Where to Get Local Citations – 4 Very Quick Citation Opportunities
How many times have you neglected it, focusing on global efforts instead?
Best don’t tell.
Showing up in local search results might be one of the greatest opportunities for a business to gain organic traffic.
And see results fast.
Google has successfully blended local and global results, to a point where sometimes there is more of the former and less of the latter in SERPs. Just take a look at this screenshot below (and this is just what shows above the fold):
It’s no surprise then that Local SEO has become a crucial aspect of many business’ marketing activities. And for many reasons:
It helps customers to find your business. This one goes without saying, customers use search to find local businesses. And if you’re not showing up in local results, you are missing out on a great marketing opportunity.
It also costs less. Local SEO is not free, true. But if you compare it with a cost of advertising in Adwords for instance, you pay significantly less for it.
It can speed up getting good rankings. Achieving high rankings, especially for competitive phrases is a challenge. Type in any competitive phrase to Google and most companies you’ll see will be big brands. Regardless of your budget and ambitions, it might be difficult to overcome them. Well, unless your site appears in local results. In this case, in spite of its standing in Google it might still show on page one.
It can help secure your brand in search. Today a brand is everything. Local presence allows you to practically dominate Google for your branded keywords with such elements as brand box, carousel, maps and many more.
The thing is, ranking in local results isn’t very different from organic rankings. For your site to appear for local phrases Google needs to consider it authoritative enough.
And one way to gain this authority is through citations – mentions of your business name and address, phone number or website.
According to this research, citations make up to 25% of the top local ranking factors.
And apart from being a strong ranking factor, there is one other similarity between the two.You have to build them as the more you have the better chance for you to rank higher.
The question is, where to find good citation opportunities? Turns out there are few opportunities almost within your reach.
Intrigued? Here they are then:
1. Local Blogs
It might not immediately seem so but blogs focusing on your area are a great source of mentions of your business. These bloggers are very concerned about local matters and often refer and cite business news as well.
Not all of those blogs will feature a business listings page though. But if you have any news that might concern a local population – your store got renovated for instance or featured in national press, many local bloggers will be happy to feature it on their site.
To find these blogs put up a search similar to: “[your city] blog” or “[your area] blog,” and you should spot some good candidates to reach out to.
2. Local Business Directories
Apart from local blogs you could also search for various business listings and directories associated with your city or region. These could be anything, from your local council business listings, chamber of commerce list of members to private local listing sites. A quick search for my region here in Ireland revealed 7 directories on page one (and there are certainly more which aren’t ranking that well yet).
To find local business directories, search for “city name + business listings” and “city name + directory”.
3. Local Newspapers
When people search for local businesses, they not necessarily use only Google. Many will also turn to local press for such information and thus, many local papers maintain listings of local businesses.
Even if your paper doesn’t carry such listing, you can still build a citation from the publication. If you host an event for instance, submit it to the newspaper’s calendar listing. Or submit any news to a relevant section of the paper.
Most newspapers today maintain online presence and by appearing in their publication your business will also be featured online.
4. Industry Directories and Blogs
Similarly to local blogs, industry related online publications offer an opportunity for a mention of your business. Many of industry organisations maintain listings of businesses working in the field and what’s more, these pages are often crawled by search engines for citations.
To find these local citations opportunities, search Google for phrases like: “[your industry] directory” or even “[your keyword] directory”.
Creative commons image by La Citta Vita / Flickr