What is a citation and why is it important for your business?

It is in every business’s best interest to be as known as it can be. There are many ways in which you can get your potential customers to know about your business, but one of the most practical ways is through the internet. Now, this is where your question comes – what is a citation and why is it important for your business? In this guide, we are going to ask and answer several questions about citations so you don’t have to search for every single one of them. So, let’s jump straight in.

What exactly is this “citation” I’ve been hearing of?

Let’s get straight to the point. The citation is a mention of your business on other directories, with or without backlinks. To give you an example, your business can be listed on directories without giving the backlink to your website. Also, local citations can be found in local yellow pages and business directories. This has become popular in the last two or three years because of the way search engines made their algorithms. Citations are a great way to boost your business’s overall SEO score. A website with a good number of citations will almost certainly score better than the website with no citations.

What is a citation and why use it if there are backlinks?

Many webmasters don’t know the difference between citations and backlinks. This is why it is important to use reputable SEO services. It may seem strange that you can boost your overall SEO score without backlinks, especially if you are an orthodox search engine marketer.

Basically, citations are mentions of your business’s NAP. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. Many webmasters and business owners think that if you are not getting backlinks your listing is of no use. This thinking could not be further from the truth. So, if you are not getting a backlink, how can search engines recognize the business and automatically improve your website’s overall SEO score?

Here’s why citations are in many ways superior to backlinks. If your business is listed on reputable directories with its name, address, and phone number (NAP), search engines will be able to ‘conclude’ that your business is legitimate. Search engines will recognize that your business is listed, authentic and that it belongs to a certain niche through the nature of the directory you are listing your business in. So, the recognition is not a problem. Quite the contrary, citations are even better than backlinks in this regard, and this is why getting your citations in order is crucial today if you want your business to have a chance to flourish.

Citations are a fantastic way in which you can improve your overall SEO score

Citations are very useful if you want to improve your business’s overall SEO score, especially if your business is in a niche that is not too competitive. This means that if you are a carpenter, a plumber, or if you own a moving company or something similar, using citations can be extremely beneficial for your business. Those kinds of services have yet to catch up with other businesses when it comes to using citations. So, this kind of SEO consulting is good for small businesses.

You can use citations to your own advantage. If your business is mentioned in a directory, blog, or business index, you will give a signal to a search engine that your business is a leader in a niche in a location of your choosing. This means that you will have a great advantage over your competition in your local area. However more and more businesses use citations, and although this number is still not too bug, it will be in the future. This means that if you want to be at the top of your game, you should be among the first businesses in your local area that uses citations. A good way to start using citations is by using services such as azcitationservices.com. That way your website will have increased traffic.

So, how does it all work? The search engine’s algorithm is a company secret, but search engines want to help their users with citations. Here are some of the ways in which search engines use citations to rank your website in a certain niche.

Local SEO

Local SEO is a search engine’s way of displaying the most relevant location-based results. This is mainly for businesses like dentists restaurants, and so on. You have probably already seen this. Small businesses can benefit from it, even now during the pandemic

A search engine will take into consideration the business’s NAP on different and it will compare it to the NAP on the business’s website to see if the business in question is authentic or not. This is why it is important to have matching information on your website with various citation directories. This is how the search engine ‘decides’ if your business is legitimate or not.

Location-based searches on a search engine

If you search for restaurants in a certain area, search terms with geotags will show results for that area. It used to be that any international outlet would easily rank in the search results by utilizing different SEO techniques, but thankfully this was fixed with location-based searches. Nowadays, search engine users when entering geo-tags in their searches will receive results from that specific location.

Business verification

So, what is stopping people from adding a fake business address? Sure, there is no way for search engines to know if a certain business is legitimate or not, but there are some though criteria of ranking businesses in a certain area. A search engine will compare the NAP of business with citations to check if the NAP is really owned by the business in question.