April 10, 2018 ByCheryl Dykstra
Online citations are defined as “mentions of your business’s name, address and phone number on other
websites” such as YP, Yelp, and many other directories. A citation does not
need to include a link to your website to be a key component of the ranking
algorithms on search engines like Google and Bing. If everything else is equal,
a business with a greater number of citations will have better search engine optimization and will most likely rank above a
business with fewer citations.
Citations from well-established sites, such as
Superpages.com or Manta.com, help increase the certainty that search engines
have about your business’s contact information and category. Basically, it
confirms that you are who you say you are.
Where to Get
There are thousands of websites on which a business can be
listed in order to gain citations. Local businesses, like Orlando dentists and
lawyers especially, can benefit from building a strong core of citations,
broaden their reach to customers, as well as prove to the search engines that
the business exists and is “trustworthy”.
Here are some potential sources for citations:
Aggregators – Infogroup, Neustar Localeze, Acxiom, and Factual are the four
primary data aggregators in the US. These aggregators license or syndicate
their data to most local search engines and other directory sites.
Search Engines – Search engines crawl the web for citations that will
validate or correct business information in their own indexes. Ensuring your
listings are correct on sites like Yelp, Foursquare, and others can
create confidence in the accuracy of your business information. Most local
businesses will need to engage in a citation building campaign to guarantee
they are listed in as many relevant, high-quality local business directories as
Blogs and Local Directories – Both local blogs and local directories are
well indexed by search engines and are highly associated with particular cities
and regions. Edited by humans, these citations show less spam and are more
trusted by local search engines.
Directories or Blogs – Back to our Orlando dentist example, being placed in
directories with other dentists can help establish your category in search
engines and help you compete with your other local businesses.
Duplicate Information Can Hurt
While you may think having your information out there as much as possible
couldn’t be a bad thing, having duplicate information could end up harming your
The Google Local Business Information Quality Guidelines say very plainly how
many listings your business can have:
not create more than one listing for each business location, either in a single
account or multiple accounts.
While there are some exceptions, such as multi-partner law
firms or multi-practitioner medical offices, it is best to keep multiple
listings to a minimum. Customers and search engines do not know which listing
to trust, which can lead to confusion or misinformation.
This leads us to incorrect information. If you have changed
your business’s name, location or phone number, it is most likely incorrect out
there on the Internet. This incorrect information can cause search engines to
not trust your information and rank you lower because of it.
If you need help creating or correcting your business’s
citations, contact Sales & Marketing Technologies today. We have a digital marketing team dedicated to helping local businesses thrive online.