17 Jul Why consistent citations are important for your dealership’s SEO
These days, most digital marketers will tell you that search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial in creating an effective digital strategy for your retail business. From backlinks, to new website content, to social media and beyond, pretty much all of your dealership’s online presence and activity contributes to its SEO. Of these, one of the most important aspects driving search engine favorability is consistent local citations.
A citation, which can be found in databases and directories, is a listing that includes a business name, address, phone number and website, as well as an occasional email address. Also called NAPs (for name, address, and phone number), these listings are scanned by search engines, and the more consistent and informative they are, the higher the search engine optimization is for that business.
Google My Business, Bing Places, Apple Maps, YP (formerly Yellow Pages), Yelp, Citysearch, Better Business Bureau, and variety of larger database aggregators are just a few of the sites search engines scan when ranking businesses in search results. Consumers also use a wide variety of these directory sites when researching information on a business, and will often use smaller local listing sites as well as Facebook. There are also numerous dealership locator services available for car shoppers, such as AutoTrader and Edmunds.
Having inconsistent citations on these sites is perhaps the most common issue negatively affecting SEO. A survey of digital consultants and agencies by InsideLocal found citation inconsistency drove 41 percent of bad search rankings. When information about a business, such as the stylization of a name or the hours of operation, varies from directory to directory, search engine favorability declines. If your dealership’s contact information differs across the web, search engines such as Google have difficulty understanding that information is related to your dealership, causing your SEO to go down.
In addition, inconsistent citations may lead web searchers and potential clients to receive inaccurate information, such as an incorrect phone number or store hours. This may turn them away from contacting your dealership, and is the equivalent of closing your doors during prime sales time. For these reasons, it is critical that every listing of your dealership is claimed and correct. The data speaks for itself: according to the same InsideLocal survey, 96 percent of respondents said that optimizing your Google listing delivers good or excellent return on investment (ROI).
However, with so many business databases, map listings and dealership directories available to consumers, finding, claiming and maintaining citations is a foreboding task. Contact us to receive a local citation audit from L2TMedia, and begin taking a proactive role in your dealership’s SEO.