We all know about the more widespread aspects of SEO – like backlinks and keywords – but business citations have always flown under the radar, with few businesses really putting an emphasis on them. That probably means their unimportant, right? Wrong. Citations are actually a great way to boost your business and your SEO – especially if you’re a locally focused business.
Background To Business Citations
One of the top priorities for any business is making sure it’s easy for customers to find and get in touch with them – it’s no good if customers have to search far and wide for your email, call the wrong number, or walk around for hours looking for your storefront. This is where citations come in – with an added SEO boost. Building up these citations can also enhance your local SEO practices.
Put simply – a citation is an online reference to your business including name, address, and phone number, this is what is known in jargon terms as your NAP. Google’s algorithms will use these details to identify your business and separate you from the ever-growing horde of other businesses that are listed online. Without this NAP, you will simply be a name floating around, existing in an undefined place and as you can imagine, that won’t be good for your local search rankings. Citations help mark your businesses location and profile for people to find.
Like most SEO practices – one citation won’t make much difference, it’s all about building citations using a variety of trustworthy high authority sites. This includes blogs, local listings, reviews sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, and more. The more citations you have, the greater your presence in local search rankings will be, and the better your authority and trust scores will be. One important thing to remember is that your contact details must be the same across all the sites you’re listed on. This consistency will be how Google verifies your status as a business.
As you can imagine – with consistency being such an integral part of citation building, formatting plays a big role in your citation practices. There are a number of different ways citations can be formatted, including both partial and full citations. We would recommend always using a full business citation wherever possible. Whatever formatting you choose – make sure it’s identical in every way, including line breaks and abbreviations, to the way it’s listed on both your website and your Google My Business page.
What Will Citations Accomplish?
Now that you know what citations are, you’re no doubt wondering what you’ll gain from building up your citations. First and foremost, you’ll greatly increase your trust scores within Google’s algorithms. Trust is a vital component of any set of SEO best practices, and without it, you’ll struggle to rank well no matter what you do. When it comes to local search rankings, citations also play an integral role, albeit one that differs somewhat from their role prior to Google’s 2016 Possum update. Citations now function as one of a few vital components of Local SEO, alongside link building, user reviews, and content optimisation.
If you’re still questioning the importance of business citations, feel free to get in touch with a member of our marketing team to learn how SEO could help your business.