The local business citations are a fundamental element of every Local SEO strategy. However, as important the local citations may be, they are kind of an abstract and confusing topic for most of the SMB business owners out there.
In order to aid the less digital-savvy businessmen, in their attempt to understand and improve their local online visibility, we’ve created an infographic on local citations that explains hard-to-grasp SEO terms via the popular Star Wars characters and situations.
So, prepare to follow Fynn’s journey in-between the dark and the light side of the Force and learn:
• the purpose of the online citations;
• what does the term ‘inconsistent citations’ mean;
• how your online citations got inconsistent in first place;
• and what all this has to do with Star Wars!
Of course having a geeky side to you will definitely help you enjoy the Local SEO Wars infographic, but yet again, if you are interested in Local SEO, I guess that you have that already covered! Enjoy the comic!
Imagine that your local citations are the Stormtroopers of the Star Wars Universe. When inconsistent, they are your fierce enemy and minions devoted to the Dark Side. If you manage to convert them to the Light, just like Finn has split from the First Order (in Episode VII The Force Awakens), they could become your own army of loyal soldiers in the Internet War for local rankings.
LOCAL CITATIONS AND YOUR LOCAL ONLINE VISIBILITY
Your local citations a.k.a the online mentions of your business Name, Address and Phone (NAP), play a huge role in achieving high Local Rankings. They are considered as the top difference-making factor in competitive markets and the #3 negative ranking factor by the local SEO community (if they are not tended with care).
Basically your citations are the army (stormtroopers), that is to bring you the so-longed for victory: high online visibility. If you have a loyal army of ‘Finns’ you are all settled, but if your citations are Stormtroopers who got brainwashed and programmed to serve the Dark Force against their will, then you’re in trouble.
WHICH ONES ARE THE BRAINWASHED LOCAL CITATIONS
The common Stormtrooper is a soldier, kidnapped as a kid from his family, recruited to fight for the First Order.
Translated into the Local SEO language it sounds something like …
The common Stormtrooper (citation) is a soldier (local ranking factor), kidnapped as a kid from his family (it no longer mentions the correct NAP of your business), recruited to serve the First Order (acts against your business welfare).
See? It’s that simple!
WHICH ONES ARE ‘FINNS’ LOCAL CITATIONS
As a devoted Star Wars fan you know that Finn is a First Order Stormtrooper, who made the conscious choice to change his nature and join the Light.
Translated into the Local SEO language it goes like …
Finns are all your local citations that correctly list your NAP. Their antagonists (the common Stormtroopers), on the other hand, list inconsistent or outdated NAP details and thus hurt your online business profile.
WHY CONVERT YOUR LOCAL CITATIONS TO THE LIGHT SIDE?
There are some pretty solid reasons to try to ‘Finn’ your inconsistent citations. Some of them include:
- Google will not recognize some of your incorrect citations and won’t credit you for them;
- Your business authority will be damaged and this will affect your local rankings;
- Your inconsistent citations may mislead Google into creating duplicate local pages of your business that will compete with each other;
- Citations inconsistency may have negative impact on your website’s credibility.
HOW DID YOUR LOCAL CITATIONS GET TO THE DARK SIDE IN FIRST PLACE?
There are many factors that could lead to the appearance of incorrect local citations. Learn from the leading Star Wars characters about the key reasons to have inconsistent local citations:
Yoda: “When the physical location your business moves, consistent citations you will be left without.”
Han Solo: “I’ve got a bad feeling about you changing your local phone number.”
Maz: “I am no Jedi, but I know the force will not be enough to help you if you have inherited a dirty phone number.”
Princess Leia: “I’d just as soon kiss a Wookie as use tracking phone numbers!”
Queen Amidala: “So this is how citation consistency dies. With an 800 number instead of a local number.”
Rey: “I know all about waiting. Your incorrectly submitted citations won’t get fixed on their own, but could be scraped and distributed to other sites.”
Darth Vader: “No, I am your SEO expert” – said your past SEO partner and messed up your citations on key online directories.
Kylo Ren: “I’m being torn apart. I want to be free of this pain: all data aggregators have incorrect information about my business.”
Emperor Palpatine: “There is a great disturbance in the Force. You have different trade names or business name variations.”
Captain Phasma: “You can’t be so stupid as to think this will be easy. Don’t let someone in your organization without knowledge of NAP consistency work on your business citations.”
Do you already feel more comfortable reading and talking about local citations? If you still have questions, you could jump to our Citation FAQ section, or share your concerns in the comments bellow, we’d be glad to hear from you and help you out.
And for the true fans of the infographic there is a small treat: we are planning to continue the Local SEO Wars series, so stay tuned for Episode II. RETURN OF THE LOCAL SEO EXPERT, which will focus on auditing & cleaning up inconsistent citations.