#5 Optimize for Local SEO & Citations

56Have you ever heard of a citation? Citations are any time your business name, address, or other identifying factor are mentioned on another website. Citations count in regard to SEO even if there is no link present.

All of the following citations counts, when it comes to SEO:

  • Your business name online
  • Your business name + phone number
  • Your business name + phone number + address

Believe it or not, even just your business phone number is considered a viable citation.

Types of SEO Citations

There are two basic types of citations that apply to SEO and that help with local search results. These include:

  • The structured citation: This is what you find on business listing web pages – Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.

Having citations helps you prove that your business is really what you say it is, is located where you claim, etc.

Google and Bing (as well as most of the other search engines) consider citations an essential part of their ranking algorithms. When all other factors are equal, a business that has a higher number of citations is going to rank higher than those businesses with fewer citations.

When you can achieve citations on well-established and well-indexed portals, it can increase the certainty that a search engine crawler has regarding the information about your business and how it needs to be categorized.

The Local Connection

Citations are an essential part of your Local SEO efforts. Each citation you receive for your business helps to validate that it is part of a local community. After all, it is pretty hard to “fake” being a member of your area’s chamber of commerce or a city index of businesses. Also, receiving citations on the newspaper website or on another local business website shows that you are present – making your site appear more trustworthy and increasing your rank in the search engines.

How to Acquire More Citations for Your Business

There are several ways you can begin collecting citations for your business now.

  • Complete profiles for any business listing site with business name, address, phone number, etc.
  • Request that other businesses add a citation to your page and do the same for them.
  • Join your local chamber of commerce.

When you acquire local citations, you can increase your rank and ensure your website is viewed as trustworthy.

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