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What is a Citation? Are They Still Important?

When it comes to SEO, links have become a very important area, they drive the internet and support your website’s strength. Another part of this includes local SEO, but what exactly is that – well its a citation.

Links and citations are very useful looks and tend to work better for local SEO over global brands and online companies. Links and citations will boost your SEO by mentioning your business.

What is a Citation?

A citation is often referred to as ‘a citation in a book or research paper’, it’s a mention of your business or website and won’t need to include a hyperlink. Citations can be full or partial and a citation will usually include your business name, the address and phone number or the full NAP – name, address, phone. Partial citations will include your company name, name and phone number or another variation of this.

It’s important to note that a full citation won’t need to include a link; partial citations can include links but they don’t need to have one, the links are separate but they can add context to a citation.

Citations are one part relic of the past, one part reference and one part of local SEO power, citations are particularly useful for SEO because they include an address which will help Google see who is geographically relevant to specific search results and will show your business to the people who are local to it.

In order to get the most out of citations you will need to focus on keeping your citation format consistent, you should always use the same format for the address and phone number as much as possible. While it isn’t always easy to do if you have other people leaving citations for you, it’s always best practice.

Types of Citations

There are a range of types of citation websites available and some tend to be considered more valuable than others. When it comes to SEO, the main citations include Google My Business, Bing Maps, Facebook and Yelp. There are hundreds of websites where you can list your business online, not all of them will be relevant to your business, but this is why citation categories are available. Some citations come with higher domain authority than others, the category relevancy will also be more important than the domain authority, this is why getting listed in these industry categories is important.

Why Use Citations?

Citations are a key factor in SEO, citations are easy to manage and can lead to improved local rankings. They are an online reference, when SEO refers to citations, they usually mean that they are talking about a range of individual business listings that are on different sites. Citations will take the form of an online business directory.

Citations are a local seo ranking factor and having your business listed on these trusted online directories will send signals to Google and reinforce that your business exists. The quality and accuracy of the listings and the quality of the online directory will affect how Google perceives your online presence. This is why it’s important to pick your citations carefully.

Another advantage of building citations is that some online business directories tend to dominate the first page of local search results. Websites including Yelp and the YellowPages will rank high for most local searches.

Some online users are loyal to different citations, places like Yelp have a large presence with restaurants, so foodies will always use Yelp when looking for new restaurants before using Google.

Getting listed in as many directories as possible will always help you to earn valuable referral traffic.

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Lucy Stirman