Any online mention of your business, on the internet, with links or no links is what we call business citations. If you narrow down these mentions to your local business environment, we then refer to them as local citations. Citations are an important part of SEO, and if you never knew about them here is your chance to do so.
What makes up a Citation?
Business citations normally constitute the company name, address and phone number. Sometimes mentioning the local business address alone will count as a citation, though, according to Nyagoslav Zhekov, all three parts should be present for it to be a full citation.
Why does it Matter?
What you didn’t know is that local citations can account to 25% of the chance of getting high local search rankings. On the other hand, business citations help separate your business from all other business globally. Picture this, if you just found out that you share a business name with another company online or you discover a business with a similar name in the region you are about to open a branch, a business citation comes in handy.
You only need to list your business name, address, phone number and any relevant link besides your brand name. This helps Google and any other search engines identify your business uniquely and not confuse you among the ‘copy cats’.
How Do You Generate Effective Citations?
Many successful businesses rely on online listings or phone directories to generate their local citations. These are the kind of references you will find in Yellow Pages, Yelp, Ezine articles, and superpages. Another way to generate business citations is using unstructured references on blogs, news websites, event listing pages, Government websites or employment websites.
It is possible to generate local citations outside the internet. You can do this by using a third party approach i.e. letting others list you on their website. If your business gets involved in a charity event, you will likely to be listed on the main charity web page and Google will easily pick this up. You can also be part of a presentation at an institution and that institution lists your business name on their website event page.
Advantages of Local Citations
There is no other easier way to get traffic to your webpage than using business citations. Citations get your local business ranked highly on Google which makes it easy for locally based customers and B2B partners to find you. Local citations also help if your business is limited geographically, especially within a specific city.
With business citations, your small business can easily outshine any large company in terms of online presence. All you need to do is get as many people as possible to talk about your brand online. You can partner with other similar businesses to mention your brand on their websites. This will generate citation traffic for you as well.
Business citations have worked for years, and if you have never tried them before this is your chance to do so. You don’t have to be worried about Google penalties since it’s not similar to keyword stuffing.