A local citation is a mention of your business on the web that normally includes a combination of your company name, address, phone number, (also referred to as NAP) and sometimes the website address. Citations can help a local business to improve their search engine ranking.
When a local citation does not include the entire NAP it is often called a partial citation.
A citation is valuable for improving a local company’s search engine ranking with or without the website address. The more mentions of your business out on the web, the more prominent your business appears to Google.
A structured citation is your business information (NAP) on a business listing directory. These include general directories like Yelp, Google My Business, and other directories. Facebook and other sites also list business information. Industry and locally specific directories are also considered business directories.
An unstructured citation is your business information (NAP) on any other site that’s not specifically a business directory. Common examples where unstructured citations are found are press releases, blogs, and similar content.
Citations provide verification that a business is legitimate. The same business information in multiple citations signals legitimacy to the search engines. Being listed in local and national directories builds the business’ authority and improves search engine rankings.
Consistency is important when listing a business. The company name, address and phone number need to be the same across all listings. Each directory should only have one listing for the business. Inaccurate and duplicate listings can negatively impact a business’s search engine rankings.
Include as much information as the directory allows and is available like pictures and videos.
Of the top 50 ranking factors, local search experts say citation-related factors make up over 10%.
While it’s a monotonous and boring task, building citations is a task that is well worth the effort. Use a spreadsheet with the business information that can be copied and pasted to make it easier. The spreadsheet can also be used to track all the citations that have been done.
Not sure where to start? Get a copy of our Online Directory Guide.
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