What Are Citations?
A citation is a mention of your business details on multiple websites. It can be a combination of your business name, phone number, address, zip or postal code, and website address.
A complete local citation includes the name, address, and phone number (NAP).
A citation that does not include the NAP is known as a partial citation.
Citations impact local SEO for businesses since your listings help to build a profile of your business across the web. Search engines like consistent details in all the pages that are displayed online.
Ensuring your citations are up to date provides customers and Google with accurate information about your business.
Listing your business on various national and local sites enables it to create authority, build trust, and improve your business’ ability to rank in local search results
These are some well recognised places for business citations :·
- GMB (google maps)
- Yellow pages (yelp)
- Bing places
- Facebook business page
- Chamber of commerce websites
- Apple maps
- Niche or Industry online directories
- Industry Associations or Guilds
Correct Citations Are Vital
If you own a business, you will inadvertently create citations when you add your business’s details to different website directories.
One thing that does happen over time is that your business information will be picked up by major date aggregators and these are companies like Yelp or Bright Local.
Now this may sound positive but it can backfire!
If they list your business incorrectly – this information will be spread to more platforms.
If they have the wrong street number or the wrong phone number then this will lead to inconsistent listings online that do not match your GMB listing detail and that can negatively impact your Google rankings and presence in a local Google search.
Another reason why your citations may not match is if you move premises, change your phone number or you may even change your business name.
It is super important when you are starting out with a new website or a new Google My Business, to actually keep track of where you add your details so that you can go back and amend them if you do have a change of details.
We keep all of our citations in spreadsheets with the log in details to each site so that they can be amended.
There are also services that can ‘clean up’ your citations and add the correct details.
If your citations are not all 100% correct you can dilute the issue by adding more citations with the correct details and this will make the incorrect details less important.
If you need help with your citations – Reach out and we can check and do a clean up for you.
Types Of Citations
Citations are classified into two major categories, structured or unstructured. They can also be classified in terms of platforms.
A structured citation is your business NAP on a business listing directory.
When you come across a list of citation sites, they are more business listing directories where you can submit your business details and get a citation.
Sites for structured citations include:·
- Yellow pages
- One Flare
- Hi pages
- Brown Book
Unstructured citation is your business NAP listing on any other site that is not specifically a business listing directory,
such sites include, but not limited to:·
- Magazine/newspaper sites
Why Citations Are Important?
After time these mentions of your business details on various websites are indexed by Google and all the dots will be connected to your business details, your business website, your social media accounts and to your Google My Business listing. Having citations listed on well regarded and trusted sites has the added benefit of giving your website extra back links as well as the consistency of your details across the web.
Good quality citations will also add authority which will come back to give higher rankings in a Google search for competitive, higher valued keyword phrases.
Having good quality citations in local directories (Your state, city or town) will boost your visibiity in a local search.
Google wants to suggest local and relevant sites when people are searching online.
Keep Track Of Tour Citations
It is important if you are starting out with a new website or a new Google My Business, to keep track of where you add your details so that you can go back and amend them if you do have a change of details
Having listings on well regarded and trusted sites has the added benefit of giving your website extra back links as well as the consistency of your details across the web.
When your business has matching and trusted citations, this enables search engines, such as Google and Bing, to verify the existence of your business.
When several credible sources show consistent and accurate information about your business, it indicates that your business is legitimate to search engines.
It is a well regarded belief that citations are one of the most important ranking factors in a local Google search and for your GMB to out rank the competition.
Are used by search engines such as Google and Bing to factor in citations when doing local rankings.
Local search experts rate citations as one of the top factors that determine local search rankings.
The more places your business information appears online, and the more prominent your business appears to Google.
If the search engine algorithms see that your business is mentioned on hundreds of websites, compared to the competition that is only listed on a few sites, this can make you seem like a more popular business, and give boost in the rankings.
How Do I Get More Citations?
As a general rule, you should have at least 25 to 50 citations as the bare minimum and the more relevant and more local to your business the better.
You can add your own to different directories like Yelp, Brown Book or True local.
When creating or claiming your business directory citation, it is essential to fill out the most crucial information about your business
(NAP) : Name- it should be your branded trading name.
Physical address-it should be consistent with and match the address on your website.
If you are a service based business you need to put in the address that your GMB is registered at.
Local telephone number- the number given should match the one on your website.
Extra Information can also be give such as :
Operating hours – Make sure it is the same as your GMB
Social media links
When we are working with a new business’s we do outsource our citation building to several companies who specialise in this and who have a huge data base of Australian directories and we normally start with 100 citations on Australian sites and we add to these with some overseas directories plus other back linking methods
If you are a DIY sort of business owner – Bright Local can help you with your existing citations and also helping you to add more.
We also build unstructured citations when we do our press release service for our Hello SEO clients.
For more general SEO tips you can find more here.
If you are looking to get your webpage ranked on Google – Please reach out and we can give you a rundown on what we can do for you!