What exactly are consumer citations and what is the extent of impact or influence these have on local SEO? In the SEO landscape, a citation is defined as a straightforward and candid mention of a particular brand in an online community or in an automated social media platform. For instance, you visit a restaurant in an upscale locality or your close friend relates her insalubrious working experience in her office and you decide to publicize the developments on your Facebook profile. Your comments or citations can have a positive or undermining influence on the standing or reputation of the restaurant or the workplace where your friend.
Citations by customers or users have a contextual significance when observed in the perspective of a site’s content. Google’s crawlers and bots index citations (amongst other ranking parameters) whenever the search engine embarks on a website ranking drive. When it comes to local SEO, citations can help augment the visibility of community brands as well as localized businesses across the web. Following are some of the ways in which citations by consumers influence the organic visibility of your brand regardless of whether it’s a product or service.
1. Citations encourage and stimulate online conversations
If the product or service that you offer to your consumers has benefited them in a particular manner thereby enabling to improve their current lifestyles, they’re more likely to give positive feedbacks about the same during online conversations. Their positive reviews might go a long way in further publicizing your brand across automated social media or networks. The word-of-mouth publicity might ultimately lead to the expansion of your customer base.
Online consumers will be inculcated to sign up for your service or product when they see other customers with like-minded interests offering favorable or optimistic reviews. If your brand fulfills a particular requirement or need of the target audience, then chances of getting healthy reviews from consumers or customers increases correspondingly.
2. Search engines bank upon citations for according value to a brand
Algorithmic updates carried out by Google for local SEO take into consideration the messages and citations centering round a brand. Citations play a major role in helping Google’s algorithms to accord or ascribe a value to your product or service. Online reviews and comments posted by consumers are scanned by the search engine’s crawlers and based on the quality of the published comments, an appraisal about the value or worthiness of your business is made.
3. Citations sometimes balance other conventional SEO aspects
Success in local SEO is tantamount to ticking off each and every SEO checkbox that matters. If you’ve set up shop or started your business only recently, you’ll need to have the patience to wait for some time before your SEO strategy begins to yield positive results. It is during this waiting period when citations can function as a constructive conduit to deliver results you’re expecting. Citations can be instrumental in enabling you to stay ahead of your competitors who may have updated, user-friendly sites but are found wanting on positive reviews.
4. Search engines favor structured citations or NAPs
Majority of local SEO specialists correlate or associate structured citations with NAP or the name, address, and phone number of a business. If you’re serious about being in the good books of Google and eventually let your customers or consumers have a pleasant experience while they navigate through your site, you should see to it that your NAP info is consistent across all online platforms.
5. Search engines will give more significance to citations for local SEO
Going by the current scenario or present state of affairs in the local SEO landscape, it seems that Google will lay more emphasis on the experiences online consumers have while engaging with a local business. So, you should concentrate more on how to earn a more positive feedback or a citation from your niche segment.