Now before we get stuck in, what are citations and how do they help your business rank on search engines? Well, citations are online directories where businesses list their services, service locations, and contact info. At which point someone might search for said services on the directory and boom your listing pops-up a good example of a UK directory is Yell. But how does this affect Google or other search engines? Well because these directories are basically votes from your fellow countrymen on what a great business you are running.
Every advanced SEO expert knows the importance of citation building and to keep a consistent NAP (name, address, and number) while building citations, to have the full power required. But little few know exactly why this impacts Local SEO so much. Well, this is because Google counts on these directories too weed-out the fakers the cheap as chips SEO’s working somewhere from a cave simply do not have the resources or knowledge to build proper local citations that can affect local search engine optimization rankings.
How is a Local Citation Built?
We start by identifying what niche and location the said business/website is targeting. Next, we get together all the information possible on the business this includes photos, logos, descriptions and opening hours to name a few. We do this because when it comes to building local citations consistency is key. Without consistency citations have no effect, it can even have the contrary effect by reducing the trust in your business and decreasing your rankings.
Once we have identified all of the information above we move on to the next step. Which is to find the actual citations you are going to build. There are a number of methods that can accomplish this from online providers like white spark to bright local or even searching Google for a list of directories. If you are looking at building citations for your UK business you are in luck. A good friend of mine and an SEO Expert Fernando has put together a convenient list of the top 100 UK business directory database‘s. You may be asking why one hundred? Well, this is because when building citations to get the full effect on your local rankings you need to build a fair number of them while making sure to keep consistency with the Name, Address, and Phone. I can’t stress this enough consistency is key.
A few more tips for the road would definitely be don’t go overboard chances are that you won’t be able to find more than 100 directories for your location anyway. Also defiantly do NOT resort to making more than one listing per directory, Google absolutely hates duplicate content. And finally, mix your descriptions up I know this might be a pain but no one wants to find the exact same copypaste info when looking into your business especially not search engines.
In conclusion, citations are basically links but from local sources showing Google and other search engines exactly where your business is located. After all, you don’t want someone from Dublin calling asking about your London landscaping business, you wouldn’t want to waste your valuable time or theirs.