IMPORTANCE OF CITATIONS TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS
What are citations?
Citations are defined as references of your business name and address on other webpages—even if there is no direct link to your website. To clarify, an example of a citation might be an online yellow pages directory where your business is listed, but not linked to it. Citations can be a quick victory as they help customers to find your business. They can also be found on local chamber of commerce pages, or on a local business association page that includes your business information, even if they are not linked to your website.
Why are citations important?
Citations are a key component of the ranking algorithms in Google and Bing. Taking into consideration everything else being equal, businesses with a greater number of citations will probably rank higher than businesses with fewer citations.
Citations from well-established and well-indexed portals (i.e. Thomsonlocal.com) help increase the degree of certainty the search engines have about your business's contact information and categorisation.
Citations are particularly important in less-competitive niches, like plumbing or electrical, where many service providers don't have websites themselves. Without much other information, the search engines rely heavily on whatever information they can find.
Citations are similar to Facebook likes in that the more likes you have, the more likely people are to believe that your business is real. Citations also validate that a business is part of a community. It's hard for someone to fake membership in a chamber of commerce or a local business index, or being written about in a local online newspaper or popular blog. Citations and links from these kinds of websites can dramatically improve your local search engine rankings. Effective, quality and accurate business listings are essential factors that influence local rankings of your business. Make sure you invest time in cleaning duplicate lists and inaccurate information about your business otherwise your business will suffer the same fate as so many others.
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