SEO for Small Business

How to Use Citations to Boost Your Google Rankings

Most people running a small business who are trying to improve their search engine rankings through better SEO have come across “citations”. You may have heard that they are important for SEO, but you may not know what they are or how to use them to boost your online presence and Google rankings. Any small business, whether you are a dental practice, a legal firm, a restaurant, or a retail store, can benefit from local citations. But what are they all about and how can you use them to grow your business?

What Is A Citation?

Basically, whenever your company is mentioned online – that’s a citation. Even if the mention does not include a link to your website, it’s still a citation. But for SEO purposes, it’s obviously more effective if there is a reference to your company name, phone number, address, and also a link to your website. Without those links between your company name and other specific details, Google and other search engines will have trouble linking the citation to your individual business. A citation can be a listing on an online phone directory, or a link on a charity website. Even if your company name and telephone number are mentioned on a social media channel, search engines are likely to take notice.

The Benefits of Citations in SEO for Small Business

Even without the direct SEO benefits, citations are still good for your business. Simply being mentioned online will bring favorable attention to your business, products, and services. You never know when potential customers will come across a reference to your company. However, it’s the SEO benefits that will help promote your business in the long term. More citations result in higher search engine rankings for search terms related to your particular field of expertise and your specific geographical location. This will bring more web traffic and ultimately, more customers.

Google and other search engines aim to bring together geographical locations with businesses, and this is why it’s crucial that they can find out where your business is most active. With the right SEO strategy in place, which includes having strong local citations, you can even beat the large companies when it comes to ranking on search engine results pages. Getting a mention on a trustworthy site is a great way to draw traffic to your website and attract more qualified leads, so building online relationships is a key part of SEO for small business of any size.

How to Get Citations

There are many ways to maximize your online citations and improve your SEO. A good place to start is by approaching a local charity. Many local charities rely on local businesses for support. Try to find charities within your local area and check their websites to make sure they cite their business sponsors. Many charity sites dedicate a page to business sponsors, including logos and links to their websites.

Google your location and the type of service you offer, or type your location followed by “businesses”. You’ll immediately be presented with websites listing businesses and services in your area. Follow it up by contacting these sites and making sure you are included. It’s a great way to make sure you show up on local search queries. Additionally, search Google for the businesses you find on these sites to discover more places that they are mentioned online.

Current relationships need to be exploited to help your SEO strategy and boost your Google rankings. If you sell products, check out the websites of manufacturers, where they should list their vendors and their locations. Are you listed? If not, contact them to see if you can get a citation. Employees are another simple way to gain citations. If they have online bios, for example on their Facebook or Google+ profiles, ask if they can include your business and its details in their content. If you are hiring new employees, you can even boost your citations by getting a listing on job board sites.

The best way to maximize your local citations is simply by getting involved in your community. Think about how your business can embrace the local community. Having more online links to local organizations will keep Google happy and help you increase your search engine rankings. Are there any churches, universities, schools, or retirement homes you can help out? Giving away your services for special local events is a great way to get listed on respected websites.

There are so many ways your business can gain citations online. With a little creativity and extra effort, they can really help to maximize your SEO potential. Sending a few more emails and developing online relationships may take time, but if you want your business to grow in the long run, it’s a necessary part of online marketing. In time, you’ll be rewarded with more web traffic and ultimately, more customers. What methods have you used to get more citations and boost your Google rankings?

Contact Us to now more how citations can help you and Boost your search engine rankings