.Citations are simply online references to businesses that feature information about services, business name, address, and phone number. This is known as NAP information (name, address, phone number).
Citations are usually a group of individual business listings on various sites that list this information. This can be on an online business directory, but other forms of citation also exist too.
Usually, the information required for citations is just the NAP information. However, some websites also offer additional information too.
What types of citations are there?
As touched on above, there are many different websites for citations on the internet, however, there is some dispute as to which websites are more valuable for SEO purposes than others.
For example, many marketers believe that Google My Business is the most important listing. However, there are a few more that should be used too such as:
- Bing Maps
- & so many more
Although there are hundreds of websites in which you can list your business online, you must ensure that you conduct a little bit of research into each one of them.
This is because not all citation websites will be applicable to your individual business, so you must ensure that you choose the correct citation category.
For example, there are categories for a wide variety of industries, including, but certainly not limited to, healthcare, real estate, sole traders, and more.
Even though some citation websites have higher domain authority, you must ensure that your business is listed under the correct category. This is because categories are prioritised even over domain authority.
Is link building the same as citations?
The short answer: no.
Although citations do involve building links to your website, they are certainly not the same as building links. Search engines like Google have shown to know the difference between the two as well.
This means that you must ensure that you create both citations and link building in order to improve your visibility online, not just prioritise one or the other.
So, why are citations important for my business then?
Citations are such an important part of building your businesses online reputation for a wide variety of reasons listed below:
Improving Local SEO/Rankings
Citation listing is a major ranking factor in local SEO. Having your business listed on directories shows search engines that your business has a physical location and actually exists.
If the information on your listings is accurate and up-to-date, the more likely for your business to be listed in the first few searches.
2. Get yourself on Page One Results
There’s no doubt that online directories like Yelp and YellowPages rank high on many local searches.
If you list your business on directory websites like this, you are much more likely to rank highly for local search results.
Piggy-backing off of quality directories like the ones mentioned above is an easy and effective way of giving yourself a boost on local search results.
3. Getting Referral Traffic
Many customers have a loyalty to citation websites such as Yelp and frequent them for searches.