What Are Citations In SEO

What Are Citations In SEO

Local citations are any online mentions of your business data (for example, name, phone, address). Those can be found on different websites, apps, social media platforms, and local business directories.

Why Are Local Citations Important?

There are two main reasons why citations are important for businesses.

Local citations impact search engine rankings.

If the data featured in the citations is accurate, the platforms they are published on are of high quality, and there have been quite a few mentions of your business, you are going to rank well in the search engine.

Local citations impact the customer flow.

Thanks to the high ranking, your business will be seen by more potential customers. Moreover, accurate citations will help the consumers not only discover your creation but also physically find the business and make a purchase.

The Types of Local Citations

Local Business Data Platforms

There are platforms that have been created specifically to host this kind of data. They include Google My Business, Infogroup, Localeze/Neustar, Acxiom, and pages with local business listings on Facebook and Yelp.

Geo – and Industry-Specific Platforms

If your business is specific to a unique industry or to a single town, you might want to try building listings on the websites of professional guilds and associations.

The Wider Web

You can build supplementary citations on news sites, apps, various blogs, etc.

The great news is that you can develop all the citations mentioned above simply by using automated software. If you have a bit more time, you can manually fill in the forms on different websites.

Various PR and marketing strategies would also help you develop more citations.

Bear in mind that the core components of local citations are your company’s name, address, and phone number. However, you can also incorporate such things as hours of operation, driving directions, reviews, images, videos, links to social media platforms, and so on.

How to Check Your Citations?

  • Perform a manual audit

There are hundreds of local citation sources that you can check, but in order to save a wagon of time, try focusing on Apple Maps and Facebook.

  • Automated checks

There are online tools that can help you check the local business listings for accuracy and inclusions.

The Benefits of Actively Managing Citations

You get to choose how to manage your local citations. Some businesses fully neglect all these mentions and simply let the citations get generated without their control.

Such a strategy might result in inaccurate citations and having no control of how your business is represented online.

On the other hand, actively managing local citations will positively impact not only rankings, but also your reputation and, ultimately, profit thanks to:

  • Accurate citations set on major platforms
  • A strategy for editing data as the business develops or changes
  • A strategy for discovering and managing both positive and negative reviews
  • Correction of any inaccurate data
  • Controlling how your business is represented online

You would have to hire a separate person or even team to actively manage all citations (depending on the size of your business), but the effort would definitely be worth it in the end.

To Sum Up

Citations are mentions of your business on websites, social media platforms, apps, and business directories. They impact search engine rankings and influence consumer discovery.

If you are able to actively manage citations, your business is going to benefit a lot from it. For example, you’ll have maximum control of how the company is represented on the web and that, in its turn, will have a positive impact on the business’s reputation.

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