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Data aggregators run the world. The world of local search, anyway. These aggregators have built massive business databases from valuable listing sources like yellow page directories, phone directories, utility records, and various online information providers. They’ have an unbelievable amount of business data that search engines look to when finding local listing information for businesses, including your campground or RV park.
There are four major data providers: Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup, and Localeze. Their databases contain business information that search engines seek out to display for consumers. This information is the basis of where many online citations come from. What’s a citation, you ask? Citations are when a business is mentioned somewhere online, and the more citations a business has generated, the more likely their business is to appear higher in search rankings.
By providing accurate information, the major data aggregators help businesses show up correctly on online resources such as:
- Google Maps
- Bing Local
- Yahoo Local
- Yellow Pages
These online resources are only a few of the sources that receive data from the data aggregators. Obviously, sites like Google Maps, Facebook, and Yellow Pages are crucial listing places for campgrounds and RV parks that want to be found online (hint: all of them). If the listed information is not correct with these data providers, campgrounds and RV parks risk not being found by potential customers.
Every business wants online visibility! By mastering SEO with all of the major data aggregators, you can generate business citations for your campground or RV park. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
What is a citation?
As mentioned above, a citation is simply anytime a business is mentioned somewhere online. While a citation can be linked, they don’t have to contain a link to be considered a citation. To break it down further, let’s look at how citations can appear online:
- Company name (alone)
- Phone number (alone)
- Company name and phone number
- Company name, phone number, and address
- Company name, phone number, address and link
While any of these combinations can be considered a citation, a citation is not complete unless it contains the company name, address and phone number (NAP). Campgrounds and RV parks that have their NAP data correct with the major data providers have a better chance of seeing their correct information appearing all across the web.
Citations can appear in a structured or unstructured manner; here’s how you can distinguish the difference between the two:
A structured citation is the most common type of citation, and usually the most detailed when consumers are looking for business information. Structured business citations show up on business listing sites like Yellowpages, Yelp or TripAdvisor. In most cases, these citations contain the NAP for a business; something consumers are looking for in local search.
An unstructured citation can be found on random websites, blogs, event listings, job posting sites, government records or social media mentions. These are unstructured because they can be as simple as a company mention. Usually, these citations don’t include a business’s NAP data.
No matter how a citation appears, it has an influence on the local search ranking in some way for a particular business.
The importance of building citations
Citations have a major influence on local search rankings. When a business is frequently mentioned online, it has a better chance of ranking near the top of local search. Google’s search ranking algorithm has many moving parts, which means that citation building isn’t the only thing your campground or RV park has to do in order to rank on search engines. Online reviews, mobile compatibility, domain authority, and keyword density are just a few other factors that influence local search.
This doesn’t mean that citations don’t play an important role in local search ranking, though. In fact, David Mihm’s local search study suggests that citation-related factors are very important: they make up 25% of the top twenty factors the influence local search.
So what do data aggregators do?
Data aggregators provide a lot of data to search engines when conducting a local search. The aggregators own the space known as the local search ecosystem, a place where local searches get all of their data.
Notice the four major data aggregators: Infogroup, Acxiom, Localeze, and Factual. Many major directories and listings sites rely on these data providers for their information. These data aggregators are the foundation of what builds structured citations on major sites.
Incorrect data on any of these aggregators could mean that a business’s information online is inconsistent or wrong on many major listings sites and directories. Inconsistent information hurts SEO, so be sure to have your campground or RV park correctly listed with all the major players.
Not only does inconsistency hurt search engine ranking, but it can also hurt your campground or RV park. Consumers don’t trust businesses with inconsistent information online—73% of consumers lose trust in brands due to inaccurate local business listings.
Get it right!
There is no secret that we are keeping from you or a fancy trick to increasing online citations. It’s as simple as getting it right with the major data aggregators. Local search is a major deal for campgrounds and RV parks.
Consumers rely on the internet and search engines to interact with local businesses. According to Google, “four in five consumers use search engines to find products, services or experiences nearby.” Local search is what drives consumers to your campground’s front door, and ultimately drives top-line revenue for your business.
Make sure that your business gets it right, and isn’t missing from vital local search results. Start using data aggregation: it’s the first step in building accurate online citations and mastering local SEO.