct names, addresses, and phone numbers are, try searching for them in Google – their Google My Business pages should be among the top results, and if they’ve done their job correctly, all the information you need will be there. When we are creating citations for clients, we also use specialized software to check your NAP across a wide array of citation sources which will instantly let us know about inconsistencies in your digital footprint while also highlighting what your competitors are doing.
This is a long term project
Building your digital footprint can take a long time. The process of finding listing sites and actually submitting the information can be extremely time consuming, but if you keep at it, over time you will have a clear digital footprint that will give Google the confidence to recommend your business to their customers. Or, if you don’t have the time to invest in doing this yourself, you can hire a company like LinkNow Media to build your citations for you!
Hire a Professional
We “handcraft” our citations rather than using automated tools (which can lead to inconsistencies), we can create large numbers of high quality, consistent citations very quickly compared to the competition. Sometimes when citations are being submitted they are not accepted by the citation source. Since we verify the citation we create instead of using an automated system we know about these rejections right away and are able to resubmit them if needed. If you’re really looking to make your mark online, you can trust LinkNow Media to build your digital footprint.