Citations are one of the most important elements of any proper and successful SEO campaign. However, many business owners and some marketers overlook the importance of creating accurate and good citations. There are even some ways in which you can use citations to your harm. And many people wonder why their SEO campaigns aren’t working, even though they’ve done seemingly everything “by the book“. So, why some citations could be killing your SEO campaign, and what can you do to make things right? Let’s find out!
What exactly is a citation?
Citations are simply the address, phone, and the name of your business. In SEO marketing the term “NAP’ is used to describe that. NAP stands for the name of the business, its address, and its phone number.
However, today, it is not enough only to give basic information about a business. Sure, there is nothing wrong with giving only your business’ name, address, and phone number, but if you want your business to be more visible online, you should add some more info about it.
Why are citations considered to be so important?
Citations are very important for any business that wants to be visible online. They are one of the main things you have to pay attention to if you want to improve your local SEO performance. Many people tend to think of them as some kind of virtual business card. The more accurate information you have on your business card, the more people will contact you. The same is true for citations. Your citations need to be accurate and with as much information about your business as possible.
In today’s internet, almost everything flows to Google. As one famous SEO marketer said: All roads lead to Google. And Google, as a search engine, requires some information about businesses so it can show them to a wider audience.
One of the most important pieces of information about any business is its location, contact, and name. Of course, you can put as much information about your business as you want, and all you have to make sure is that this information is accurate.
Why could some citations be killing your SEO campaign?
As we said, the more information on the internet about your business is on the internet, the better. However, many businesses have inaccurate information and that of course will hurt the business in question. If Google “sees” that information about your business is different at different locations, it will be “suspicious”, and in turn hurt your SEO campaign. Google will simply not show your business to its users, as it wants to keep the title of a search engine with accurate information. And GMB (Google My Business) is an excellent starting point for utilizing your citation, so make sure to use it.
Also, your citation must be written correctly, as you are not showing your NAP to a person you want to come to your office, but to an algorithm that compares information. You have to make sure that you are following a certain scheme.
So, how you can create and improve your citations?
How can you make a good citation?
Continuing on the previous point, you have to make sure that your NAP is not only accurate but written accurately. You have to follow certain rules. We can best explain that with a fictitious example.
Oak Street Store
1234 Oak Street
Buffalo, NY 14201
Oak Street Store New York Office
1234 O. Street
Buffalo, NY 14201
Here we can see that there is conflicting information, even though to us, as humans, this is understandable. Google can’t and won’t consider them as the same information. It was hard for Google developers to create a system with which it can deliver information to people, even though people use Google in a “human way”. Also, the basic citation is very important, but today that is not enough for a proper SEO campaign.
What is a bad citation?
As you might conclude, a bad citation is inaccurate or without content, or one that is incomplete. If you simply list the NAP by itself, you won’t be getting the reach you want to, or even worse, you won’t get any reach at all. The difference between a good and a bad citation is just that.
Also, make sure not to list any irrelevant information as that also can hurt your SEO campaign. This will only confuse Google and other websites. Moreover, there is no reason to list your business on listings that are not popular. You’ll be just wasting your time, and many of those listings are suspicious to Google, so you might be risking that Google recognizes your business as suspicious too.
How can you enhance your listings?
Remember that your local SEO citations can be rich with information. As we said multiple times throughout this article, you can use things other than the most basic NAP in your citations. Most modern and well-known directories allow businesses to add their social media pages, websites, hours, products, photos, and so on. Moreover, it is beneficial to have as much relevant info in those directories about your business, as there are going to be more search terms with which Google and its users can find you.
But you have to make sure that all of your citations are the same across the web and constantly update them. You simply have to do a NAP cleanup. For example, if you, as a business owner, decide to change your hours, you have to spread that information across the internet. Make sure to update all your citations across the web. This is why it is always a good idea to have an excel sheet or something similar to keep track of all your citations on the web.
There are many reasons why citations could be killing your SEO campaign, and inconsistency across the web is one of the most common and the most problematic ones. Make sure to get the proper assistance – use AZ Citation Services and avoid further complications regarding your SEO efforts.