First of all, what is a citation? When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) a citation refers to any mention of your business name, address & phone number online (commonly abbreviated to NAP). Google looks at your citations and compares them with their stored data for your business. If they match, this is counted as another good citation and is considered when determining the authority of your business. A citation is different to a backlink in that a citation does not need to link back to your website at all, just the name, address & phone number is fine. When building citations, it is often easy to include a link back to your website also which will help to build backlinks.
Consistency is key
When citation building, you should always try to keep the formatting consistent. Whether or not you include spaces in the phone number or include the area code, for example, is important. An example citation for Furtzdesigns would look something like: Furtzdesigns, 13 Bartholemew Ave, Lobethal SA 5241 (0433642983). While including all of this information is ideal, including only the business name, business phone, business address or ANY combination of the three online will help to boost your local search rankings.
Why citations matter
Put simply, local citations are important because Google considers them as important. The more mentions of your business Google finds around the internet, the more authority it considers your business to have. As a result, Google will rank your business higher. Citations are just another piece of the puzzle that is local SEO and work best when combined with other local SEO strategies. There are also the more obvious benefits of your information being in more places, resulting in more people stumbling upon them, leading to increased revenue.
Where should I start?
It can seem like a daunting task, but if you’re organised and set aside the time to churn through them, it’s not so bad! It’s a good idea to keep a record what directories you have registered at and the username/email & password. These will be a lifesaver if any of your details change at some point, like a change of address.
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