In this article, I want to let you know about Google citations and how they can help your SEO, specifically if you have a new website or a new business and specifically for Local SEO but not limited to Local SEO. First of all, what are these citations? Most of the people know about backlinks, but very fewer people have knowledge on citations.
What are Citations?
Citations can help your SEO, especially if you are a new site. So, a citation is when somebody mentions online, may be your name, your business name, address, phone number, or some other details about your business but doesn’t link to you but still site you and Google uses that. This is because, if you have a new website or a new business or maybe it’s not new, but you haven’t been promoting yourself online pretty much, and so, your online profile is little sparse. Then, if it doesn’t have a strong link profile to judge your business on, it resorts to your citations, where you have been mentioned. And what happens is, a lot of marketing agencies might call or email you and say that they can create an amazing citation for your business and you have to pay them in return. You don’t have to do this because if you can easily do that for yourself in one day.
Creation of Citations
Let us talk about how you can create a whole bunch of citations for your business. As I mentioned earlier, a citation is a mention. So, you can create a ton of them. You can create citations on Twitter, on your Facebook page, on your Facebook group, Yelp, Citysearch, superpages.com, yellowpages.com, Angie’s List, thumbtack and other local business aggregators and social media sites. And, the biggest one of all is like the google places for business. So, all of these sites and other mentions help (if your site isn’t ranking especially for local searches) Google collect more information about you and place it together so that Google can rank you and display you in the search results.
Usage of Google Citations
Many people probably would have heard about citations from the agencies that will contact you and say that they can create amazing citations for helping you rank. Usually, these agencies don’t tell you the whole truth. The truth is that it is just for new sites because once Google has created a profile for you, still, you need to build real authority. You can do this by creating backlinks because the number one ranking factor ultimately are these backlinks and your established competitors have backlinks, and you don’t. So, the citations are just to start to get you the right thing right. It is not a long-term project because it is not going to build you enough authority and strength to compete with the big competitors. This is what the agencies don’t reveal to you.
Let me tell you why it’s relevant for you even if you are not a local business. For many people who do business online, you can, and you should have an offline component to your business because the online clients can be local companies, local people and they pay more. The online competition is so insane that we usually compete in marketplaces or, in a lot of competitive environment. It is not the same as offline competition locally. It is very less actually as we are just competing in our local market. So, what happens is you can charge higher prices.
So, local clients can be better because you can charge higher prices even if they are individuals. You certainly cannot do that for online thing. So, my point here is even if you are not a local and offline service, there is a local component to your business. This local component can help you discover, and even if they don’t hire you, as let’s say locally, they can go to your website, and after they get to know what stuff you are doing, they might even buy your online products. So, there is synergy between online and offline. Till now you have understood Google citations, when to use them, and how to use them.
Now, let me tell you what local businesses are as most of the people are not aware of this term. A business that can operate within a certain geography, it is kind of, like people who are in your local area and for a different business, the local area is a little bigger or smaller. If you are a restaurant, literally your local area can be your neighborhood and if you are a construction company, your local area might be your entire city where you are and in fact maybe a few nearby cities that border your city. Most of the people ask their friends about these local companies, and if they don’t know, they search in Google. So, this is what local businesses are, and that’s why search is incredibly important to them, and so that is the reason why the citations might be helpful to you.