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What Are Citations and Why Are They Important?

10th February 2018 - SEO
What Are Citations and Why Are They Important?

When running a business, there are many avenues an owner must contend with. While some businesses operate solely online, others may be looking to build an online presence to accompany its brick-and-mortar business. Maintaining the online profile of a company can be a job in itself. Not only do you have to contend with running multiple social media sites, but you also need to ensure that your website is optimised to meet with the demands of Google and other search engines. With so much to focus on, it’s not surprising that we can overlook the smaller details when it comes to maintaining a strong online presence.

Citations Explained

Regardless of what type of business you run, it’s likely that you will have looked to promote your company via business directories One of the more popular can be Google My Business, as it can also help towards your SEO efforts due to the pull Google has in the search engine industry. Depending on your niche, there can be hundreds of options available to you, but for the citations to be effective, a business needs to ensure that its contact information is placed within the relevant directories.

Of course, a company or trader should look to list their business where they feel it’s relevant, but it’s important to ensure that the details entered are correct. Due to the algorithm changes instilled by Google, information being presented to users must be relevant to what their search relates to, and if there’s an issue in reaching the company via the details provided, it could mean that your site is ignored in favour of a competitor.

If you’re offering a service to the local community, then it makes sense that you want your local SEO to be in order. Citations play a big part in this, as Google will scrape data from a series of business directories to decipher which business should be presented to those carrying out a search. One of the main issues can be that the citations in place are incorrect. While some may enter the details themselves, others may have opted for a cheap citation service that looked to list the details on their behalf. While this can seem like a bargain at the time, if the work has been rushed or is very basic, it could mean that they’re not carrying out their role, which is to connect you with potential customers.

Of course, it’s not only errors in citations that can be a problem, but the fact that citations are listed in the wrong directories. While they may not be as detrimental as misspelt links, it can be worth getting such citations to ensure your online profile is as robust it can be.

Correcting the Citations

A business can look to correct the citations themselves, but this can mean a large investment of time, which is something many businesses are in short supply off. You can look to enlist the service of a professional citation clean up service, but it’s vital that you choose the right provider.

A professional will not only be able to clear up your citations, but also ensure that they are placed in locations that are specific to your niche. Simply paying a beginner to list the details at a cheaper price may be seem tempting initially but can end up costing you more time and money in the future. When dealing with citations you need to treat them as you would with any other aspect of your SEO, and that’s with attention to detail.

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