Importance Of Citations For Local Businesses

Citations Are Key

Citations are basically any mentions of your business in any format and medium. On the Internet, citations can be as simple as listed locations on web mapping services such as Google Maps, to crowd-sourced review websites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google Places, to even blogs and Youtube videos. There really is no strict criteria as long for what a citation should look like.

However, one citation alone at Google Maps isn’t enough. If coupled together with citations from different sources, it can greatly enhance your  business’s brand, reputation and overall search engine visibility. We do alot of consulting for our Clackamas web design clients and citations is one of the top things we recommend for creating your marketing foundation after your site and branding is complete.

Here’s a guide into how important citations are for local businesses.

 Citations Provide Consistent Information

You’d be surprised as to how often businesses have to deal with inconsistent information. Even small details in the address such as ‘Sixth Ave’ stated in one citation vs ‘6th Avenue’ stated in another citation can matter greatly. Inconsistent citations may exhibit a wrong impression about the business. Inconsistent addresses can sometimes mislead customers to the wrong address. They’ll instead look for one of your competitors instead.

Even if it’s not the direct fault of the business, situations such as that can affect a business’s image. Businesses must make the effort into ensuring all platforms must have the same details. The result is a stream of consistent and reliable information. This way, the right details are being fed to your audience. 

 Citations Add A Sense Of Legitimacy & Visibility

From the perspective of the audience, seeing one business cited many times across multiple formats greatly enhances the business’s sense of legitimacy. Consider a visitors potential train of thought when seeing a citation about a business:

“A blogger said that this business is the best in my area. I’ll check online if other people might also share the same sentiments. It looks like it has consistent good reviews on this website, I’m gonna take a look at Google Maps to check out the address. Amazing! Even Google Places gives it excellent reviews. And it’s just a few miles from where I live. I’m going to check it out.”

See how one citation leads to another and so on? They make a business look genuine and a much wider audience are more likely to find it. 

Citations Improve SEO Ranking

SEO means Search Engine Optimization. It’s a process that affects the visibility and ranking of any content in search engines. In digital marketing terms, it’s natural and organic content that has earned its place. Going off the last section, in addition to increased visibility by the audience, citations can also allow the business to climb through the ranks for its specific target keywords.

If someone types in Google “Best American Diner in X County”, then the business with many citations is now part of the top results. However, even with the word ‘Best’ taken out, it’d still remain in the top results because it’s just mentioned everywhere. Your business website will then have greatly increased traffic.

Main Takeaway On Citations

If you can create an equation from the aforementioned points; higher legitimacy, higher, audience visibility, and higher SEO ranking, what’s the result? Citations inevitably gives the business a competitive edge! Think of them as part of a marketing campaign. Although there are some that can be influenced directly, in most cases, they are the result of external and third-party influence.

Nonetheless, in the local business arena where competition is tight between related businesses, a particular business that enjoys  the highest level of visibility and popularity amongst the rest of its competition will definitely stay at the top! Citations take time to accumulate so be patient and some can only be earned in the old-fashioned way –  through cunning and ingenious entrepreneurship.

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