This week we touch on yet another very influential element of SEO for local movers. You must have heard, if not practiced the use of local business citations to spear the word about your company. And in case you haven’t, no need to stress over it – it’s never too late to do so. What we will do here is explain what exactly it means for your business to receive quality citations. Basically, it plays a big role for both your clients and Google as it places your company on the map. And as you might have learned by now, that is exactly the goal of professional moving company development.
What are local business citations and how do they work?
A citation is simply a listing of your business name, address and phone number (aka NAP). Typically, you can find these in a local directory sites like Yelp, Merchant Circle or Yellow Pages. However, when it comes to movers in particular, the focus should be directed towards directories in relation to the industry itself. Such examples would include:
Citations are usually comprised of: website, hours of operation, description, categories and logo/photo. As a bonus, some sites link to social media, videos, reviews, maps etc. Basically, any way that can enable you, as a professional moving company, to showcase your products or services.
Having a business listed in these directories can help you in three important ways:
- Your business will be listed and pop up in places where potential customers are already “hanging out” online. In a way, it represents a direct promotion on moving industry pages.
- It enhances your chances of receiving backlinks to your website from other high quality websites.
- Each listing counts as a citation, which can improve your ranking with other directory sites.
How do local business citations for movers work?
With each citation you have, your SEO development gets a boost because more directories are made aware of your presence. And the larger your presence, the more leads you are able to get, logically. Without citations, the search engine algorithms will view your company as irrelevant. As a result, it is less likely that your company name will show up during relevant searches.
Other than increasing your online business presence, local business citations for movers are also essential for boosting your search engine rankings. So in cases of direct competition with another moving company in your area, the one that has more citations will rank higher. Citations still bring customers at the end of the day, even if they don’t have direct links.
Local business citations are even more important for businesses without websites. The reason is simple – they increase the likelihood that customers will still be able to find you online.
Why do local business citations matter?
Businesses at every level of local commerce are deeply concerned about rankings, reputation, and revenue. Local citations are vital, given that they factor into all three of these areas. Local citations significantly influence two scenarios relating to local businesses:
They either positively or negatively impact local search engine rankings
- Number of citations a business accrues.
- Accuracy of the data they feature.
- Quality of the platforms they exist on.
All these factors can influence rankings. Search engines like Google amass data about each business. And if what they find is accurate, the algorithm is led to trust the data. All this goes towards a higher chance of the business ranking well. However, if this data is misconstrued or inconsistent in any way, the trust drops and so do your rankings.
Local business citations also impact consumers
Accurate citations help people discover a local moving business. This can result in web, phone and foot traffic, all culminating in leads. Inaccurate citations, on the other hand, can misdirect customers. And this results in loss of reputation and revenue all together.
Where can you get local business citations?
It’s a common misconception that the only place to get citations is from directories – either local or industry specific ones – but that isn’t true. Directories are good places to get citations from, but blogs, forums, social media sites, etc. are too. So, don’t restrict yourself to only considering directories as citation sources. Some alternative sources for citations include:
- Press releases
- Article and guest post bylines
- Question and answer sites
- Image and video descriptions
- Profile pages
- Forum signatures
Now you can start adding your business to other citation sources. We recommend starting with the following sites:
The importance of balance
Careful, though—citations aren’t the bedrock of search engine optimization. Without the help of other factors like a well-developed link structure, citations won’t do much good in raising your search engine rank. A business with few links and lots of citations will never fare as good as one with lots of links and lots of citations. It all comes down to finding the right balance. So if you already have loads of links, invest into the development of a link strategy.
Links are part personal effort and part word-of-mouth. If you have five different social media accounts and were to post a link sharing your blog on each one, you just created five different links. And of course, if other people like what you do and link to your site from their site, you get another link. Just don’t start paying for links—Google and other search engines don’t reward that kind of behavior.
Quality plays a role as well
The quality of each citation is equally important. A high-quality citation from a reputable site helps far more than a citation from a low quality, spam-trending website. So a moving company with fewer high-quality local business citations might still give better results than one with twice as many low-grade citations. The conclusion to be taken from this example – quality before quantity!
This can be a time-consuming process, but the results are well worth it. The good news? Unless your business moves or changes dramatically, you will not need to do this again. With that being said, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the pages for reviews left by customers. Whether people leave a positive or negative review, it’s a good idea to respond. Don’t be defensive about negative reviews; just offer to help and move on! Thank happy customers for leaving positive reviews, too.