What is citation in SEO?
Simply put, whenever your business is mentioned anywhere online—that’s citation. In local SEO, it’s more effective when such a reference mentions the name of your company, address, and phone number (or NAP) and also link to your business. Without links, Google and other major search engines will have hard time linking the citation or reference to your business. Even if your NAP information is placed on social media platforms, search engines will still notice it.
Why Proper Local SEO Citation matters
Although you might not notice a miraculous jump in your search engine rankings when it comes to citations, your business will be bumped up on SERPs, especially when you are competing with websites with similar SEO standings. Here is how proper local citation building will help your business:
When your business is mentioned online, it is likely attract more attention among your potential clients and will get more people talking about it or even linking to it. Besides, it is an indication that you are part of the local community, which will immensely boost your local search engine rankings. You will also be validating to search engines that you are a real business because it is quite daunting to pretend to be in a particular location that you aren’t. In other words, it is a way of getting your business name out there to your local community, something that search engines appreciate.
2. Improved local rankings
As aforementioned, citation building is an indispensable ingredient in any successful local SEO strategy. What’s more, local search engine optimizers often distinguish between structured and non-structured citations.
By definition, structured citation refers to those standardized citations that you will find in local directories such Yelp. As a rule, this type of citation should have consistent NAP, especially when you want search engines to attribute all the citations to only one business—your business.
On the other hand, non-structured citations refer to random versions of your business’ NAP information mention online. It may just be your company’s phone number or name without your area codes.
Whether structure or unstructured, local citation building will result into higher rankings, will bring more web traffic, and ultimately more sales.
3. Higher Google Rankings
Although the direct impact of citations on non-local search engines rankings have not been officially established, it has been proven that Google tend to associate businesses with certain contexts that they frequently appear in. This simply means that when your business is mentioned in certain desired contexts (next to your target keywords or competitors), it will scoop a higher “Google score” which will in turn boost your power in search engine ranking results. So with strong citation building strategy, you have a chance of beating even bigger businesses when it comes SERPs rankings.
Proper Local SEO citation building not only increase your business popularity but also boost your local rankings and drive more traffic to your business website. However, like any other SEO strategy, local SEO citation building should not just be a one-ff process. You need to keep your eyes open for new strategies as well as opportunities to list your NAP information. You should also constantly re-analyze your competitors’ citation strategies so that you are not left behind in case of any new development.