What is a citation and how will it help boost my local SEO?
Unlike traffic citations, citations for your website are a great thing! A citation is any reference to your company on an external site. The reference can include any information about your website or company and it will boost your local SEO. They can be detailed, such as a Yelp company page that includes everything from website URL address to hours of operation, or they can be as simple as your phone number listed on an external site.
Why do I want a citation?
When someone clicks enter on a Google search, Google’s goal is to provide them with the best search results that will solve their question or search for a company or product. If you have citations, or external references to your company, on other sites, then Google registers that as your business being a popular and well-liked company in the eyes of consumers and will therefore bump your local SEO search listing higher.
Great, so I’ll just go post a citation for my company on 1,000 different random sites?
Well, that will not necessarily be effective because not all citations are made equal. Citations on websites that have a better reputation and credibility, such as Yelp or Travelocity, have more “SEO weight” (degree to which it will boost your local SEO) than random sites with less traffic. Now this does not mean you should not participate in discussions in blogs or other smaller websites just because it is not Yelp. Participating in these blogs will help. However, if you simply scatter citations on sites that do not have a good reputation or significant web traffic, you are wasting your time.
Alright, so what should I do?
Just as with any business goal, create a strategy. Make a list of the most visited review sites that are related to your business’s industry and make sure you have a detailed and lively profile on them. Stay active with them and respond to any reviews or complaints by customers. Next, make a list of a handful of blogs that are related to your business that you would like to begin following and regularly join in on the discussion. Other than review sites and blogs, through actively leveraging your social media platforms and public relations strategy you can get more citations for your company and ultimately boost your local SEO.
Learn more about the top twenty Local Search Ranking Factors here from industry expert, David Mihm!