Online Citations are one of the important tools that ensure a website is easily discoverable on search engines. A citation or local citation is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number of a local business. It provides search engines and potential customers with important information about a business. Citations can appear on local business directories, apps, or websites, and on social media platforms. Basically, anywhere users might be looking for information about local businesses.
Citations not only help users to discover local businesses but also impact local search engine rankings. Having the right citations can help your business rank accurately on Google.
Types Of Online Citations
This type of citation lists the business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Examples of structured citation include social media business profiles and online business directories. It is known as structured citation because the listing is in a format consistent with the rest of the business listings on the site. Structured citations can be found commonly on business directories such as Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and more.
Unstructured online citation
When key business information shows up in a blog post, forum post, or news story, it is an unstructured citation. It is considered unstructured because the business appears in different ways on different platforms. There is no structured listing format. Data such as name and address are not assigned to a specific field.
Citations are also categorized as a partial and complete citations. A complete citation includes all NAP details, i.e., the business name, address, and phone number. On the other hand, a partial one mentions only one or two of the details. For example, a blog post may just mention the business name and not the address and phone number.
Where should you list your local business?
Local data business platforms provide local businesses with relevant resources and tools to verify and manage their online listings so that potential customers can find them via local search. Some of the popular local data business platforms include Google My Business, Yelp, etc.
Apart from the local data platforms, it also makes sense to have listings on industry or location-specific websites such as the chamber of commerce websites or professional association’s websites.
Remember, there are many websites to list your business, but not all of them may be right for your business. So, identify the most relevant citation category such as healthcare, real estate, etc. for your business listing.
Why online citations are important?
The biggest reason why citations are important is that they are a ranking factor for local SEO. By listing your local business on trusted online directories, you send a signal to Google that your business certainly exists and deserves a place in search results. Google will evaluate your online presence on the basis of not just the quantity of your listings. They also take into consideration the accuracy and quality of the online directories where your business is listed.
Another important benefit of citations is that some business directories such as Yelp rank high for many local searches. By listing your business on these directories, you get to be on the same spot. Moreover, you can get increased traffic through citations because a lot of people search for local businesses directly on online directories such as Yellow Pages.
Managing citations can be a tough task. It is an ongoing process that involves choosing the right citations, optimizing them, and tracking their performance. You need an experienced SEO professional to do it for you. If you need help managing your business citations, get in touch with our team now.