josh 06/14/2016

A recent Google study on Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) revealed that an impressive 67 percent of all polled adult smartphone users want to view local advertisements that are customized by city and ZIP code. This statistic provides valuable insight into the mindset of the online consumer by showing that Local SEO is imperative to the success of any business that relies on local leads. As a vacation rental property manager, it is your job to promote your rental properties to an awaiting online audience. In this vein, you must be well-versed on proven Local SEO tactics if you want to attract more guests to your rental unit, while simultaneously increasing the number of bookings that you achieve in a year.

What Is an SEO Citation, and How Can It Help You Lease Out Vacation Property Rentals?

Implementing a Local SEO campaign will require you to learn about citations. Citations are often defined as the number of times that your business name or address is mentioned on other websites (Business Fingerprint). It is important to note that unlike links, citations don’t have to include a link to your website or contact information.

You can find local citations in a number of places, including:

  • Local business directories
  • Local government websites
  • Other local websites, such as the Chamber of Commerce pages

Citations have become increasingly important to Local SEO efforts, since they are so prevalent within the digital world. In fact, citations are now a key component in the SEO ranking algorithms for both Google and Bing. The following characteristics of citations contribute to their growing importance:

  • Citations show that a local business or business professional, such as a vacation property manager is well-established.
  • Citations provide well-indexed portals.
  • Through citations, search engines’ robot.txt probes can more easily search for and index a website.
  • Search engines can use citations to confirm that a business or professional is exactly as is advertised.
  • Citations help to catalog vital business or professional contact information.

With all these characteristics in mind, it is important to note that citations are particularly important in highly competitive fields, such as vacation rental properties. Through the proper methods, you can use citations to improve your SEO rankings, reach a larger number of future guests, and increase the number of bookings on your vacation rental property.

How to Increase SEO Ranking Via Citations
Citations are designed to broaden the visibility of your Property Management Company. As you increase the number of citations for your business, you want to remember that high-quality, authoritative citations are far more powerful, and they can easily improve Local SEO results. In short, through Local SEO efforts, you want to ensure that future guests find your properties before they find one of your competitors’. With the help of these three tips, you can and should increase the effectiveness of your local SEO campaign via citations:

1.Use data aggregators to effectively create additional citations. A data aggregator is designed to compile unique indexes for businesses throughout the United States. The most popular data aggregators are: Acxiom, Neustar, Factual and Infogroup. If you want to create additional, and effective, citations for your local SEO campaign, then you need to ensure that these data aggregators have gathered your business data, i.e., name, address and contact information. Once your business data has been gathered, the various data aggregators will be able to license or syndicate the data to local search engines, which means that your business will receive a positive endorsement, as well as valuable SEO-enhancing citations.

2.Make your citations easy to find by local search engines. Did you know that search engines will crawl the Internet in search of citations to validate each and every business? That’s right; for your citations to be effective, they need to showcase the correct business information within all indexes. For example, your business information should be correctly listed on websites like Yelp, Trip Advisor and Foursquare to further expand the reach of your business name, while simultaneously building trust in your vacation rental property management business. By correctly listing your business information in multiple places, you can increase your presence on local search engines, while simultaneously increasing confidence and authentic algorithmic scores, which will further boost your SEO ratings. The more that people trust your business name, the more likely they are to find your website, and the more likely they are to book a stay in one of your vacation rentals.

3.Don’t forget to have your business listed on multiple local blogs & directories. Local sites are a fantastic place to have your business name listed. Remember that the beauty of a citation is that your business doesn’t have to be linked to your website. Instead, you simply need to get your name out there. As a local vacation rental property manager, you will want to ensure that your name is associated with popular local websites searches, such as [insert your city] best places to vacation . Popular local sites are not only well-indexed by search engines, but they are highly associated with many of the key local SEO keywords that you will be targeting to attract future guests to your vacation rentals. Leverage the power of local sites today and start your citation campaign off on the right foot. Some solid examples are:
oLocal directories (chamber of commerce)
oPopular local blogs
oLocal news outlet websites

The Bottom Line: Citations Are a Vital Part of Your Local SEO Efforts

Just as backlinks play a vital role in creating trust for your SEO efforts, citations also play a vital role in local SEO campaigns. With this in mind, a citation is only as good as it is accurate. Whether you choose to set up your local SEO efforts on Google or Bing, make sure that you implement a targeted approach. You want to ensure that your citations are found on different local search listings, as well as on review sites. From Yelp to Trip Advisor, countless opportunities exist for you to implement a strategic citation campaign.

Above all, make sure that your citations are uniform, accurate and increase trust levels in your business or professional real estate and property management services. You want people to have a positive name-association experience when they use a local search to find your vacation property management services. With the help of a strategic Local SEO campaign that is influenced by citations, you can and will achieve a positive name association that will help you attract more guests and increase the number of bookings for your vacation rental properties.

Bonus Info! Popular Citations & Shortcuts to Citation Building

  • citation directory syndication tool. Get listed on 55+ citations and auto-update or fix inaccurate citations on the web with a few clicks. This isn’t the end-all-be-all tool, but will save you hours. Plus you can monitor reviews from one spot too!
  • BBB – Yes signup for this if you can.
  • Local chamber of commerce. You need to sign up for this if you plan to be serious.
  • Become a member of the VRMA or other vacation rental manager associations. Many times they have directories on the web.