Local SEO Citations and Rank your Website Locally and Globally
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Citations are generally described as mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other webpages and internet business directories, even if there is no link to your actual website. A good example of a citation could be an online directory where your business is listed – just like the old yellowpages propping up your coffee table. Additionally it can be a local business association or even a chamber of commerce, where your business information can be found, even if they are not linking at all to your website. These citations that are in your local area can many times be the most powerful as they are more geographically relevant to your business.
Citations are a key component of the ranking algorithms of the major search engines. All other things being equal, a business with more citations will generally have better rankings than those with less citations.
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Citations from well-established and well-indexed portals (like Superpages.com for example) help increase the degree of certainty the search engines have about your business’s contact information and categorization. To paraphrase former Arizona Cardinals’ coach Dennis Green, citations help search engines confirm that businesses are who we thought they were!
Citations can be especially important in easier niches (like plumbing or electrical contractors) where a large number of businesses don’t even have websites themselves. Since there is no other information out there, Google (and Bing/Yahoo) will return search results based on whatever information they are able to find!
Citations also provide validation that your business is part of a larger business community. It’s going to be difficult for someone to fake their membership in the local chamber of commerce or in a city business index, and even more difficult to be written about in a local online newspaper or popular blog if they are not who they say they are. Citations (and furthermore links) that come from these websites can drastically improve your rankings in local search results.