What is a citation?
Citation is a way of informing your audience that some content from your work belongs to a different writer, researcher, etc.
It’s a way of acknowledging someone else’s efforts and provides the audience the information regarding the author whose work you have quoted, the year it was published in, the title and sometimes even the page numbers.
Why are local citations important?
Citations have a major role when it comes to search engine optimization. You should know that when Google is ranking different local businesses citation plays a huge role in deciding where your business stands.
Google prefers having complete information regarding every business so the referring and linking process is easier. The credibility of anything available on Google largely depends on how much evidence is available on it.
Their basic strategy is to rank those businesses which are mentioned more at a higher ranking than those which are barely mentioned anywhere.
To achieve this consistency is essential as Google makes use of citation to check the accuracy of the contact information provided as incorrect information can make people question Google’s authenticity.
Thus, all the data present on various portals on the internet regarding your particular business should match.
If the exact name of your business is present on more than 50 websites Google is confident to show your business in the top searches for particular keywords.
For instance, if your company name is Marketing Corp, it should not be stated as Marketing Corporation or Marketing Corp Ltd. as this negatively impacts the SEO.
Your local citations reflect the authenticity of your business, thus playing a crucial role when it comes to SEO and local search results. They also help to produce a better themed anchor text profile.
Citation also increases the overall awareness of your business and gives your brand the opportunity to grab a much larger audience. If your company is mentioned on various different portals a lot more people will get to know about it and your clientele will also, likely, increase significantly.
Different Types of Local Citations
There are two different types of local citations: structured local citations and unstructured local citations which are commonly used.
The directories which are commonly found online contain structured citations with the name, contact number, address, web address of any business.
However, unstructured citations do not follow a fixed pattern they are the ones which are found in articles, newspapers, blogs etc.
Why Include Citations?
Citations alone can’t contribute much to your rankings but it definitely helps you get an edge over other sites with similar rankings to that of yours.
Google also prefers website which are well-cited; some of the major reasons why Google prefers them are stated below:
- Community: Citations develop a sense of community and confirms that you are a part of one too. This conformity is significant because it ensures Google that you are a real business and not mere pretense (or ‘fake,’ in simpler terms). It allows you to put your name out there for the world to know, and for Google that matters a lot.
- Consistency: When Google continuously sees that your business has an online consistency, it validates it even more. Citations are a great way to show that you are a complete, concrete organization, and that’s something Google appreciates.
- Validation: The major reason why Google’s algorithm takes citations in consideration is because they demonstrate validity. Anyone can claim to be an expert in a certain field and design a website but citation provides the search engines with the authentication that the said website is actually real and offers valuable or reliable content.
- Niches: Citations are a good way for smaller businesses to create a presence in the niche they belong to.
How to Keep Check?
It can be hard to keep track of your local citations online but a general method which majority businesses follow is by creating a Google Alert which sends you an email every time someone mentions your company, business, firm, organization online.
You can countercheck the information of your company in directories simply searching your company’s name.
How to Get More Local Citations?
Earning more local citations is similar to earning more backlinks. The first step is to mention your company’s name in all the local directories and contacting the local chambers of commerce. After these two major steps are followed you should publicize your company more by getting mentions in various blog posts, by putting press releases, using banner ads, etc. It’ll take time, but if done correctly, will help your brand’s online presence grow a lot.