If you’re new to marketing, you might be wondering what citations are, and why they matter so much for your online marketing. Search engines place a lot of importance on names, numbers, and addresses listed online for a physical business, which is why citations matter for your online marketing. Still confused? This guide is going to tell you everything you need to know.
What Are Online Citations?
A citation is defined as a mention of your business name and address on other web pages. Even if there is no link to your site, this is still called a citation. Google and other search engines want to ensure that the address you are listing online for your business is genuine so they can show good quality search results.
A search engine will take into account business citations to help them rank and show results accordingly. This could be any reference to your business name and address on another site, such as social media, blogs, Web Design Los Angeles, etc. If your name, address, and phone number (sometimes referred to as NAP) is consistent across these sources, the search engines have more confidence in the fact that your business is genuine.
The search engines have figured out that people can list a false address on their site in order to manipulate them. This is why citations from other sources can be extremely powerful. They have the means to do this built into their search algorithms, so they are going to know whether it is a genuine address or not due to the number of consistent citations from other sources.
An example of a citation could be an online yellow pages directory, where your business is listed but isn’t linked to. You can also find citations on the local chamber of commerce pages, or on local business association pages that include information on your business, but doesn’t link out.
There are a few different factors when judging the value of an online citation. These include industry relevance, local relevance, and domain authority. Industry relevance is the most important factor. An industry specific site is a strong place of a citation for the following reasons:
- The search engines will have a clear idea of your industry and the services you offer.
- As they are a specialist site, they tend to have a medium-high authority.
- They will usually rank highly in organic results for specific terms and make for a better source of targeted leads for a business.
As local or regional directories tend to have less focused content and less targeted traffic, the quality of citations is typically less than industry specific directories. They do give a clear local signal to Google, however.
Let’s say you want to rank as a Mississippi Car salesman. Google will often take into account the center of the city, so if your offices are located near what Google regards as the city center, you’ll have more chance of showing up for people who type in location based keywords. This means your physical location can have a huge impact on the results shown.
Why Are Citations Important to SEO Performance?
Citations are a key element of the ranking algorithms in Google. If you took 2 businesses where every other factor was equal, a business with a higher number of citations would likely rank higher in the search engines. Citations that come from well-established portals help the search engines to become more certain of your business’ contact information and categorization. Citations are good when in the right places but can harm a site if they are placed on the wrong sites. In short, citations help search engines to confirm that the business is exactly who they thought they were.
Citations become particularly important if the niche is less competitive. For instance, a plumbing niche. Many service providers don’t actually have a website, so a citation can be very powerful in this case. Citations validate that a business is a genuine member of the community. If a business is being written about in a local paper online or a county business index, it becomes clear that this is a genuine business. Citations from this type of page can improve your ranking online substantially.
How Can DBurns Help Your Business With SEO Services?
DBurns, a trusted online marketing company, can help you with your SEO services by securing 30 high-quality citations for you each month. A consistent number of citations listed on a number of respected sites can have a huge positive impact on your SEO. The great team at DBurns is transparent, diverse, and dedicated to clients. Let us help you!