What do you think of when you hear the word “citation?” While you may associate it with something bad – like a speeding ticket – a citation is something completely different in the online marketing realm. You actually want lots of citations online.
Basically, a citation is an instance where your company information is listed on a third-party website. You want your citation on local directories like Yelp, SuperPages, and YellowPages, but also on a whole range of other websites: local blogs, social media, your local Chamber of Commerce, government sites, and any others where a mention of your company is desirable.
Not everybody realizes this, but it’s still a citation if it’s just your company’s name mentioned – no link or contact information required! With that said, you obviously want a lot of incoming links and an easy way to attract traffic from sites across the Web, so more information is always better.
Citations are good because they give you exposure. They literally expose your name to website visitors from all over the Internet. However, there’s another clear benefit to local citations, which is search engine optimization. Google and the rest of the search engines use citations to rank your business, especially in local search results. More citations means a higher ranking in the search results!
Examples of Citations
When you enter a citation, make sure it includes your company’s official name, your physical address, and your local phone number. These details are abbreviated NAP for name, address, and phone number. As you start submitting local citations, the most important thing is to make sure they’re all consistent and contain the exact same information. Unless you have multiple locations, double check to make sure you use the same address and phone number in every citation.
Beyond that, try to include any additional information when possible, such as your hours of operation, pictures, and details about the products and services you offer. By doing all of this, you’ll help yourself get a higher search engine ranking and greater online exposure for your online marketing efforts!