So… what’s a citation? My computer dictionary says it’s a quotation from or reference to a book or paper, especially in a scholarly work… it has a couple of other entries but for our purposes, they are all wrong.
A citation is nothing more than a name or address. Yep, that’s all…
Often, a local business talks about a near-by business on their website, say “turn left at Sloppy Joe’s Barbecue”. That counts as a citation. All things being equal, a local tourist attraction with many citations will outrank an equal business website with fewer citations. But it can be difficult for search engines to sort citations out.
Let us explain: lets say there is a little place on the beach called Ocean Souvenirs. This little shop has a website and a Facebook page. Google that name and discover 7,080,000 returns. If you work for Bing or Google that’s a problem. How will the search engines know which citations go with which websites?
While citations that mention you on other sites are not under your control, a surprising number are. Think about all the directories and social media platforms. Even your personal online accounts have more citations than you may realize.
By adding your address to everything you do, you let the search engines tie all your properties together. You want this because if someone searches Ocean Souvenirs, Myrtle Beach, SC, you don’t want Ocean Souvenirs, Scalea, Italy to be at the top of the page.
The search engines also like citations because they believe that scammers & pirates are not going to put their address on a bogus webpage. This common sense idea is almost certainly correct. To carry that thought a little further, the search engines seem to give even more credit to street addresses. Use a street address!
Remember, computers are very smart but you shouldn’t take any chances; always use the exact same address, written the exact same way, on everything you do. If you write 1429 Grand Ave. in one place, don’t type 1429 Grand Avenue in the next citation. This is so important you need to go back to your old pages and check.
Yahoo, Bing, and Google all have areas where you can enter your business address. This is huge and you need to do this because it allows them to tie all the citations together with a name (yours) and email (yours). Again, this is something a pirate cannot do and the search companies use this information to help determine rank, especially in local search.
This is so important, most SEO Companies offer the service as a pay service to rank your site.
Most of these companies offer packages where they add your citation to perhaps one-hundred locations. This is so powerful citations alone can rank a website number one in local search for many niches.
If this service is of interest to you… feel free to contact us.