Every time your business is listed on the internet, whether you mention your business or someone else does, this is referred to as a citation. Citations include:
- Your company name, or
- Your company name, plus your phone number, or
- Your company name, plus your phone number and address (NAP), or
- Your company name, phone number, address, and a link
NAP is the most popular form of citation. NAP listings on local online directories is one of the most important SEO-ranking factors. Citations are most often found on local online directories, however, articles mentioning your business are also considered a citation.
Citations do not include a link. Citations are citations, meaning a clear, concise and consistent posting of your company and your company’s contact information.
When it comes to search engine results, citations are more important than links and they must always be correct and consistent, which makes cleaning up your citations a must.
To clean up your citations:
Be clear, concise, and consistent – citations should always include your business name, address and phone number in a clear and consistent way. For instance, always mention your company name the same way. If you are a law firm, the difference between “Johnson, Halpin,” and then, “Johnson & Halpin,” or even “Johnson and Halpin,” can kill efforts to increase your impact on search engines optimization. Phone numbers should always be listed the same way, as well. The difference between 1-888-888-8888 and dropping the “1”, as in 888-888-8888 can cost you greatly.
Check your listing – Google My Business is a great place to learn where and how you need to clean up your citation. This site is Google’s way of determining your local search result ranking. Copy their listing—the way Google defines your listing, and use this form of your citation every time and everywhere you can.
Check for duplicate listings – Sites like Check My Business Listing creates, updates, manages, re-verifies and finds and resolves duplicate listings.
Start correcting – Sites like Yahoo Local and Bing Places should be first, when it comes to cleaning a citation, then clean up individual citations.
Keep a file of your findings – to make sure you have cleaned up every citation, keep a file of the mistakes you’ve found, the efforts you’ve taken to correct them and the date of your correction. Nothing will help your ranking more than making sure all your citations are clean.
Continue to manage your citations – continue with a program to manage your citations, making sure you are consistent and correct with your NAP.
For more information on cleaning up your citations, contact 51blocks today!