The Secret to High Local Search Rankings – Citation Consistency

Have you been struggling to boost your local business in Google Search results for quite a while now?

You work on your link earning strategy, you furnish your blog with topical content and you focus on those CTR-boosting title tags and meta descriptions, but your local rankings are still in poor condition?

It seems like you haven’t been concentrating on the top priority ranking factor in local: your business Citation Consistency.

Now don’t shy away from the complex terminology; Local SEO might seem like a mouthful, but here is an easy way to figure out its essentials. If you have the geeky passion of following the sci-fi Star Wars saga you could quickly catch up with all questions related to Citation Consistency by skimming through the Local SEO Wars: Episode I. Citation Inconsistency Awakens infographic.

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Business citations are your loyal army of Stormtroopers

Let’s start from the beginning: Google Local Ranking algo focuses on these top three factors: relevance (to the specific search query), prominence (in the online space) and proximity (to the user’s actual location, or the one specified in his search).

As you can see, prominence is the one sure characteristic of your online presence that you could influence. One way to make your business more prominent in Google search results is by working on your Citation Profile.

Citations are the online mentions of your business: Name, Address and Phone (NAP). They are your loyal army that will bring you closer to the longed-for online visibility, so take good care of them.

Citation inconsistency = your local army gone to the Dark Side

Just like the army of Stormtroopers, your business citations may fall for the Dark Side and go wrong on their choice of alliance.

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In the Star Wars universe, Stormtroopers are brainwashed soldiers who are manipulated to serve the Dark Force. How does this apply to your citations? It’s quite simple: remember that the most important characteristic of your citations is the business NAP (name, address, phone) info they carry? Well, if there is any inconsistency in the data they carry and the actual NAP of your business, then you could surely conclude that your Citations have gone to the Dark Side.

Being a leading local ranking factor, if inconsistent, your business citations may cause a great damage to your online visibility. So in case you’ve lost your army of Stormtroopers you should strive to timely strategize their retrieval.

In the last episode of the epic saga, Finn personifies a Stormtrooper who realizes that he’s fighting the wrong cause and turns to the Light. In order to succeed in the Local Ranking game, you should attempt to Finn all of your inconsistent citations!

Ensure citation consistency via Star Wars wisdom

yodas-wisdomThere are a lot of reasons why your business citations may go inconsistent. Among the most widespread ones is a change in your company name, address or phone. Building new citations without much care of following the citation consistency rules is another major threat to your local rankings that you should eliminate. Always be careful when using a toll-free or tracking number on your website or when creating your army of citations.

dark-vader

And most importantly, always make sure that the person responsible for managing your business citations is a competent and experienced specialist. Be responsible towards your business citations and your local rankings will flourish.

Take the first step towards higher local visibility and “Finn Your Business Citations!”

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.

Author: Nevyana Karakasheva

Nevyana Karakasheva is an online marketing strategist, who works at OptiLocal - an SEO agency, specializing in Local SEO.

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2 thoughts on “The Secret to High Local Search Rankings – Citation Consistency”

  1. Very nice blog post. Proper business citations are more important than many local marketers realize. Recently I heard a very quote at a Local Search Summit:

    “Brands that improve their accuracy and reach of location data by only 20% see conversions increase by 216%.” – Kyle Johnston, Gigasavvy”

    Having the right local search listings management plan can have a tremendous ROI for local SEO & conversion optimization efforts. Don’t take a nap until your NAP listing is clean!

  2. Hey this is so great, and captivating to read as well. I now a digital marketing company in Charlotte NC area. Having the correct business citations are so paramount, and we are always trying to connect with our customers and educate them on how important they really are. I agree with Chad, they do help drive so much traffic and are huge for ROI. NAP syndication is only one of the 4 criteria we use to help local businesses become more visible to their consumer bases. Thanks again for the good read!

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