What Are Citations in SEO? How to Increase Your Ranking Chances?

Here is all you need to know about ‘what are citations in SEO?’ and how they play part in SEO ranking.

In local SEO, when your business’s name, contact, address, email, business descriptions and other contact is mentioned on another website, it is known as an SEO citation.

Although no one knows the precise methodology for a specific company’s local search engine ranking, prominent specialists have some reasonable hypotheses.

Local citations are one of them, and for a good reason, they are essential. In today’s guide, we will see the following and a few more things:

  • What are citations in SEO?
  • Why are SEO citations used?
  • Are they indeed that crucial for search engine optimization?

Everything you need to know about SEO citations is in this article. So you can better comprehend them and put them to work for your company.

What Are Citations in SEO?

Any online presence or mention of your company is a “citation” from an SEO strategy perspective, and examples can be found everywhere.

These include social media platforms, different kinds of business directories, local directories, local websites, local listings and almost anywhere else consumers might be browsing the internet in search of information about local businesses.

Citations may also contain other identifying information specific to the business category. For example, its phone number or physical address and the business name itself. (NAP citations are references that expressly include name, address, and contact information.)

What is a Local Citation?

A local citation, also known as NAP data, is any online reference of a local business’s name, address, and phone number, whether it is partial or complete.

Citations might appear in social media platforms, on websites and apps, and in local company directories.

Some of these include Apple maps and Yelp .

Citations both aid in local company discovery and have an effect on local search engine rankings. In particular, having solid basic citations can improve your position on Google’s local search results pages.

Numerous citation sources and citation sites can be actively managed by nearby firms to guarantee data accuracy.

Types of Local Citations

There may be mentions of your company on the Internet even though your company didn’t do anything to make that happen.

Most of the time, these mentions are made automatically by pulling information about local companies from different sources.

For example, information from a site like Data Axle could be sent to a site like YP.com.

Because of how the internet works, it’s very important for local companies to make sure that the information about them is correct.

To do this, businesses need to make sure that their information is correct. This helps find any wrong information and fix it.

By doing so, it makes it less likely that the business will lose customers, lose money, or make it harder for people to find the business when they look locally.

Here are the main types of local citations:

Search engines – Google, Bing, and Apple are three search engines.

Primary Data Aggregators – Core systems include Foursquare, Data Axle, and Neustar/Localeze, which are the main data aggregators.

Important Platforms and Major Directories – Key local company listings can also be created on well-known social and review-focused websites like Facebook, Yelp, and others.

Platforms Devoted to a Particular Industry or Geographic Area – In addition to creating local business listings on the major local business data platforms that cater to all industries, your firm can look to create listings on websites that are dedicated to its particular industry and geographic area.

Websites for professional groups and guilds as well as chambers of commerce are examples of these platforms.

Unstructured Citations – Additional citations can be made or found in many places, such as blogs, news websites, apps, maps, government records, and more.

Even though these weren’t made with local business ads in mind, they still serve as references for your company.

You can make these mentions of your business on purpose for your business, or you can just get them based on the quality of your work and how many people are interested in it.

Owned Properties – Your website is the best place online to learn about your business.

All of the above types of citations can be made by using automated software (like Moz Local), filling out forms on local business platforms by hand, or using other PR and marketing methods on different platforms.

Why Do Citations in SEO Matter?

Now we have discussed what are SEO citations; now we will talk about their significance.

The goal of SEO citations is to make it easier for locals to identify businesses that provide the goods and services they are looking for.

Citations also affects your business’s SEO rankings on Google and other search engines. Here is a more detailed explanation of how each of those functions.

Business Exploration

Some people use Google my business to find local companies that can help them with a certain need or problem, but not everyone does.

Some people like to use review websites or business lists that are specific to their field.

When someone looks for a local business solution, industry-specific business directories often come up first instead of websites that service providers own.

So, the more online mentions to your business there are, the more likely it is that people who are looking for it will find it.

When a customer uses Google to look for a local business answer, business directories often come up first instead of company websites run by the service provider.

So, the more online references your business has, the more likely it is that people who are actively looking for these services will find it.

Help with SEO

Not all SEO experts agree on how important citations are, but there is a lot of evidence to show that they can be very helpful.

Search engines like Google use different factors to decide how accurate and trustworthy their search results are.

One of the most important factors is when reputable websites and social media talk about something.

If your company’s name, address, or phone number is mentioned many times, it gives Google Maps more proof that your company is real and actually does what it says.

It’s also important that the websites talking about your company are related to the same topic. Getting mentioned on random websites won’t help your SEO.

However, citations generally help Google algorithm confirm that your company is real and that everything about it is genuine.

Read More: The Best Free & Paid SEO Tools To Increase Your Ranking

What Are SEO Citation Types?

Generally speaking, there are two types of SEO citations, each with unique advantages and traits. Read them below.

Structured Citations

Structured citations are most likely to be found in places like directory lists or on social media sites.

The name, address, and phone number (NAP) of each business are given. Also, each piece is put together the same way as the others.

Unstructured Citations

You can use unstructured citations when you want to talk about a company in the setting of something else.

Think about the last time you read a quick mention of a business or service in a blog post or forum.

These citations without a framework are great examples. They are important signs that people are hearing about your business and paying attention to it.

What Are the Best Methods for Building Citations?

The following are some excellent pointers to have in mind when creating your citation catalog and after it has been built.

Examine Your Competitors

Regardless of whether you believe you are aware of who your rivals are, it is always a good idea to start by Googling the phrases. And keywords you want to rank for and seeing what results come up.

Pay attention to the businesses that routinely achieve high quality rankings. What are the major directories where they are listed? What kinds of citations do they have?

Engage The Appropriate Data Aggregators

Numerous online directories can be found on the internet. However, most business owners do not have the time or desire to submit their information separately to each of these directories.

This is where data aggregators come into play.

Aggregators specialize in collecting data about relevant companies. They then share this data with business directories to complete missing information and ensure that the directories are up to date.

Start Acquiring Unstructured Citations

After you’ve explored the main directories, websites, and gatherers thoroughly, your assortment of organized mentions should be appearing very impressive.

But remember, unstructured citations need to be taken into account as well, as they hold their own significance.

Keep in mind that unstructured citations are more than just a method to be listed in a large directory. These less organized references become even more important because they are harder to acquire.

In some instances, an outstanding unstructured citation could even get you a backlink for your expanding catalog.

You can get in touch with backlink specialist companies to help you in this regard, as a backlink is one of the major factors to help you get higher rankings on the Google search engine.

Claim Listings On Specific High-Value Sites

Citation building is an essential component of local SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is publishing the NAPW (name, address, phone number, and website) of your company on a variety of internet directories.

Your internet exposure and search rankings may benefit from claiming your company listings on sites with high value. Here’s how to successfully claim directory listings on those websites:

Facebook, Google, and similar websites are great places for citations.

You can submit manually to each site individually, but some businesses provide services to assist you in submitting to the ones you are interested in the most.

Update Your Website Regularly

Last but not least, it is important to check that all of the business information and business listings on your website is current.

Yes, references to your NAP information are included in this but do not stop there.

Include information on your contact and about pages that your consumers will find useful.

Final Words – What Are Citations In SEO?

Online publishing of essential business information is known as citations.

SEO citations have an impact on customer discovery in addition to laying the groundwork for better local search rankings.

Local SEO citations can improve rankings, reputation, and relevance when handled effectively.