What is a citation? Well it is simply a mention of a business on another website, usually a directory. It usually mentions the business name, address, phone number & sometimes a website link too. Some citation sites allow you to include extras such as business descriptions, social media profiles, logos etc.
How can citations benefit me?
Well citations do 2 things:
- Improve local search visibility (if done correctly)
- Increase the chance of being found online through a directory
With more citations along with a Google+ page, it helps google trust your business and the business location as it can see several mentions of the same thing all from different sites. Once Google trusts your business and its location, it will start to display it higher in the local pack as it is satisfied that you are real business in the local area.
The citations available to your business can vary depending on the service/product you provide. For example if you manage a Hotel, you are able to be listed on sites such as Tripadvisor and other Hotel specific sites. But there are also a list of general directories that allow most types of businesses to be listed, such as Yell which is the online version of the Yellow Pages.
N.A.P stands for Name, Address & Phone Number! The basic rule for citations is getting the N.A.P correct. Google is not a human, so unfortunately it can not always link two variations of an address to a business name. Let me explain:
Here are two different variations of an address for a business called ‘Pizza Uno’. As you can see they are only slightly different, but this can cause problems for your local rank.
12 Dough Road
Pizza Uno Ltd
Unit 12, Dough Rd
In Google’s eyes, these are two separate businesses so my number one rule is to create a business information document. In this document, fill it with the official business name. address and other details and always refer to it when posting business information online. Its the fool proof way of keeping the name and address consistent on the web.
Stick To The Basics
So now you know why citations are important for your business and I even shared my #1 tip. That’s it for today guys but sign up to our newsletter to get all the tips and tutorials for everything to do with citations and Local SEO. Sometime in the future I will be covering a range of citation topics such as how to complete a citation audit, how to optimise a citation and I will also be sharing my very special list of top 25 citations for UK businesses.
Catch you guys next week!