If you’re just starting on offsite search engine optimization, a citation is probably one of the words you hear all the time from prospect digital marketers or SEO specialists. Citation is one of the most important aspects of offsite SEO and most of the time, the very first step SEO specialists take. Read on to find out what citations are and why your business needs them.
Citations, Local Citations, SEO Citations: What They Are
Citations, local citations, or SEO citations, whichever you decide to call it, they’re all the same. A citation is any mention of a local business online – name, address, phone number, email address, operation hours, directions, etc.
Citations can happen on local business directories, major business listings, review sites, websites, apps, or even social media platforms. Ensuring that your business is listed in these citation platforms helps internet users and potential customers find your business. It also helps improve your rankings on local searches.
The Importance of Citations For Your Business
Google’s algorithm takes into account the validity of your business and website. Some websites can say they’re a legit business but are actually spam or fraudulent sites. A citation is one of the most effective ways to validate your business.
Local citation spreads awareness about your business. People can find you and talk about you in local directories or review sites, an effective way to spread word of mouth. You also get to build relationships with your potential customers and the local community.
Maintaining consistent business information in several directories helps prove the credibility of your business. Google keeps a close eye on inconsistent businesses. Make sure everything you publish on local listings is accurate and consistent. Otherwise, it can cause a negative impression on your potential customers and the search engines.
Different Platforms for Citations
Major Local Business Citations
As a rule of thumb, though some marketers do not consider it citation, start with a Google My Business listing. Since Google is the biggest search engine today, your listing in Google My Business is the most important citation you need to establish and manage.
Other major and established citation and review sites you need to get into include:
Industry and Geography-Specific Platforms
Aside from the established local business platforms listed above, you need to build listings on more specific platforms as well. There are business listings that are specific to an industry or geographic locations.
Some examples of industry and geography-specific platforms are:
|Fixr||Building and Construction||USA|
|HomeStars||Building and Construction||USA|
|Yard Book||Gardening / Landscape||USA|
|Networx||Gardening / Landscape||USA|
|Fabricators and Manufacturers Association||Welding and Fabrication||USA|
Citations don’t strictly have to be in a business directory, you can also build links from industry blog sites, news sites, apps, and even government databases. You can reach out to specific sites or build a positive reputation worthy to be shared with the public.
Local citations are important but it doesn’t mean that you can go around getting your business listed on just any site. Shady directories can negatively affect your local search rankings. It’s always best to ask for an expert opinion when trying something new for your business. Hire a local SEO specialist for the local citations of your business.
Check out Driven Digital’s blog for more SEO and digital marketing tips. You can also contact us to discuss your digital marketing needs!