Importance of Citations (GEC Designs Blog) - SEO

What are citations? Why are citations important for SEO?

Here we are going to know about the citation and how they impact on SEO.

People are confusing between traditional SEO and local SEO. Both SEO have the same goal that trying to get a high rank in search engine result page. In Local SEO, you are focusing less on link-building and more on citations. Citations in SEO are a key factor in improving your local search results.

A citation is an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number commonly known as NAP. A citation that does not include all these three, sometimes referred to as a partial citation. Often sites will allow for other information, such as company email address and website URL. Citations help Internet users to discover local businesses and can also impact local search engine rankings.

Search engine optimization (SEO) | A Guide for Beginners.

Google uses citations to verify the accuracy of the contact details in their local business listings. If a company has accurate citation listings, then Google can be more confident in displaying a company’s information to users.

Simply says, businesses with a great qualities and accurate citations are likely to rank higher. If a business has more than one listing for a single location in a directory, these listings are considered as duplicates.

Complete citation apart from NAP

Email-id - You can provide an email id that the customers can use it for queries.

Timing – It is the hours of operation of your business.

Pricing - Giving the pricing of the various products of your business. This will help your customer can decide which product to buy.

Photos – You can provide pictures to attract the customers.

Links - Make sure that the link you provide directs the user to your actual business page. Avoid using those links that refer you or redirect you to the landing page.

Coupons – You can also provide special discount coupons on your products. it will help you to attract more customers.

Types of citations

Citations divided into two categories structured or unstructured.

Structured

These citations must always contain accurate name, address and phone number information. Additional information like ratings and reviews, hours of operations, pricing are also provided.

This information is represented in the form of structured data. The structured data helps Google to crawl the data and display the information as rich snippets along with website names.

Unstructured

An unstructured citation is any mention of a business that isn’t on a standardized directory. Common examples where you’ll find unstructured citations are blogs, wikis, magazines and newspaper articles. This kind of citation can help boost local branding for a business.

Citations can be in a various forms. For example

  • Company name
  • Company’s phone number.
  • Company’s address.
  • Company name & phone number.
  • Company name, phone number, & address.
  • Company name, phone number, address, & website.
  • Company name & website.
  • Top 10 Citations sites

  • Google My Business
  • Bing Places
  • Apple Maps
  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Yahoo! Local
  • Superpages
  • Foursquare
  • MapQuest
  • Express update
  • Alternative citation sources

    Directories are good sources to get citations. Not only directories some alternatives are also there.

    You can use the following mediums for citations

  • Press releases
  • News articles
  • Blog posts
  • Question and answer sites
  • Image and video descriptions
  • Profile pages on social media websites
  • Forum signatures
  • Reasons for why citations are important for SEO?

    Citations are one of the primary factors and it will help search engines to determine where to rank your site amongst the competition. A business which is mentioned more on the Internet that deserves better ranking. Citations increase awareness about your business among people. It will help more people reach you online. If you have more citations means you have a higher chance of more people will contact you.

    Listing your business on the prominent national and local sites will help you to create authority, establish trust, and will improve your rank in local search results.

    Verification & Trust

    Citations help search engines; verify that your business exists. When multiple sources have the same accurate information about your business, it signals to search engines that your business is legitimate.

    Citations show validity. Citation can prove to search engines like Google that the company is actually a valuable.

    Strengthens consistency

    Make sure that your business listing is consistent across the web space. It will help you to build trust. Citations are a great way to prove yourself to Google that you are a solid company.

    Citations Build Credibility & Authority

    The main reason we incorporate citations is to build credibility. By citing your sources, you prove that you have researched existing information and multiple viewpoints. That will help you to build credibility among your readers. People want credibility and authority.

    Citations are like a roadmap to your sources. Citations can also guide your readers to get more information about your topic.

    What Is More Important - Quality or Quantity

    The quantity depends on your competitors. The quality depends on a number of factors. Building lots of citations may spread awareness about your business online. If you have quantity without quality, you will be far behind in search engine positions. Low quality citations may damage your reputation. First focus on the quality and then move on to the volume.

    Tips for building citations

  • Your Name, Address, and Phone Number should be the same on every site. Consistency is important
  • Make sure to use your complete address including unit number if it applies.
  • You need an email address for creating listings. Use a business email address that is associated with your company domain and not a generic Gmail or Yahoo address.
  • Category Selection – choose the category that describes what your business is.
  • Add as much detail as possible – Add photos, your logo, your pricings, your timings and links to your social accounts
  • Most sites will require you to verify your listing. This can be via email or phone verification. The company will call your business and give you a pin number to enter to claim your listing. It will help you to build trust. Verified listings have more authority.
  • Don’t forget to respond to reviews,
  • Keep your listings updated.
  • Create Google My Business for Business local listings.
  • Search for your business in Google to find your existing citations.
  • Clean up existing citations before you begin creating new citations.
  • There are hundreds of sites for adding business listings. Don’t just add a citation to every site out there because many are not worth your time and effort. Go for the prominent sites and data aggregators.
  • Use schema markup to identify your important data for search engines.
  • Keep track of your citations. Remove duplicate citations.
  • Never underestimate the value of citations. Accurate citations positively impact on rankings and reputation. Spend your time in cleaning up inaccurate information. We recommend reviewing citations every two to three months to ensure information remains current.

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