Businesses (especially smaller ones) have to do whatever they can to get their name heard, and with the internet providing everyone the opportunity to carve out their own little space online, it can often be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
When targeting customers or potential customers in a specific geographic area, local citations can be key to a business ranking highly on Google maps. A small focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can boost your profile on Google and help you feature higher than your competitors.
What is a Local Citation
A ‘local citation’ isn’t a Google term, but instead refers to a really basic form of marketing on the internet. It is simply an instance of your business’ NAP (that is: business Name, Address and Phone number) appearing online – be that on your website or on others. This may be in business directories, press articles, advertiser sites or reviews of your firm.
How does a Local Citation benefit a Local Business
Aside from it being a small ad boost, every time someone sees your information; a local citation helps reiterate to Google (and therefore Google Maps) that you are a leader in your area and that you are a genuine business. Google’s algorithms are well developed to identify spam and disingenuous entries and so good, organic reach through local citations is an easy way for it to understand proper local businesses.
What are the Elements of a Local Citation
The three main elements of a local citation are your NAP: business Name, Address and Phone number. The key is to keep them entirely consistent throughout all citations online – any differentiators will break the link between the citation and it relating directly to your business. It may be worth considering therefore if you have a ‘Ltd’ in your name or a space/unusual capitalisation/sub-brands, that you instead revert to one shorter name for your public-facing communications to avoid any confusion.
Other elements that may be included in citations (but aren’t imperative) include e-mail addresses and links to social media profiles. Where you can, keep the names of such profiles consistent and ensure you refer to yourself in the same way across all of your marketing.
Why Local Citations Matter
Local citations are the best way for Google’s automated algorithms to understand who you are and where you are; and that you’re genuine! The internet is full of bots and false entries, and citations are genuine reviews to show you’re not one of them. Citations alone are responsible for about 10% of Google’s decision in who to rank where on Maps, and with 76% of visitors accessing local results and then visiting one of the businesses featured within 24hrs, it’s a no-brainer that it’s an area of your online presence worth investing in!
Search marketing, SEO or search engine optimisation helps websites to rank well in Google and other search engines. At Woya Digital we are specialists in small business growth through digital marketing, including Local SEO services. We make SEO services affordable for small businesses through our pay monthly marketing packages, with no upfront investment. Find out more about how we can support your business growth!
Local SEO is simply the most effective way to promote your business online where you are based. It provides promotion exactly at the right time; when a local customer is looking to buy your product or services.
Woya provides Local SEO in Chichester and throughout the UK. Whilst we often work nationwide, but still understand the value of a local client.
Also known as local search marketing, to be successful we maximise various strategies to get ranked online locally. These methods include listing on business directories. Yelp, Foursquare, Bing Places, Google My Business Listing, online reviews, along with other less known platforms. Consistency in these directories is the key to our success…
Local SEO is an extremely targeted marketing strategy that enables companies to position themselves on search engines and other business directories. This massively increases visibility and generates awareness within a niche market and locality.
Are you looking to increase your local sales? Then maximise your potential via customers performing local searches. Every day that customers are searching your locality and finding your competitors is lost business that you are giving away. Leveraging Local SEO will increase the chances of being found in your town.
How Can Local SEO Help Attract New Customers?
Local searches have substantially increased in recent years, especially on mobile phones. According to recent statistics, 96% of desktop users conduct local searches. Almost 40% of all searches on Google are now focused locally.
Here’s why locality based small and medium sized businesses should opt to include Local SEO in their marketing strategy:
Local Search Marketing – Google Maps
In the UK, your business and website need to appear in Google Maps. All you need for this is to have a physical location in the town where you are looking to be found. This will make a difference to your local positioning and it’s free. https://www.google.com/business/
If you are listed, make sure your details are correct. Address discrepancies count against you, so check as the information is often pulled from other sources.
Local Search Marketing – Produces Improved Results
The ideal time to connect with a customer is when they are in need of your product or service. With Local SEO, businesses can position themselves exactly when needed. When a need is searched, the businesses appear at the top of the search list.
Local Search Marketing – Conversion Rates Are Higher
As you see in the above image. Google Places or Maps listings display the name, address and phone number of the business. In contrast to other traditional advertising, local search has a high (and measurable) rate of conversion. This means, if your business is positioned correctly, you are best placed to convert interest into customers.
Local Search Marketing – Mobile Internet Usage is Still Growing
Increasing numbers of potential customers are searching via Google on mobile phones to buy products or services on the go. Even from their sofa! In 2015 Google announced that more searches are made on mobiles than PC’s. Make sure your website is mobile friendly and be visible in your locality.
Local Search Marketing – Gives Improved Return on Investment
Unlike traditional advertising, with Local SEO there is little wasted exposure. You only reach a potential customer when they need you. Enticing a customer when they are interested in you is a cost efficient and effective option, offering greater ROI.
Local Search Marketing – Enhanced Credibility
Most online directories allow users to rate and review local business and services. Having a good reputation online can really help you in attracting customers, so keep checking so you can respond to comments.
Local SEO vs. Organic SEO
Both Organic and Local SEO helps bolster your organic ranking on search engines. This helps you reach as many potential customers as possible. However, if you are contemplating between choosing between local and organic SEO, you should take your niche audience and nature of business into consideration.
With Local SEO, your business gets ranked for a specific location. This is ideal for a local business as you can target customers within a particular geographical area. Through this, you will always reach the right customers who might be looking for your service. For example, if you are a plumber in Chichester, ranking top in Google search in London could be a waste of time for everyone.
The Importance of Local SEO
The importance of Local SEO has increased in recent years with the expansion of Google Places, Google Maps, Apple Maps and the mobile web. This has encouraged many companies to make it an important part of their inbound marketing strategy. The targeted results, improved ROI and the high lead to sales conversion ratio indicate that it is an essential element of any company marketing strategy.
Make sure that the directory listings for your business locations are perfect, accurate and consistent. Remember that the main search engines and maps use multiple sources for their data. Including Yelp, Foursquare, Bing Places, Google Business Listing, online reviews, Yell, TomTom among many more.
Work with a partner who understands the importance of Local SEO in the UK. This will provide a real boost to your presence and help you be found online. Woya Digital offer excellent packages paid monthly for SEO without commitment.
Woya digital is a social media marketing agency based in Chichester. We can assist companies of all sizes, anywhere, promote themselves through the internet. Our fixed price offering is straightforward and yields results! We are fantastic at social media management, website design and SEO, all paid monthly, with no upfront investment.