If you were to pull up your favorite search engine and type in the name of your business, would the results produce accurate contact information such as your phone number? If your answer is yes, that’s a great start. Now, how about across all other instances of your online presence?
It’s essential that your business’ name, address, phone number (NAP), hours of operation, and other pertinent information that helps potential customers find you online is current and accurate. It’s the digital version of a billboard, a storefront sign, or any other physical advertisement in the “real world.” And just like when a letter burns out on an electric sign or a mechanical billboard malfunctions, if your business’ citations are incorrect, you’re losing leads.
Citations may show up in a variety of places; information across online maps, apps, directories, GPS devices, social networks, and search engines. Consistency is key. But because the digital landscape is always changing, finding time to ensure that your business’ online information is current can be challenging.
Why Is Citation Management So Crucial to Your Business?
1. You Want Your Customers to Go to You (and Not Your Competition)
In our super-connected world of smartphones, social media and digital everything, accurate location data is more important than ever. If even a few customers a month can’t easily find your business and end up going to your competitor, those numbers will quickly add up.
2. It Helps Build Brand Authority and Trust
When a business’ listings are complete, accurate and relevant, consumers are more likely to trust that business. In the same way that an accurate digital presence builds brand trust, inaccuracies erode it. When name, address, and/or phone number (NAP) are listed incorrectly online, you look sloppy and disinterested at best, and unreliable at worst. Have you ever driven to a business only to find that you were navigated to an old location? Did you go out of your way to find the new location or did you find what you were looking for from a different business?
3. It Improves Your Overall Search Presence
It’s pretty simple: the more accurate your citations, the better search engines are likely to rank you. A common example is when a zip code changes and isn’t reflected across the Internet. Sometimes, one listing is owned by an unknown party or previous business owner. Conflicting and/or duplicate listings can cause confusion for search engines and your business may end up ranking lower in search results.
Another common problem that can only be corrected through citation management is user-suggested changes. Many citation services such as Google allow users to submit their own changes to business listings, and if the business owner does not catch these changes and approve or disapprove them, the changes may go live on the citation.
When your citations are reliable, every aspect of your digital presence is better for it. Citation management makes your business more likely to be seen, clicked through, used, and reviewed. And reviews matter. According to Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Another article that covers BrightLocal’s 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey states that 87% of potential customers won’t consider businesses with low ratings.
The takeaway? If it’s not already part of your strategy, consider adding citation management to your plans to make sure you don’t lose customers or brand loyalty. Click here to check your local business listings then Contact G5 at info@GetG5.com or 1.800.554.1965 to find out more and get started.