How to Use Citation Building to Improve Your Local Search Rankings – Part 2

Improving Local Search Rankings for Finance Companies: Part 2 – Citation Building

In Part 1 we talked about getting listed on quality online directories; citation building builds on this.

What are citations and why are they important?

First of all, for what we’re talking about a citation is an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP). Google uses this information when evaluating the online authority of your business. And so if you have lots of citations, from quality online sources, then Google will value you more and you’re more likely to appear in their local search results, see below:

citation-building-finance-companies

As well as appearing higher in local search listings having your company name referenced in more places online will help more people find you for direct leads and increase general awareness of your company and your brand.

Consistency!

It’s important to note that you need consistency when entering your NAP information. Having variations of your business information will mean Google is less likely to count all your citations as the same which will affect your local listings. Use one format and stick to it.

Evaluate!

It is also a good idea to evaluate current citations you may have and edit them accordingly so they all match. You’ll be surprised at the variations of your business information that will be available online, old phone numbers and addresses are common. Simply do a search for your company details in Google and have a look at the results and see if you can access the information to change it, or contact the website directly.

How (and where) do I start building citations?

If you have followed Part 1 of this article series you already have! Online directories are usually the first place to start. It’s a common misconception that online directories are the only place to build citations – other sources for citations include:

  • Press Releases – Any time there is a press release about your company, ensure your NAP is referenced. Even a partial citation will help if it seems a little odd for all information to be present.
  • Email Signatures – Usually NAP information will be present for accounting and financial planning companies, it’s professional. Make sure the format is the same as where you’re building citations elsewhere.
  • Forum Signatures – If your company is active on any forums, answering finance related questions (which is great for building authority), ensure your NAP information is in your signature if possible.
  • Company Blog Posts – Any time you write a blog post where your personal snippet is present, add your NAP information as well.
  • Guest Blog Posts – The same as above but for your posts on other websites should your company do guest posting. WikiMoney offer guest posting on various finance topics – if you would like to guest post for WikiMoney get in touch here.
  • Article Creations – Many finance services companies will write articles on finance because for many it can be a very confusing subject. Adding your NAP information here shouldn’t be missed and if the article is valuable to the reader they may well become a customer!
  • QnA Websites – Answering finance related questions and helping readers is great for new leads, ensure your NAP information is present so they can get in touch, and for the citation of course!
  • Community Sponsorship – If you have any local community sponsorships ensure your NAP information is present, not just a link to your website.
  • Partnership Websites – Similarly to above, if you partner with any other companies or organisations ensure you NAP information is present on their websites.
Beat your competition

Building citations for your company is great but being aware of competitors is important too. See where competitors have built citations by searching for their company details. Think about which search phrases you want to appear for, ‘accountants in North Sydney’, ‘auditing in Melbourne CBD’ etc. Type these into the search on the Google+ Local page. You should treat the results as your competitors even if you don’t consider them to be – search for their company details in Google and see where they appear – perhaps you should appear there too!

Pro Tip

If you find you are getting too many irrelevant results when searching for your company details or competitors’ details try searching with this in a Google search:

“Competitor’s Business Name” AND “Competitor’s Postcode” -site:http://www.competitorswebsite.com.au

This will help to pull out only citations rather than company ‘mentions’.

PART 3 (of 10) – Google My Business