Performing well in local search results is a challenge for small businesses. Whether they’re bakeries, boutique clothing stores, or auto repair shops, these businesses need to rise to the top in searches for a specific geographic region and industry.
One way for businesses to improve local search results is through online citations. According to a recent article from Search Engine Journal, citations are a key way to boost your position in local searches.
Structured citations involve more formal listings of your business, including the exact name, address, and other contact information such as phone number and website. A structured citation will appear on sites like Yelp and various business directories.
What about unstructured citations? These kinds of citations are less formal and don’t always include all the neatly packaged key information about your business. They include the following:
- A local newspaper reviews your business, and the article appears online.
- A blogger comes up with a list of the top five local businesses of your type in your town. You get featured in the post, and though some parts of your contact information are missing from the post, it links back to your business website.
- You participate in a local event, such as a fundraiser or community fair, and the media coverage goes online.
- An organization gives your small business a grant or an award, and you show up on their website along with your location.
Unstructured citations aren’t as planned as the structured ones. However, they’re valuable contributors to your strength in local searches. They help link your business to a specific geographic location. And in many situations, they arise in the form of positive coverage and good reviews, helping improve your credibility.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for further discussion of online citations, including how to take advantage of unstructured citations to significantly increase the chances that customers will find you when they conduct local searches.