What is a citation?
Local Search Marketing is the creation of online business listings. Each of these listings are known as a citation. Any mention of your business on a website other than your own counts.
Citations build trust and a solid reputation for your company with search engines and people. Examples of citations may be an online directory like Yellow Pages, Google, Bing or social media sites like Facebook. While there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of options some are more popular than others, but all of them are important to your online presence. Every listing gets referenced by search engines and people.
How to get more citations
Accurate and consistent citations improve your search results and help customers and search engines find your business. Creating and claiming listings in directories is normally straight-forward as long as someone else hasn’t already claimed your business.
Follow these consistency guidelines to get the most citations possible:
- Match your name, address, phone number (NAP) and website address everywhere it is located on your website.
- Be aware of abbreviations and make every citation match your website, exactly. That means if “North” is spelled on your website, but it is abbreviated as “N.” on your Facebook page, figure out which version is your official address and make them all match. It may seem minor, but it can decrease your search results if they aren’t the same.
- If you ever changed your company name, moved locations, acquired additional locations, changed web address or changed phone numbers, you may have incorrect or duplicate citations which may degrade your search results. This can provide incorrect information to customers and confuses the computer search programs. To the computer these look like separate businesses, so you don’t get credit for the citation. This means your business isn’t showing up as a search result as often as it could.