Why are Citations Important for Local SEO?

When it comes to local SEO strategies, there are several important aspects to help your business get better rankings, and citations are one of them. Citations are references of your business name, address, and contact information on websites other than your own. This could be on business directory websites like Yellowpages, social media sites, or even info sites like Yelp and Foursquare.

Why do you Need Citations?

Search engine don't like always take websites at their word. When the big search engines--like Google and Bing--gather information about your business, they sift through the web as a whole and pull information that's useful or pertinent to the services your business provides. Sometimes these reference directories link back to your website, but not always. Even without linking back, citations can still be beneficial in providing information about your business that search engines might not have otherwise seen. For major search engine to get to know your business in an online-ranking-sense, you need to really layer on information about your company in more depth than simply your own business website. For example, this is what it looks like if you were to Google our company, 51 Blocks:

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Getlisted.org says that when “other factors are equal, businesses with a greater number of citations will probably rank higher than businesses with fewer.” Getting your information onto established, well-indexed sites can be that last little push you need to beat out competitors, and, more importantly, to become a presence for more potential clients. Having a website isn’t extremely helpful when you’re completely buried in the pages of popular search keyword results because Google can’t seem to find anything about you anywhere else.

These citations can be helpful to your local rankings, and are particularly supportive for small businesses. The more references a business has on other sites, the better search engines can verify contact information. This also helps search engines better categorize companies on the web and give businesses the web presence and authority that they may need.  Even if your business doesn’t have its own website, it’s possible to still have an online presence based on a culmination of the citations for your company.

How to Build Citations

Simply put, search engines do not rely solely on the information that they find on your website, even when you do have one.  It’s vital for great rankings that you are mentioned on several business listings, or on other sites, perhaps for your company’s niche market.  You can create citations by using multiple types of sites:

  • Business listings

  • Social media sites

  • Review/informational directories like Yelp

  • The Better Business Bureau

  • Online directories like Yellow Pages

Creating citations can be a time consuming process, but it is well worth it.  Building up the mentions for your business can be as simple as establishing a presence on several sites, but it’s great to be able to track how well you are represented online as well. This is where working with experts comes into play.

SEO experts generally agree that creating a solid cache of online citations is vital to overall online success.  At 51 Blocks, we are experts at building citations for businesses of all sizes and types, and work with excellent tools to help throughout the process.  We can assist in building citations throughout major directories, and we can research which sites will be best for your niche market as well.  We can’t wait to help you build an outstanding online presence for your market!

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