What is a local citation for local SEO?
Why local citations are important for your business?
If you are a small business owner in Singapore, especially one that focuses on providing services to local customers such as blog shop, fitness training and tuition, you probably want your brand to be mentioned by as many people as possible. You want people to be talking about your brand in the coffee shop – about how great your service is, what it does, and where is it located. Well, such mention happens on the web too, and they are known as ‘Citation’ or 'Web Citation'.
What is ‘Citation’?
Citation is defined as the mention of your business name, description or address on another website – even if the mention has no link to your website at all. For example, government websites such as bizfile.gov has your business information but has no links to your website. Someone mentioning your business in his or her blog, is considered a citation too.
Why does ‘Citation’ matter to you?
Citations are especially important when you don't have websites at all. Let’s say a customer types in your brand name in the google search engine.If there’s no citation to your business on the web,your customer won’t be able to find you onGoogle!
Worse,your brand name is associated with an adult content site and the search displayed that to your customer as the first result in the organic search page You wouldn’t want that to happen right?
How do you create ‘Citation’ on the web (even if you don’t have a website)?
There are thousands of places where a citation can be built for your business to help you reach your potential customers. I have compiled a list of the top 7 ways of doing so for all Singapore businesses. Check it out:
# 1. Google Places & Google+
Your top priority should definitely be Google! You need to get your business on Google Places and Google+. Get yourself a google account and start creating your business profile. All you will need to do is fill out your business information such as name, description, location, phone number, opening hours etc. I suggest you create one set of such information in a word document,so that you can copy and paste it for subsequent accounts that you will be creating. You can check out this video on how and why you should create your business listing on Google Places:
You might be asking,why not Bing and Yahoo too? This is as Bing Business Listing currently does not serve Singapore and Yahoo Business Listing is a paid listing. So I would suggest not to use these unless you don’t mind paying for exposure.
# 2. FaceBook For Business
Create a FaceBook page, choose your business category, enter your business details - and you just got yourself another citation for your business. Be sure to encourage your customers to like your
There are more than 1 billion users on FaceBook.Are you reaching out to them?
# 3. Foursquare
Foursquare currently has more than 50 million users worldwide–you definitely don’t want to miss out on the next customer who visits your shop and check-in your location. Each check-in is a chance to spread awareness of your services by word-of-mouth to users’ friends. So get on Foursquare too!
Yelp has 57 million users worldwide. It can help you grow your business by reaching your local audience. Once you’ve created your profile, encourage happy customers to leave a review on Yelp if they like your services. Be sure to respond to their reviews and always stay positive in your comments.
LinkedIn is a professional network with 300 million members worldwide. Not all local small businesses should get on LinkedIn.Depending on your target audience, it could be a great platform to reach out to professional audiences and gain brand awareness for your business. For example, if you are a local fitness gym and you target busy professionals, we probably should get on LinkedIn and start attracting potential customers there.
inSing is a local portal with 2.6 unique visitors every month. If you can’t find your business in their listing, be sure to submit to them for extra link juice.
STDirectory is another website that allows Small Business Owners in Singapore to claim their business listing. You can perform a directory search to find your business listing, if it does not exist, you can drop them an email here: email@example.com. If your business is listed in the portal, you can request to update if the information is incorrect.
Of course, there are other web directories and local citations thatI did not mention. Feel free to share and comment below.