Of all the tools available in local SEO, citations are one of the most important. They have the power to make or break a page’s success depending on how effectively they are applied.
Understanding what citations are and how they should be used in local SEO is vital in creating the best platform for your blog or business to grow from.
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What Is a Citation?
Put simply, a citation is like a tag in the sense that it functions as an online reference to your business’s details on a website that is not your own. Citations are used as tools to help build your business’s credibility and profile while increasing traffic being directed to your site.
What Does a Citation Include?
It is important to include as much information as you can. At the very least a citation includes the name, address, and phone number of your company. ‘NAP’ is the start point, but you can (and should) include more.
Other useful information includes your working hours, company logo, and a detailed description of your business. You can also include other contact details, such as an email address or WhatsApp number.
What Types of Citation Are There?
There is no limit to the number of sites you can list; the important thing is that they are relevant to your business.
The citations considered to be ‘must haves’ across the board include:
- Maps (Apple, Google, Bing, etc.)
- Yelp or another relevant review website
The list of potentials is endless. Each sector has different sites that are beneficial to share; for example, if you are in the hospitality industry and run a small B&B, TripAdvisor would be a useful inclusion.
What Is Important to Remember When Setting up Citations?
Above all else, consistency is key. This is your brand, and it must be properly represented across every site you advertise on. Make sure all the information you choose to include is the same across the board. Double-check spellings, times, and contact details to avoid mistakes and irregularities. The more consistent your information is across the citations you include, the more trustworthy your brand becomes. People look to these websites to prove a company is real and reliable, so conflicting information is likely to turn potential clients off.
Photos should be clear and of good quality to represent your business well. You want to be taken seriously; blurry or pixelated photos do not come across as professional.
Include keywords in your description to optimize your business’ profile and online presence. If this is not done well, you are unlikely to show up in searches or get a good flow of traffic.
How Can You Get Citations Listed?
There are three main ways to submit citations for listing.
The first is to do it yourself. You can manually submit a citation by going on the site you want to be linked to and enter the data by hand. It might take you some time, but it does have some benefits.
Submitting your citations yourself gives you the chance to personally check and double-check that all the information is correct before setting it up. Having control of how your information is shared is important, especially if you are just starting out.
You can also pay someone else to manually submit it for you, following the same process, aka inputting the data piece by piece. This frees up time for you to focus on growing your business in other ways.
Outsourcing is pretty handy, sure, and far less time-consuming on your end, but to err is to be human and mistakes can be made. If you choose to go down this road, go with somebody you trust to protect your interests and take time to ensure perfection.
Finally, you can employ a service that uses aggregator submission. This means you submit your information to your chosen site that then sends it on to core data aggregators. The info is then fed through to hundreds of potential sites. This is a fast way to get your name out there and requires a small investment. Two of the best and most reputable sites are Whitespark or Bright-Local.
Citations are an excellent tool to get your brand noticed. Take time to set them up wisely and correctly, and the world becomes your oyster! Get help from our SEO consultants Perth in setting up your citations.