Search engines keep evolving and everyone involved in the industry knows how important it is to focus on local SEO at the moment. You need to still focus on traditional strategies like building SEO backlinks but you should do part of it with a twist. One of those twists is citation building, which is quickly gaining popularity because of how effective it can be. If you want to increase online visibility, citations are still necessary, especially when referring to local SEO.
What Are Citations?
Citations are basically web-based mentions with the complete or partial name of a company, the address and the phone number (normally referred to as NAP). Structured citations are practically listings of businesses in online business directories.
Building citations did change a lot in the past few years since they were spammed at one point in time. Thankfully, they are still effective, when done right. The following tips will help you to build citations better so your local SEO campaign would be better.
Google Location And Business
By simply Googling a location and an industry you can find various different great business directories filled with service providers and product based businesses that have high value. These are really good and you can easily get links when you use them.
As an extra SEO tip, make a list of the different companies appearing on the local business directories you find. Search for backlinks towards those businesses so you can find even more citation building opportunities.
Google Service And Location
For instance, you can look for something like “chimney cleaner in Sacramento”. That highlights competitors so it offers some extra information that would offer extra SEO ideas. Write the sites that you find in the searches and then consider the following:
- Make use of free link tools in order to find sites point towards similar websites.
- Search addresses and phone numbers so even more citation opportunities appear.
Get Involved In The Local Business Community
Some of the best backlinks you will ever get in SEO come from actions you take in the physical world and that are discussed online. With this in mind, you want to find local organizations like hotels, schools, universities and churches. Think about how you can help such organizations. You do this because the sites are seen as high authority resources by Google. They are wonderful for your SEO campaign as you leverage the large power of .edu sites.
As an example, let’s say you are running a plumbing business. Offer services for free to a local church and only ask for a mention on the website. The link you get will be more than valuable and you just invest time.
Work With Local Bloggers
Locality should be used to create linking opportunities. Try to find and build relationships with the bloggers in the area, especially when they are involved in the industry. Set up social media conversations and even meet with them in person. Because you are local a response is much more likely. Finding great bloggers is easy. Just think about the following ideas:
Set Up Competition Alerts
You can easily set up Google alerts in order to see what the competitors do. Add business address, phone number and name. That means you get an alert whenever an online mention appears about the specific business you added. It helps you out a lot in finding citation opportunities. National alerts set up for industry terms are also really useful as it offers ideas for content that you can create while you can piggyback on the national news that appear.