Did you know that 49% of businesses get over 1000 search views a month on Google My Business? This is why we recommend focusing on your local directory citations.
When you own a brick-and-mortar store or provide services to a local area, it's not enough that the internet knows you are. You need local web traffic. Local citations do this by providing all the information they need about your website in an easily digestible format.
You'll get an idea of how many local directories you're already part of by Googling your business. However, there are most likely dozens of others that you can join.
Read on to learn all about local directory citations and why they're an important aspect of effective digital marketing!
What Are Local Citations?
It first helps to know how to identify a local citation. This is an online business listing that includes your company name, address, phone number, and website (NAPW). You'll want to make sure the information for these fields is all the same in every local directory you sign up for–that way, it can all be linked easily back to your business.
Directory listings, as well as social profiles, are a great way to get more structured citations. This is when the entire page is structured around your NAPW data. On the other hand, unstructured citations are any mention of your business in different formats such as blog posts, reviews, forum comments, and more.
Benefits of Local Directory Citations
Now that you know more about local citations, how are these local directories beneficial to your business? Here are a few reasons they're one of the easiest ways to gain more local attention:
Your Business is Legitimized
If you're just getting started, the more local directory listings you're in, your business becomes more legitimate. People aren't able to build trust in a brand if information such as their phone number and physical address aren't easily found online. They'll also feel more comfortable and secure if your listing comes with glowing reviews from previous customers.
Local citations are one of the inputs the Google algorithm uses in order to determine how high to rank you in local search engine results pages (SERPs). This is the main reason why you want to make sure all of your NAPW data is the same.
This can give you an edge over more established businesses that haven't taken the time to post their business to the same directories.
One of the best parts about posting your business to these sites is that it's completely free digital advertising. However, many of them monetize their services by allowing you to pay for ads. This allows you to skip the local SEO and get more eyes on your listing through cash.
Increased Customer Engagement
Many local directories allow customers to leave their unbiased reviews. If you're meeting your customers' expectations and helping them quickly resolve issues, you shouldn't expect too many negative reviews–most people are honest about their experiences, even online.
By responding to each of their reviews, even the negative ones, you'll be establishing rapport with customers and encouraging them to continue engaging with your business.
Where to Get Started
Directories may also ask you to provide extra information, such as hours open, business category, photos, social links, and more. The more information you can provide, the better.
There are hundreds of local directories that allow you to post your business information. However, here are a few of the most popular that you should prioritize according to their domain authority:
- Apple Maps
- Google My Business
- The Business Journals
- Better Business Bureau
- Yahoo Local
Directories such as Yelp may already have an unclaimed listing of your business even if you didn't create it. This is formed when a person wants to review your business but doesn't find an already created listing there.
Although there are hundreds of local directories, it still helps to be careful about where you list your site. For instance, some directories are meant for certain industries, such as Wedding Wire for wedding service providers.
If you only have time to focus on a few directories at a time, start with Google My Business. These listings receive far more flicks than any other popular directory listing–even Yelp and Facebook. You'll also want to start collecting reviews from customers in order to boost your Google My Business listing.
Lastly, remember to sign up for a mix of high-authority local directory sites as well as industry-specific ones. Although the industry-specific directories may get you fewer clicks overall, the attention you get may be more likely to lead to conversions because those customers are already primed to do business.
Boost Your Local SEO Today
There are a variety of benefits of focusing on your local directory listing in order to attain more notice on the internet.
The first is that it's easy–you just need some time and patience. Next, it's free. You won't need to pay for a basic listing, while advertising with some of these directories requires a moderate investment.
Lastly, you'll be able to engage with customers in a different way. They'll be able to leave reviews on your listing that help potential customers get over some of the hurdles to doing business with a new company.
By responding to all of your reviews, this also shows that your company cares about customer feedback and wants to provide the best experience possible.
Ready to get started? Read more about our data-backed, custom local SEO campaigns today!