Are you looking for a better way to connect with potential customers online?
According to a Whitespark survey, most SEOs focus less on citation consistency.
In the cause of running their business, every business owner strives to get their products or services closer to their customers. The closer their products or services are to the customers, the better their chances of making sales.
Today, smart local business owners bring their products and services closer to their customers by taking their business online. While most business owners simply take their businesses online, the smarter ones take it a step further by increasing their visibility in local searches.
Using Google Snack Pack, also known as Google Local Pack, goal-oriented business owners can increase their visibility in local searches.
Do you want to know how the more innovative business owners use Google Local Pack to bring the products and services closer to the doorstep of their customers?
It's pretty simple! They use Google Map Citations.
Suppose you want to join the league of the more intelligent business minds and learn more about using Google Map Citations to take your business to another level, congratulations! You are about to read the best article that will tell you all you need to know about Google images citations and guide you to use it to grow your business.
Curious about what to expect from this article? Here's a quick outline:
- Citations: An Introduction
- What Are Local Citations?
- What Do You Need To Know About Google Map Citations?
- Benefits of Using Google Citations for Your Local Business Websites
- Types of Google Map Citations
- How Google Map Citations Drive Better Local SEO Results
- How Can You Make Your Google Map Citations Great?
- Where Can You Build Your Citations?
- Google Citation Tools
- Google Citation GeneratorsNBM
Let’s dive in!
Citations: An Introduction
Research shows that up to 70% of mobile searchers end up calling a business directly from their search results.
Ranking in search engines is essential to getting your brand noticed online. You need to optimize your local search to improve your chances of getting traffic to your website and business.
There are many ways to rank in local SEO, some of which are:
- Website domain authority
- Physical address
- Click through rate (CTR) from search results
- Googly My Business (GMB) categories
- Proximity of address to point of search
- NAP consistency in citations
- Authority or quality of structured citations\s,
Citation Google has always been an essential local search ranking factor, and for good reason.
(Source: Advice Local)
Although Google my citations don’t rank so high, they are indispensable as they provide consistent information across all your online platforms. They keep your business data updated and make sure customers find you easily without getting lost in the process.
What Are Local Citations?
Local citations, also known as local business data, comprise seven major data points, which are:
- Business name
- Business phone number
- Business street address
- Business website URL
- Zip code
These local SEO citations are published across the web to help increase your business’ rankings and visibility in Google Maps or Google local search results. They also help to reinforce the validity of your local business’ exact location, unless you remove Google business listing data.
Google Citations include any data that mention your business phone number, web address, business name, street address, state, city, and zip code on the internet. They use a directory and other websites resources that the Google search engines use to aid customers to be aware of your products and services.
Some local Google my citations can include links to your social media page, driving directions, opening hours, email address, website, and business categories.
When citations are submitted, it helps citation Google know more about your business, which directly affects how your business is ranked when searches related to your business are made.
Google Citations is one of the best SEO citations that has helped more brilliant business owners grow their businesses.
What Do You Need To Know About Google Map Citations?
Google Map Citation simply refers to the mention of your business Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) on other websites from across the web.
A local business that focuses on buiding Google Maps citations will build the authority and consistency of your business data across the web.
To help build your Google Map citations, you need to put two important factors into consideration:
It is important to have the same name, address, and phone number (NAP) in all your business citations and directories across the internet. It is great for increasing the ranking of your map listing in local map searches. If you don’t remove Google business listing from your citations, you will continue to rank in search engine.
Another thing you cannot take for granted is the quality of your citations. Since citations help to validate your business’ involvement in the community, you need to make sure it is of good quality so that it will get noticed by citation sites. Some of the best sources of citations are:
- Yahoo Local
- Angie’s List
- City Search
Benefits of Using Google Citations for Your Local Business Websites
Google citations are great for all manner of businesses - local or not. By taking advantage of Google Map local citation service, you stand to reap the following benefits and more:
(Source: Yellowfin Digital)
Attracting the attention of your target audience online from websites that aren’t yours is very affordable using a business directory. These directories are mostly free for local businesses although some require payment to include features like:
- Business photo
- Business video
- Website links
- Additional business location listings
By adding or claiming your business on Google My Business (GMB) directory, you stand to get a free business listing and even see your business mentioned in Google search results. Your visibility on Google Maps will also increase so that your target audience and prospective customers will easily find your business.
Do you want to give your online visibility a boost?
Well, you can do so using Google Map Citations. Users can use online directories to filter results by categories like location, services, and business category. If your local citations are on these directories, your listings will keep coming up and customers will easily find your local business.
Great for SEO
Google uses local SEO to provide people searching for your kind of business in their area with relevant results. So, if your business has a physical location, having a GMB listing will help to boost your SEO efforts by increasing your rankings in Google Snack Pack and online visibility.
To increase your local SEO benefits, you can do the following:
- Verify and claim your business directory listings;
- Add a link back to your website;
- Include additional details that will increase your odds of getting found, such as a brief description of your business, business hours, and what you offer;
- Remove any listings that are unrelated to your business niche;
Types of Google Map Citations
Generally, citations are of two types:
- Structured citations, and
- Unstructured citations
However, a study by Databox reveals that up to 70.2 percent of SEO professionals prefer structured citations to unstructured citations.
What’s the difference between the two?
Let's look at each of them closely to find out.
1. Structured Citations
Structured Citations is the addition of markup language tags to a business web page to help the Google search engine better understand the meaning of the text on your web page and how that text relates to other web pages. This type of citation follows a specific pattern.
2. Unstructured Citations
Unstructured Citation is simply that citation that doesn’t follow any specific pattern. They can come in the form of a paragraph or a sentence. A good example of unstructured information is social media sites, web content, and photo sharing. The words on social media sites, for example, are not structured; they vary depending on the author or social media type.
How Google Map Citations Drive Better Local SEO Results
According to Google, said 60% of smartphone users had contacted a business directly using the search results. Meanwhile, 48% of shoppers said they use Google to get helpful recommendations on what to buy.
Do you want to know how Google uses Google Map Citations to drive better local SEO results?
Here are three ways Google Map Citations drive better local SEO results for more intelligent local business owners.
1. They Make Your Business Available to Potential Customers
Making your business available to potential customers is one of the ways Google Map Citation helps drive better local SEO results.
Citations help rank your business’ Google Map listing by supplying Google with accurate information about your business.
This information is then made available for potential customers looking for the type of products or services your business offers.
2. They Validate Your Business
When Google finds information about your business via your citations in other websites and directories, Google can verify the reputation and validity of the company as a legitimate business through the information you have provided.
When your business pops up during potential customers' search, they are confident about doing business with you because Google has helped corroborate that your business is legit. Hence, they will believe the information you provided about your business is accurate.
Many fake online businesses are being used as a disguise to dupe people. Online shoppers are, therefore, more careful nowadays. But with Google Map Citations, your business is not likely to be seen as one of those fake online businesses.
3. They Help You Become More Innovative Than Other Business Owners
Do you want to beat your competitors?
Google Map Citations is one sure way to do that.
With accurate, consistent, and complete citations in relevant directories and websites, your competitors will only marvel at the level of your return on investment (ROI). More intelligent business owners are people who capitalize on the advantages Google Map Citations provide.
The result of what Google Maps citation will do for your business is higher ranking in local searches, which will, in turn, result in more clicks and higher sales for your business. So don’t be left out!
Keep reading if you want to find out how to make your Google Map Citation great.
How Can You Make Your Google Map Citations Great?
Just because you now know that Google Map Citation is designed to help carry your business data about doesn’t mean you should do it anyhow. After all, whatever is worth doing is worth doing well, most especially if the success of your business depends on it.
You must consider three things when using Google Map Citation to drive better local SEO results.
1. Accurate Information
Accuracy is one of the most important things you must consider when using Google Map Citation to drive better SEO results. It is essential to have a proper business name, phone number, and address in all business citations, as that is one of the best ways to get your business to rank higher in local map searches.
When changing a business phone number or moving your business to a new location, it is crucial to update it; otherwise, it might be a red flag for Google. As a result, search engine result pages will not display your Google Map Citations on top of the map citation.
Also, if you provide a wrong address or location, Google will notice it and mark your business as unreliable. Hence, providing accurate information is crucial to your business’s success online.
2. Consistency in Information
If you want to reap the benefits that come with Google Map Citations, then you must be consistent in the way you write your citations across all websites and directories. For example, having either your phone number or address in a different pattern confuses the search engine.
While accuracy is number one, accuracy without consistency in your Google Map Citations will reduce your citation ranking.
3. Full Information
Before submitting any citation, take a little time to confirm that the information you are providing is complete. If any of your data is incomplete, it will affect your citation ranking and make it difficult for customers to find your business.
Where Can You Build Your Citations?
So, we have established that Google Map citations are essential for attracting the right audience.
But where can you build your Google Map citations?
Google, without any doubt, is the number one dominator of local search, which helps your Google Map listing to be highly valuable. Google My Business is one of the most critical listings for local businesses, and there is no better place to build citations apart from Google.
2. Your Website
Your website is another excellent place you can build your Google images citations. When adding your business name, address, and phone number to your website, ensure it is accurate and consistent throughout. Whenever there is any change on your NAP, make sure to audit your entire website to add the new changes.
Google Citation Tools
Google citation tools are software that allow you to automate the process of managing your local citations. You can use them to create new citations for a new business location without the time-consuming manual method. They are great time-savers, unless you want to hire local SEO services Los Angeles to do it for you.
Most affordable local SEO services will still use Google images citation tools to help you manage your citations.
Here are four of the best Google citation tools:
- Moz Local: Moz Local’s sophisticated tool makes it easy for you to build local citations, grade their accuracy, identify missing listings, export your Google Map listing, and share the link.
- SEMrush: SEMrush is equipped with a listing management tool for creating, checking, and updating your citation listings across different online sources. Unfortunately, this listing management tool is only available to users in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
- Whitespark: It uses target keywords, competitor comparisons, and locations to help manage your citations. It uses two tools: a local citation finder tool and a local rank tracker tool.
- Local SEO Checklist: Synup’s Local SEO Checklist is a free website resource for formulating new local SEO campaigns. Your SEO citations will benefit from the tips, tools, and step-by-step guides this software provides.
Google Citation Generators
Google citation generators are powerful but sophisticated tools that help to turn information concerning any source into a citation. They depend on your input and can locate different sources in an online database, which they use to fill out a citation.
Additionally, these Google citation generators follow set patterns and can go a step further to automatically fix any spelling and capitalization errors in your source’s information. Finally, they automatically format your citations to match a specific style guide.
Here are some of the benefits of using a citation generator:
- Create citations
- Make proper formatting
- Make reference lists
- Create bibliographies
Are You Ready to Attract Local Web Traffic to Your Business?
Google Map Citations are great for your digital team. You should care about your local search rankings as they can attract loyal customers to your business.
If you need help from local SEO services Los Angeles, FlyingVGroup is at your service.
We can help you build local SEO citations that will be highly relevant for search engines. So, if you are in need of affordable local SEO services, contact us now!
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.