Small Business SEO Tip: What is a Local Citation?
By Small Screen Producer. Publish on December 19, 2013.
If you’re a small business, especially a small business with a local focus like medical, construction, legal, restaurant, etc., chances are, you’ve probably come across the word “citation” or “web citation” once or twice.
What is a Local Citation?
Contrary to the conventional police citation, online business citations are actually a good thing! Citations are “mentions” of your business name and address on other webpages, even when there isn’t a link to your website. An example of a citation is your business listing on an online yellow page directory that’s not linked to anything and citations can be found on local chamber of commerce sites, popular blog sites, local online newspapers, local business association sites, and visitor’s bureau sites.
Why are Citations Important for SEO?
Citations are important to the ranking algorithms of major search engines. And the greater number of citations a business has, the higher they will probably rank than other businesses who have fewer citations. This is because:
- Citations on well-indexed portals such as Superpages.com help search engines confirm that businesses are who they say they are.
- Citations help validate that the business is established within the community. If other sites, like the Houston Visitor’s Bureau is listing the business, then it must be trustworthy business.
Citations are often the most difficult part of getting your business visible through local search. Here are some tips for building or repairing citations to have them working for your business’ SEO.
- If you’re looking to increase your citations, make sure all business information is in a consistent format. Don’t fret too much about small inconsistencies (“St” verses “Street") as this won’t affect your search rankings too much.
- Google is king, but make sure you have correct and complete listings on Bing Places and Yahoo Local as well.
- Don’t confuse citations with links. Remember, citations are just mentions of your name, address, and phone number. Google likes these citations and they increase your relevance and prominence on the web and in your local area. The link in a citation is supplemental. What’s important is the actual text.
- Follow the directions for each site and fill in the required fields, try not to leave anything out.
- Fix broken citations before moving on to new ones. Quality always trumps quantity since some sites feed from other sites. Try to delete as many duplicate citations you see. There should only be one citation listed on each site.
- Make sure your listing information follows Google Place guidelines, you won’t want to redo citations later on.
- Extra details count: make sure you’re filling out categories and taking a few extra minutes to include services, keywords, and photos. Every site is potential for trickling in potential customers.
- Remember to take some time to monitor your citations and take a moment every few months to update them where you see fit.
If you need help building, claiming, or repairing local business citations, read more about our Reputation Management Services.
About Small Screen Producer
Small Screen Producer is a full service, marketing firm located in Houston, Texas that specializes in online digital media marketing through a 4-step process. Step 1: WE PLAN a custom web presence strategy for your business through website design and development, mobile development, social media account creation and branding. STEP 2: We then POSITION your brand through Pay-Per-Click advertising and search engine optimize tactics that include on-page and off-page SEO that are Google and Bing approved. STEP 3: We then PROMOTE your brand using an Inbound marketing strategy or a content marketing strategy to help you accomplish your marketing goals. We do this through blogging, video production, infographics, call-to-actions, landing pages, and free educational offers. We help you build trust and rapport with your customer base. STEP 4: We then PROTECT your brand's web presence with a reputation management program that monitors social media and on line reviews. Get started today with a free online marketing assessment of your company's web presence. Your company deserves it.
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