The words “local citations” may bring to mind legal troubles or references you use to write a university paper. In the Internet marketing arena, citations are something much better for your company. What is this new definition of the word that you may have heard when people talk about SEO and advertising?
An online citation is simply any mention of your company, its information or link on the Internet. Online citations can be on websites, blogs, employment or professional sites, the Chamber of Commerce page, social media pages or local directories like SuperPages.com, Yelp and YellowPages.com.
No active link to your company is needed in order for the mention to be considered a citation. It can simply be the name of your company. However, the more information attached to the company name, the greater its efficacy at attracting positive attention. For a free listing, search for a list of citation sites that can help you find numerous resources for your online citations.
The Many Benefits of Online Citations
Every time your company is mentioned on the Internet, someone will see it and may become curious about what you have to offer. This type of exposure can increase your potential customer pool simply because more people will come to recognize your brand name. Citations of all kinds augment your marketing efforts and forge connections with consumers.
Citations are also highly beneficial for your search engine optimization efforts. Your company name is a keyword that people may use if someone recommended your service or talked about how great your product was. The higher number of citations for your company, the more the Google crawlers will notice it and the higher your search engine page placement will be. Getting on that front page of the SERPs directly translates into much higher traffic and more business.
Quality Online Citations and Tips
Each citation should have specific information about your company: its whole name, address, both local and toll-free telephone numbers where applicable and website address. All these things identify you as a local business with a web presence.
It is essential that every citation uses precisely the same information. Although alternate addresses can be used if you run a chain of businesses, everything else should be written precisely identical. Search engines will be able to scan the information and associate it with your company without fail.
The best online citations include much more than contact information. When people are looking for a company to contract for a service or by a product, they need to know other things besides where the office is or the link to the website. Other helpful things to include in your local citations are what hours you are open, photos and video of your business, the people who work there, product examples or jobs you have completed in the past and anything else that can put your company in a positive light.