If you are in the digital marketing business then you have probably heard the term “citation” and you know what they are and why they are used. Well, I’m here to give you the low down of what they are and why they are important in your SEO plan. Citations are any place online that mentions or lists your business NAP or name, address, phone number. If it does not contain all of this information then it can be considered a “partial citation.” There are also NAPW (name, address, phone number, website) and UNAP (URL, name, address, phone number).
Search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo trust quality citation sites which is why these are so essential in helping your local SEO efforts. They not only help you show higher in the search engines, but they also help your creditably as a business. Ideally, your citation would include all the information listed above to be the most helpful and effective.
Local citations come in many forms that can include:
-company name and phone number
-company name, phone number and address
-company name, phone number, address and website
-company name and website
-company phone number
-and so on
It’s important to note that a citation does not need to link back to your website in order to be valuable. As long as it has a mention of some of the information above then it can be helpful in your SEO. It’s also important to remember that when your information is listed as a citation that it needs to be in the same format every time. Meaning, your name, address and phone number need to be exactly the same, otherwise, the citation can be seen as unreliable or untrustworthy.
There are citations that are described as ‘structured’ citations which are any citations that are on a business listing directory. This would include places such as Yelp, Yellowpages, MapQuest, Facebook, Superpages, etc. It’s easy to submit your business information to these sites and get a citation.
Search engines like citations because they help to ensure that a business is real, reliable and honest. It is also checking to make sure that the information such as an address, phone number, etc. is correct and that the industry is valid.
Another way to build citations is to partner with another company in the same industry and trade links with each other. Basically, you each add a link to the other company’s website to a blog, article, or other content that you have on your website to help build each other’s citations and credibility. You can reach out to people in the industry as you come across them in networking and it can be very helpful.
Get Found Local offers a citation building service that is the first step in getting rankings on the major search engine results pages. For any questions on citations or how to obtain them for your business please schedule a time to talk about it.