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Citations - What, Why & How

  • What Is A Citation?  (also known as a Directory Listing)
    A citation is when you have your business name, address, or phone number listed online. Any of your business information is considered a citation and does not need to link to your website.
    An example of a citation might be an online yellow pages directory where your business is listed, but not linked to. Citations can also be found on local chamber of commerce pages, or on a local business association page that includes your business information.
    The most common way local business citations are presented are in the NAP format, which stands for Name, Address, and Phone. It is really important that your information be consistent across the web. Although search engines are getting better at understanding that “st” is the same as “street” in an address. You should strive to make sure your address is exactly the same across the web

  • Why Are Citations Important For Local Businesses?
    Search engines like Google and Bing are focusing more and more on “local Search” results, so when looking at Local Search Ranking Factors, citations are one of the most important factors for local businesses to rank and be found online
    The more citations you have, the better your website will rank on those search engines for searches related to what you do and where you are geographically located, which will bring you more web traffic, and more web traffic means more customers.
    Through the effective use of citations and other SEO tactics a small company can outflank a large company on the search engines because it can prove itself to be more relevant to local search results than a national firm that must focus on a very broad market

 

  • How Do I Get Citations?
    There are thousands of places where a citation can be built for your local business. Every local business should focus on building a strong core of citations that not only broadens the visibility of the business, but also strengthen search engines' "trust" in the validity of the business's existence.
    Getting citations is not difficult, but may take some time. It will require that you send emails, make phone calls, and in many cases invest significant time developing relationships. But like any business strategy, if it were easy everyone would do it, and it wouldn’t be a strategy at all. If you invest the time, you’ll see the payoff, definitely in terms of your SEO results, but in many offline ways as well

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