To attract a local customer base for your business, you’ll need to understand and utilise local citations as part of your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy.
Why are local citations important for Perth SEO? Because they let customers in your local area know exactly who you are, where you are and what you have to offer.
They’re the figurative arrow on the online map that points qualified leads in the direction of your business.
But what exactly is a local citation?
What role do they play in SEO in the year 2020?
And how can local citations be beneficial for your Perth business?
What Is A Local Citation in SEO?
Simply put, a local citation (in SEO parlance) is any online mention of your company name, business address or business phone number.
For this reason, they’re also sometimes referred to as NAP (Name/Address/Phone) data.
Back in the olden days when someone wanted to find a local plumber/dry-cleaner/bakery/accountant, they typically used their community phone directory. This great big book (which took up an inordinate amount of space by your landline phone) contained the name, address and contact details for every business in the area. If you weren’t in the phone book, you basically didn’t exist.
These days, people rarely use a physical business directory, but we are constantly searching online business directories.
We search for local cafes, local tradespeople, local barbers and local mechanics.
Whether it’s through a Google listing, an online Whitepages listing or a platform with industry-specific listings, more and more of us are looking online for local businesses.
Will Local Citations Work for SEO in Perth?
Local citations have become increasingly important over the last few years as a greater number of people started using online searches to find local businesses.
In the two years from 2015 through to 2017, Google reported a 150% increase in searches containing the qualifier ‘near me’.
But local citations go beyond just serving as an online phone book. When it comes to SEO and achieving organic search engine rankings, local citations can have a big impact. Why? Because search engines use local citations to help determine if a business can be trusted.
For example, if the only online presence your business has is your company website, then search engines will be less likely to give you a first-page ranking. But if, in addition to your website, you also have a Google My Business listing, as well as listings in several other online directories, well, now those same search engines will feel more confident that you are a legitimate business.
If you’re a Perth business looking to attract a homegrown customer-base, then local citations will work for you in two major ways:
- Make Your Business Details Easier to Find Online: They’ll help people to find critical information about your business online, including your contact details, website, opening hours and even recent customer reviews.
- Improve Your Search Engine Rankings: As part of a well-rounded SEO strategy, local citations will help to boost your search engine rankings. This makes it easier for qualified leads in your area to be directed straight to your website.
How Important Are Local Citations to an SEO Marketing Strategy?
Search engine rankings are determined using an extremely intricate algorithm. While this algorithm evaluates online listings in many different ways, there are essentially three questions that it is seeking to answer:
- Authority: Does this website have authority?
- Relevance: Is this website relevant to the search term?
- Usefulness: Is this website going to be useful to the searcher?
Local citations can assist in answering all three of these questions because they will establish your business has authority, prove your relevance and demonstrate usefulness. Because of this, building local citations for your business should be part of a well-researched local SEO strategy.
- Local Citations Establish Authority: Local citations make it easier for search engines to verify that your business is a trustworthy source of information.
- Local Citations Prove Relevance: Local citations show that your business offers the kinds of services/products that the searcher is looking for.
- Local Citations Demonstrate Usefulness: NAP data demonstrates that you are in the searchers’ local area, so your website will be useful to the searcher.
Which Local Citations Will Improve SEO?
There are multiple options available when it comes to incorporating local citations into your online marketing SEO plan. However, not all local citations will offer comparable benefits, and some could have a negative impact on your Google rankings.
These are just some of the reasons why it’s so important to work with a local SEO expert when determining which local citations to invest in.
- Google My Business Listing: This is one of the most valuable local citations that you can take advantage of – and best of all, it’s completely free! Google My Business is a free online business listing that is offered by Google and that is synced to Google Search and Google Maps. It allows you to include all your relevant business details, plus add photos and take online reviews from customers. A verified Google My Business listing is viewed as a major plus when it comes to establishing search engine rankings.
- Link Building Local Citations: Backlinks have long been established as a great way to improve SEO and this definitely includes local backlinks. Listing your business with relevant and trustworthy online directories (industry-specific, if possible) will deliver backlinks directly to your website across multiple platforms. The key here is to focus on legitimate directories, as these will have more influence with Google and other search engines. You may be able to gain more backlinks by using low-quality directories but being associated with spam websites will actually do more harm than good in terms of SEO. For the best results, be discerning.
Net Search is proud to offer a range of proven SEO techniques that can help to build your business’ local citations.
To discuss what more you could be doing to target a local audience, why not contact Net Search and speak to one of our experienced team members.