What Are Local Citations?
In simple terms, citations are mentions of a company around the web.
These mentions are not link based by any means. They are purely textual mentions of a company along with its physical address and telephone number.
A great example are the Yellow Pages and the local Chamber of Commerce listings which only mention a company without any links.
Citations are of particular importance to local businesses.
Why? Well, for one, citations are hard to fake. Think about a business trying to rank in a city where it is not physically located. With link building, you could easily manipulate search engines to make a business rank in a city like Houston when, in fact, the business is located in Katy (about 10 miles outside Houston).
With citations a business is listed with its address and phone number. This is much harder to fake as no-one want to misrepresent your business address.
That’s why citations make it harder to manipulate the search results for local businesses.
Through citations search engines look for mentions of your business, telephone number and physical address. The more citations a company has, the better the chances of ranking in a particular city.
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How Do Citations Affect Local Search?
When it comes time to decide how a website will rank in the local results, search engines scan the internet looking for any mentions of your business’s NAP. These results are then taken and compared to information found on other data sources (such as business databases called aggregates). Data from state business filings and post office records could even be used.
Your business’s local search rankings are then determined based on whether or not your business information is found on multiple data sources and how well your NAP matches on each of these sources.
Will Any Citation Help Bolster My Online Reputation?
When it comes to citations, many people take a “more is better” approach. However, not every citation is equal. Certain types of websites are more valuable than others. For instance, having your business mentioned on a .gov or .edu website will provide more value than a .com website. (There are exceptions to this, of course.)
When building citations for our clients, we look at various aspects of the prospective source. We look at things like Page Rank and domain age. You can also often determine a website’s quality just by looking at its front page. If the website is well designed and maintained, then chances are high that source will provide a valuable link.
Citation Building Services Available
It can be easy to neglect caring for your website’s citations due to the fact that cleaning up old listings and building new ones is a long, time-consuming process. It’s also hard to manage citations alone, as navigating the countless aggregates and figuring out how to submit to them can be difficult. However, having well-maintained citations can boost your website up in the search listings and allow more potential customers to find your business.
Your time is valuable and you may not be able to find the time to keep an eye on your business’s citations. Fortunately, we are available to provide citation related services for you. If you have any questions about citations or would like to request a free citation report, contact our office today.
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