I consider getting citations an extremely important practice to achieve high rankings on search engines. If you have some familiarity with SEO you have probably heard about this term, if not this post covers what citations are, why they are so important for local SEO, and how you can use them efficiently.
What are citations
According to Moz citations are defined as mentions of your business name and address on other webpages, even if there is no link to your website. In other words, you get citations when your company contact information appears on online sites such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, Google my Business, etc. Since profiles on local directories is an effective way to advertise, citations are especially important for small businesses that haven’t a website.
Some tips for good citations
Citations help search engines, such as Google or Bing, to find your website. Businesses with citations will probably rank higher than those with no citations. However, having citations does not guarantee that your company will rank high in online searches. Consistency on the way your business appear across the web is key to make your citation efforts worth. Below I prepared a list of some good practices that you may want to follow in order to build and manage an efficient citation strategy for your business:
- Be consistent when adding your business contact information – company’s name, mail address, email and phone number – to different directories. Using always the same format will help search engines to identify your company. If you use different names, addresses, or email accounts in different directories search engines may identify them as different companies. If your company has multiple locations add them as different accounts on the directories.
- If you have a website it is a good idea to add a ‘Contact’ page that displays your business name, physical address, email address, and phone number. This page should not be buried on your site but easily found by users. The way you display your contact information should be consistent on all the online directories.
- Use the right category when adding your business to directories. Most directories include a set of categories from where you can choose the one that fits best with your business. Again, try to be as much consistent as possible when selecting the category for your business.
Ensure that your social media accounts are also consistent with the contact information you published on online directories.
- Keep track of all your citations and logins within a worksheet. Make backups of it somewhere else than your local drive, preferably in the “cloud” (Dropbox, iCloud, etc).
Contact Novum Communications if you have further questions about your company’s SEO strategy.