A citation is when someone makes online references to your company; this can include:
- NAP –by far the most powerful citation
- Mentioning the name of your company
- NAP and website link
- Your company name and phone number
The importance of citations
Search engines like Google use citations as a way to gauge a company’s accuracy and popularity online. To illustrate, if a local magazine reviews your restaurant and provides its readers with your company’s NAP information, Google can use that review to match it with what you provided to ensure the information is accurate. Furthermore, by having multiple citations, especially by ones of notable influence like your local Chamber of Commerce, it will establish your business’ authority.
Where do I build citations?
Citations are versatile in that you can build them anywhere. Here is just a sampling of quality citations:
- Local business directories: Your City Council or Chamber of Commerce are great authorities to place your business in local directories.
- Industry memberships: If your company has an affiliation with a business organization, this is another great citation to pick up.
- Industry directories: Many directories are industry-based, so picking up a relevant citation from them is an excellent way to establish accuracy and credibility.
Your NAP information has to be consistent
One thing to be mindful of as you build citations is to always be consistent with your company’s NAP information. If you provide inaccurate information it can lower your company’s rankings in the local search results.