LOCAL PRACTICE CITATIONS
What is a Local Citation?
A local citation is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number for a local business. In your case, your medical location.
Citations can occur on local business directories, on websites and apps, hospital websites, college and association websites and on social platforms.
Citations help patients and referrers discover your practice and can also impact local search engine rankings.
Medical practices can actively manage many citations to ensure data accuracy and consistency.
What are the Types of Local Citations?
Practice owners can create citations on a variety of important local business data platforms which exist to publish this type of data.
Core Platforms include Google My Business, White Pages, Bing, True Local, Yellow Pages, Hot Frog and many others.
Key Practice Listings can also be built on popular social and review-oriented sites like Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, RateMDS etc.
Geo/Medical-Specific Platforms your practice should pursue listings on include websites that are specific to your service and geography. Examples of these platforms are hospital, colleges, associations, and research website citations.
Supplementary Citations can either be built or earned on a wide variety of publications, including news media sites, community, charity, government databases, blogs, and more.
You can either intentionally develop these citations for your business, or simply earn them based on merit and public interest/sharing of information.
Citations and local business listings frequently appear without any action being taken by the business. Citations can result from automated aggregation and the flow of data from local business data platforms.
This reality makes it especially important for local businesses to take control of the accuracy of their data so that inaccurate data is discovered and corrected, preventing patient confusion or loss and any negative impact on local search rankings.
What are the Components of a Local Citation?
The core components of a citation are your practice name, address, and phone number and can also include a reference or link to a designated page of your practice’s website.
In addition to this, a citation may incorporate some or all of the following elements:
Hours of operation
Links to social and other forms of media
Alternate phone numbers
Why do Local Citations Matter?
Local citations significantly influence two scenarios relating to local businesses:
Local citations either positively or negatively impact local search engine rankings.
The number of citations a business accrues, the accuracy of the data they feature, and the quality of the platforms they exist on all influence rankings.
Search engines like Google amass data about each business. If what they encounter is accurate, the search engine trusts the validity of the data, which is believed to strengthen the business’ chance of ranking well. However, if the data search engines encounter is inconsistent, this trust is eroded, lessening ranking opportunities.
Local citations either positively or negatively impact consumers.
Accurate citations help people discover a local business, which can result in web, phone, and foot traffic, culminating in new patient bookings.
Inaccurate citations, however, can either confuse or misdirect patients, leading to loss of reputation and revenue.
All Practices Should Nurture Their Online Citations
Practices should be concerned about rankings, reputation, and revenue. Local citations are vital, given that they factor into all three of these areas.
Every practice should understand the risk/benefit scenario of a passive vs. an active approach to citation management and include local citation’s as a part of their marketing strategy.
Passive approach risks:
Neglecting citation development and management risks the following damage to rankings, reputation, and revenue:
● A small/weak set of local citations,
● Inaccurate citations,
● Duplicate local business listings,
● No awareness of user or competitor edits to local practice listings,
● No strategy for discovering inaccurate data,
● No strategy for managing citations in the event of rebranding, business moves, changes in phone numbers, hours of operation, or other data,
● No strategy for promoting, discovering and managing reviews, and
● Little control over how the practice is being represented across the web.
Active approach benefits:
Actively managing citations can positively impact rankings, reputation, and revenue via:
● A robust, accurate citation set on major platforms,
● Awareness, discovery, and correction of inaccurate data,
● Permanent closure of duplicate local business listings,
● A solid strategy for editing citation data in the event of rebranding, business moves, changes in phone numbers, hours of operation, or other data,
● A solid strategy for discovering and managing reviews,
● Maximum control over how the practice is being represented across the web
By weighing these risks/benefits, you’ll soon determine that active citation management can be neglected. It simply isn’t good business.
Local Citations Summary
Citations are publications of your core practice data on the Internet.
They influence patient discovery and local search engine rankings. Accurate citations positively impact rankings, reputation, and revenue, whereas inaccurate citations detract from these assets.
Due to the high stakes of these assets, active location data management is a necessity for all practices.
How We Can Help With Your Local Listings
Managing your Online Citations is a process and can help you grow your online visibility. We can help your practice list and manage these listings.
Contact Us and we can perform a Free Listing Audit of your practice.
Find Out More - HERE