Local Citations – What you need to know.
A citation is any mention of your business out on the web, with or without a link. It can come in various forms:
- Company Name, by itself.
- Company name & phone number.
- Company name, phone number, & address.
- Company name, phone number, address, & link.
A complete citation should include the company name, address, and phone number. A citation that does not include all three of these is sometimes referred to as a partial citation.
Why Do Citations Matter?
Citations are a key factor in local search rankings. Citation associated aspects comprise 25% of the top twenty factors in David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors.
In a recent discussion at LocalU Advanced in Baltimore, David Mihm provided the following breakdown of local ranking aspects. He added a disclaimer that this is based solely on his opinion, however as one of the most prominent thought leaders in Regional SEO, you should take his viewpoint seriously.
For more details on why citations are important for local search rankings, please see this exceptional short article on GetListed.org: Why Citations Are necessary to Your Local Business Listings.
The most common citations are found on company listing sites like yellowpages.com, yelp.com, superpages.com, etc. These are described as structured citations.
Citations can also frequently be found on blog sites, newspaper sites, event websites, job sites, government websites, and so on. These are described as unstructured citations and can be very valuable to your local rankings.
Discovering Structured AND Unstructured Citations
I periodically get questions from Local Citation Finder users about how “useful” the results are. They ask me why they cannot submit to a few of the sites returned in the outcomes. This is due to the fact that the Local Citation Finder is a competitive analysis tool for citations.
When you run a keyword search, it finds the businesses that are ranking in your area, then finds their citations, both structured and unstructured. It does not only assist you in discovering websites that have a basic “submit your company” alternative. It likewise assists you understanding the competitor’s citation building strategy by showing you where they are getting unstructured citations as well.
Not All Citations Are Created Equal
There is a massive variation in the value of various citations. A reference of your business’ name, address, and contact number on whitehouse.gov deserves far more than a mention of your company rather than on some spammy web directory site that was created solely for low quality link building. For some suggestions on sorting the gold from the sand, take a look at this post on determining citation quality.
If you have any questions about citations, please leave them in the remarks. I will answer them and possibly include more details to the post.