No business can exist separately from its consumers. That simply means you can’t be successful in what you are doing if there is no one who would call for your services or your products. Therefore, in the business world, the most important thing is that people know about you. Luckily, the discovery of the internet has made this process easier for everyone. It helps business owners of course, but it helps the customers as well. All you need to do is to make sure you will be visible in the places where people can potentially search for you. That’s when we come to the topic of online listing and citations. Our AZ Citation Services team will help you understand these concepts, and will give you an answer to the question of why you need to care about citation building.
The idea of online visibility
If you want to promote your business on the web, you need to appear online and become visible to others. Once when the information about your business is mentioned online, you’ve created something we call a citation.
Every citation you create needs to include something we refer to as NAP. This precisely stands for:
- N- the name of your business
- A- your business’ address
- P- the phone number you offered as a contact
At the very beginning of this citation-building story, marketers were led by one main idea- the more citations, the better online promotion. Thus, they started building citations in large numbers and as fast as they could. However, soon it turned out that not all of these citations are of high quality. Some of them were not informative at all and basically had the quantity purpose only.
Why you need to care about citation building
Truth to speak, it is good for your business to be mentioned on the web a lot. Its prominence determines how many people will hear about what you have to offer. But, all of that means nothing if the information you give about your business is confusing and if people cannot use them to find your location or your contact. That’s why, in recent years search engines started to pay some extra attention to citation quality, rather than to quantity.
Citations and customers
Citations have multiple roles in the world of online marketing. First of all, they serve as the primary source of information your potential customers will come upon once they start their online search. That is why it matters a lot how and where you build your citations.
No one likes useless information. Just imagine yourself desperately searching for some service online, and when you finally find what you were looking for, it turns out to be false and misleading. For that reason, every business owner needs to take care that their NAP information is accurate and consistent. Everything that a person can find about your business online should be completely correct and the same everywhere. That means if by some chance, you decide to change your business’ name or location, you need to make sure you’ve made this change on every citation site your business appears on. It may seem like too much at first, but this is extremely important for your online reputation.
On the other hand, it is also highly important to know exactly where to build your citations. They should always appear on a site that is relevant and closely related to your business’ main ideas.
Citations and the ranking position
Misleading your customers with carelessly built citations is really a big deal. However, this is not the only negative side of such a reckless step. Search engines, like Google or Bing, use citations as one of the priority factors in the ranking process.
Citations can help in determining whether or not certain businesses should appear among the search results, and which position they should take. Precisely, it is the quality and the quantity of the citation that plays an important part in Google’s deciding which businesses will get the most prominence on the web, and which will get nothing at all. And, the more information a search engine gets through your citations, the bigger are chances that it will trust your business. However, once when a search engine figures out that there may be some inconsistency in the distribution of the information about your business, they tend to mark it as untrustworthy, and your position may drop. So, you should always keep in mind that NAP consistency and the ranking position are really closely related.
Constructing a citation
- At the very beginning of the citation building process, you should find out whether or not your business is already listed in some of the online directories. Then, take care that the information that is provided there is accurate.
- Make sure you can control and manage the information about your business that appears online. This can be done by claiming all the listings you consider relevant for your working area. Don’t forget that having a Google My Business listing will be more than helpful, no matter what kind of business you are running.
- Create a good strategy for building new citations. Find some useful websites that are relevant to your business and think about listing your business there. Do it carefully, and respect all the rules for high-quality citation building.
Managing your citations is not an easy task. However, it will be much easier if you take the right steps from the very beginning. That’s why you need to care about citation building above all. If you build good and valuable citations, you will earn the trust of both your customers and the search engines you use for your online promotion. And, along the way, you should remember one thing- there is nothing that can sell a product better than a good reputation.