What are citations and why are they important to your local business?
Posted: 12th August 2016
We’ve been doing a lot of local SEO recently and a big part of that work is citations. When we mention citations to our clients they tend to look at us blankly. Simply put, these are mentions of your business on other websites. This is not necessarily in the form of a physical link but could just be a mention of your business name and address. The easiest way to gain citations is adding your business to online directories such as yell.com, thomsonlocal.com and scoot.co.uk.
The value of a citation varies website to website. Citations from well established websites (as in the examples above) will generally carry more weight than citations from lesser indexed websites. Essentially, the more trustworthy a site, the more beneficial the citation.
Why are citations beneficial?
The logic is really is quite simple, citations are used by Google and Bing algorithms to rank businesses. If you have more citations than a competitor then you are more likely to be ranked above them. It’s all about adding validity to your business, it’s difficult to fake a citation on well established directories such as yell.com so Google and Bing add more weight to this.
Citations are particularly important for for businesses without a website. Trades people including electricians and plumbers that work by word of mouth may not necessarily need a website to promote their business but may need people to locate their contact details online. In these cases citations can help a local business rank highly even without a dedicated website.
Where can I get citations?
It is a common misconception that citations are gained via directories. Although directories are generally easier to get citations from they can be gained from any website including press releases and blog and news articles.
Business directories are a good place to start, we’ve listed some of the better ones below but there are quite literally hundreds more.
Get ahead of your competitors
One way we get our clients ahead of their competition is by doing a bit of citation research. Search for your competitors name and postcode in Google or Bing and try and replicate where they are listed. By adding yourself to these directories and a few more on top you are more likely to get ranked higher than them by Google and Bing.