Citations are a key ranking factor in SEO. They are defined as mentions of your business’ name, address or even contact number, regardless of whether you have a website or not. An example of a citation might be a listing of your business in a local directory. Listings can be found on local business association pages or local chamber of commerce pages, even if they are not linking to your website.
Additionally, citations give search engines a great idea about the accuracy connected with the contact information of a business. As such, they are particularly important for less-competitive niches such as electrical or plumbing, where service providers may not have a website. Citations also validate that your business is part of a real community, which can dramatically improve your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
What’s included in citations?
Since a local citation is a mention of your business on the internet, regardless of a link, it can come in many forms. On some pages, it may be your company name. On others, you may find more information in the form of a link, address, phone number and company name. However, there are two types of local citations:
The most common type of citations are structured citations. Structured citations are found on business listing sites such as superpages.com, yellowpages.com and yelp.com. They provide basic information about what the business does, including a small description, business name, address and phone number.
Citations found on government, job, listing, and newspaper websites and on blogs of other sites are known as unstructured citations. Businesses themselves have less control over unstructured citations. However, they prove to be extremely valuable for SERP rankings.
The importance of local citations
Local citations boost the credibility and trustworthiness of your business because they play an important role in the following:
Improving Business Visibility
Citations play a significant role when it comes to ranking algorithms on search engines such as Bing, Yahoo and Google. The higher the number of citations you have from authoritative and quality websites, the better chances are for you to rank higher on the SERPs. This leads to a boost in visibility, which further results in an increase in web traffic.
Instilling Confidence in Consumers
Search engines such as Google are constantly looking for ways to improve user-friendliness and ensure that potential and current customers get the relevant information they want. Citations prove handy for viewers to update information and verify the accurateness of contact information on local business listings. If your business is listed on authoritative sites, consumers will be more convinced and comfortable when buying your services or products.
Locating Your Business Details
Citations validate that your business is indeed legit. Having a listing of your company on an authoritative chamber of commerce website makes it easier for customers to find you. Since customers will have address and contact information at their fingertips, you can feel assured that prospects will be able to easily find you.
Are you looking for ways to rank better on the SERPs of Google? If so, then perhaps it’s time you worked on getting more citations.