What Is a Local Citation and Why Is It Important for Your Business?

Numerous businesses wonder why and how is it that their website isn’t bringing enough income. It’s designed properly, so it should work, right?

Look at it this way – no matter how aesthetically pleasing your business card is, you won’t be able to do much with it if you frame it and keep it in your office. So that people hear and remember about your business, you need to make contacts and share it.

The same goes for your website. If you don’t make an effort to create a network around your website, then you can’t expect from your target audience to reach you.

A Key Factor in SEO Optimization

That is exactly what local citations are for. As a mention of your business on the internet, a local citation is a powerful means that puts your business on the map.

For starters, you should know that there are two basic types of citations – complete and partial. A complete local citation needs to consist out of the name of your company in combination with your official phone number, website, and address. Whenever any of the items mentioned is lacking, we refer to a citation as a partial one.

The reason why citations are highly relevant to your  SEO optimization efforts is that they are a very precise reference to your business.

Structured and Unstructured Citations

The following division of citations is based on their structure.

As you’re probably familiar, aesthetics play a vital role online. Your target audience prefers visually pleasing segments because they are simpler to understand and nice to look at – it’s that simple. For that reason, it’s necessary to make this citations division as well, because the visual aspect of how your company is mentioned is important.

If you cite your business on Yelp for example, which is a website that has business listings, it will publish your complete structured local citation. Your company’s name, your address, phone, website, and email will be listed transparently.

However, citations look completely different on other websites, like news portals and databases; your local citation will be in form of a paragraph, which is what we refer to as an unstructured citation.

Although structured citations have certain advantages, that doesn’t imply that unstructured ones are invaluable. You should aim for diversity when it comes to citations – that way, you’ll be able to reach a more organic audience.

Establish Your Business as Trustworthy

citations graphic

Local citations can also help you with branding.

The whole online community became quite suspicions; most people had to deal with rogue businesses at least once in their experience online. For that reason, they will make sure that your business is trustworthy by doing decent research before they get in touch with you.

Therefore, you can be sure that they will google your company’s name and cross-reference data from different sources. And, if your potential customers find the result of their research satisfying, they will be willing to do business with you.

Pay Attention to the Relevance of Sources

You should also bear in mind that not all local citation sources are equally valuable.

There’s a big difference between getting listed and thus acknowledged by search engines, like Google and Bing, and citing your company’s name on lesser-known news portal for example. A mention carries a certain value either way, but when you start with the development of your local citation, you should start from the top, and spread the word about your business using relevant sources in your industry.

So, local citations are there to get your business out of the dark and help it grow and develop. What you need to do now is get out there, make new contacts, and enable people to hear about your offer. If you do that, you’ll be able to notice positive changes quite soon.