What Are Citations – And Why You Should Know

By January 19, 2015General, Online Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation with Citations

The internet is a powerful marketing tool for both small and large business owners, but sadly is untapped by the vast majority and as a result they (and perhaps YOU) are missing out on thousands of leads a day, month and year… The Internet exposes your business to millions of users, therefore, potentially putting your business at an advantage over others that do not use the internet as a marketing tool.

But on a local level Google is increasingly pushing and favouring businesses that establish a clear local footprint. This is done primarily via citations.

What is a citation?

A citation is the mention of the name and address (and ideally also the telephone number) of your business on other webpages. It happens even if your website has no link to other sites. For instance, a citation can be an online yellow pages directory with your business listed; however, you haven’t perhaps linked your website to that listing.

A citation forms an essential component of the search engines like Google ranking algorithms. Businesses that has numerous citation will possibly rank higher that the businesses with fewer citations, holding other factors at a constant. Citations can help of course on a statewide, national or even international level, but the great news for the small local business is that they can pack a power punch for you.

Why the success of your local business may depend on citation

If you need to boost the search rankings performance of your business using the internet, you should consider checking and improving your business citations. If your business is listed in well-established and well-indexed portals, your degree of certainty the search engines have the business’s categorization and contact information is increased. Plus just like a game of popularity, search engines like to see lots of citations as it likely shows you are popular with users too.

If your business in the less competitive niches, you will need citations. It is usually seen that in most of the cases that the competition lack their own websites. Since the information about such businesses is minimal, the search engine will rely heavily on the little information they can find about the business.

Citations provide a validation that your business is part of that given local community. This takes advantage of the difficulties of you faking that you are in that city, state or perhaps local business chamber directory. For instance if you do not belong to a given community, it is not likely that your company will be written about in local blogs or online newspapers.

Therefore, links and citation from other websites will help validate you and improve your website’s rank in search engines of your local area dramatically.

Where do you get a citation to promote your business?

You can get a mention of your business address and name, website or phone number from thousands of places. The golden step is to build strong core of citations that not only improve your business visibility, but also makes the search engine trust stronger in the existence of your business. Citations that are authoritative and of high quality are number one ranking factors in local market that is competitive.

Some of the best sources are business directories, local blogs, and especially industry-focused directories or blogs. Some local directories include Yellow Pages, TrueLocal, Start Local and many more.

Bottom line is, having authoritative citations of your business out there definitely improves your ranking and visibility in search engines.

About Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is director at natiive. He has almost 20 years of Information Technology experience and a real passion for the growing online web and cloud space. He gets a kick out of helping people maximise their web presences and getting their websites really working for them.