Citations: A Quick Overview

Andrew Thorn 4 mins read
Citations: A Quick Overview

Digital Marketing has changed the landscape of business, and how they are being discovered. Its importance has brought more urgency for businesses to change their marketing structure and build a more competitive and rock-solid strategy that provides stellar results for their efforts, especially for brands that operate on a local level.

And to ensure local dominance, there are vital facets in your digital marketing efforts that you should give primary focus to if you are looking to conquer the local search results – one of them is building a solid list of local citation.

Defining Local Citation and its importance for a local search

Before we get knee-deep in citations, let us first find out what it is and what makes it an essential component of your digital marketing strategy especially if you want to leverage traffic for your local business.

A citation is simply a reference of your business name online; on websites, social media or even apps. Citations can also appear in any business directory together with your address and phone number – like modern-day yellow pages but weigh more power.

Citations may often be confused with backlinks, which is another essential part of Google and other search engines algorithm to determine the rankings of the site per search result. Citations do not necessarily have to include a hyperlink of your website, which is the essence of a backlink. With citations, your business name alone can count as a reference. 

This SEO strategy is merely a popularity contest that is geared towards grabbing the attention of search engines. The more mentions you have from other relevant websites, the more these search engines, notably Google, will rank you higher on the search result and provide your site with more authority. Building a solid citation profile is paramount if you want to be one of the most popular in the area you are serving.

Unstructured vs Structured Citations

There are two types of citation a business could get online. The most basic is the unstructured citation, which is essentially a mention of your business name on blogs, online magazines, vendor websites and social media. This type of citation is quite easy to obtain and does not strictly require additional information other than just your business name.

Structured citation, on the other hand, requires your business name, address and phone number and is presented in a visually formatted manner. This type of citation is regulated and can be found on high-quality business directories like Google Maps, Yelp, Foursquare and Bing, among others.

There are crucial factors to consider when managing your structured citations found on local directories. Most important of which is making sure your all your citations are 100% consistent and correct across all online directories. Google is using citations to verify the accuracy of contact details to make sure you are providing the right information on your listing on Google. That’s why it is important that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) should exactly match the one on your Google My Business page and across all relevant business listings, websites and directories.

Any business contact information presented as false can be very damaging as these inconsistencies can confuse Google and your potential customers. This dissimilarity can ultimately lose their trust that will eventually harm your local search ranking.

Strengthen Your Online Reputation Though Citations

The implementation of your strategies define the success of your SEO campaign and if done correctly, can transform your business into marketing gold. With a lot of emphasis being given to local searches, which accounts for about 46%, building a foolproof citation strategy can help you achieve a strong presence and high-value local search traffic. 

But how do you exactly get this right? There are several ways on how you can build citations for your business and making sure you are hooked up to the right platform. Here are some ways you can streamline to your digital marketing strategy: 

  • Check all your existing citations: A clean-up is always a great way to start your citation build-up strategy. An audit of all your current local citations will help you find any NAP inconsistencies, duplicate listings and weak online directory listings that eventually hurt your search rankings.
  • Look for citation opportunities and create them: Keeping abreast of all new possibilities for citations and find ways to acquire citations. Most highly authoritative online directories and sites are hard to obtain citations and have a long, rigorous process but are worth the wait and effort.
  • Record and manage: Having a list of your citations across all platforms and making sure they are always updated and consistent with the correct information is part of an excellent off-page SEO practice to maintain. Always include all the logins details of the citations you signed up and keep a backup just in case. 

We prioritise your local citations!

DigitalMaas offers a comprehensive and enhanced listing service in Australia using the most advanced technology that lets you manage over 35 citations across all major known platforms. We also prioritise your listing and make sure that each submission is approved and all information stays consistent. Sign-up to our digital marketing platform today and get in touch with one of our specialists to know how you can start automating your local citations.

Andrew Thorn

Founder and CEO of DigitalMaas


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