What are citations and why do I need them?
Simply put, a citation is a reference to your business online. This is a reference with or without a link back to your website and it is taken into account by Google when your business’s online authority is being evaluated. You’ll notice that I have stated that it can be with or without a link as for once, linking isn’t the most important thing! The most important thing with citations is to have your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) listed correctly throughout all of your citations. Citations are incredibly important from a Local SEO perspective because they are a major factor that Google uses when evaluating which businesses to rank higher in their local search results. The reason behind this is that if a business is mentioned lots of times on the Internet, then the chances are it is more established than those businesses that aren’t mentioned as often. An example of this in action can be seen when we take a look at the Google “7-pack” in the screenshot below for the search term “dentist in Manchester”.
So where can I get citations?
By now you are probably itching to get going and create some citations (yeah, right! It’s probably one of the most boring processes in Local SEO) for your business online. The following places are great sources for citations:
- Profile Pages
- Forum Signatures
In the table below I have listed some sources for business directories in both the UK and US. These will be a great place to start your citation building.
A good tip would be to create a spreadsheet and input all of your citations in there so that you can keep track of them. This will also help if you move addresses and need to change them all!
Get your competitors citations!
Another great way to find more citations is to find out where your competitors are getting their citations from. An easy way to do this is to use the following query in Google: “Competitor’s Name” AND “Competitor’s Post Code/Zip Code” -site:competitorswebsite.com What this is doing is finding all mentions of your competitors name and post code but excluding all results that are on their own website.
Scrapebox for citations
You can also use Scrapebox to find the citations of multiple competitors. To do this you use the same principle as before, but in Scrapebox. Once you have put in your competitor’s information you can then begin to harvest their citation sources.
If you've enjoyed this guide or have anything to add, please leave a comment below!