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What are citations, and why are they important for local business?

A citation is when anyone mentions your business in the search engine. It can be any combination of your firm’s name, phone number, address, postal code, and website.

Citations are crucial in SEO because they place you in a better position with the local results. They occur on local business directories on sites and applications.

You will also find citations on social media platforms to assist the internet user in discovering businesses in the locality. It also affects rankings with local search engines.

The right citation gets your business ranked accurately on Google maps. And then, you can use the information to ensure accuracy in your data.

Checking your citation

Everyone with a business must check their citation. This is crucial in understanding where your business is in terms of visibility on the internet. And then you can use the information to improve.

There are two main ways to check your local citation:

Manually

There are so many sources you can check for local citations. This means you can check all the major citation websites manually.

In reality, however, you will get only a few major data aggregators that would be relevant to your search. So, go for main sites like Facebook and Apple Maps.

Automated systems

Technology has made things easier for us all today. With automated local listings, you will find all the information you need at the click of a button.

A good example is Moz.com, which provides local listings for business. It allows one to check the local business listings on the entire internet.

The listings come with major data aggregators that run the web searches. You don’t have to struggle looking in one place after another to get the information you need.

Components of local citations

Before you put your business on the internet with local citations, it’s crucial to understand what makes the citations.

At the core of the citations, you have the company name, address, and phone number. Most people also include a reference or link to a specific page of the firm’s site.

Other citation elements could include business categories, hours of operation, directions, business descriptions, images, videos, modes of payment, links to other media, and other details. Anything that would make a customer find your business fast and efficiently is good enough.

Types of citations

Citations can be divided into two main groups:

  • Structured citations. This type of citation is the information of your business (NAP) on a direction. You just submit your business, and the citation site will get you the citation. Examples include Yelp, Yellowpages, Facebook, Superpages, and MapQuest.

  • Unstructured citations. This is your business info on any other website that is not specifically for business directories. Good examples include blogs, wikis, newspapers, and similar sites.

Why do citations matter?

  • They improve your local SEO score. Google uses local SEO to display relevant locations as per the given results, especially for businesses located in those specific areas. It uses the NAP of your business from various sites and compares it with the NAP listing your website to check for authenticity. In other words, it proves the trustworthiness of your business. Web crawlers match one piece of information another, checking for consistency in all the information about your business. This is how they tell where your business is legit.

  • Google my business. This is one of the most important aspects of putting your business online. Anyone expecting their business to be listed in the local catalog for geotag keywords requires this page. Local citations can get you at the top of other pages.

  • Get your details before consumers. Numerous and relevant citations can paint your company as the most reputable for consumers who need products and services in your line of business.

  • One step away from the top page of organic SERPs. Organic search results make the largest part of directories. Local citations improve your standing with these directories, which is a good sign of a trustworthy service.

  • Citations can get you more third-party reviews. Nothing sells a business better than positive mentions across the internet. It’s therefore crucial for citation sites to increase review sites for consumers to discuss their services.

In a nutshell, you need to work on increasing your local citations. It’s one of the main SEO approaches that will get your business to more consumers.

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