Online Citation Management

Dealing with online citations can be very frustrating, even for experienced SEO consultants, but it needs to be done as it is very important for Local SEO.

Citation management and optimisation is usually included in my SEO Retainer Package. If you are handling your search engine optimisation in-house, I can also offer my citation management service as an add-on; or if you are an agency looking to outsource this part to a Local SEO expert, let’s talk!

Overwhelmed with online citations?

I can help!

What are Online Citations?

An online citation is any online property (other than your own website) that mentions your business name, address and phone number (NAP). The most common citations are online directory listings (structured citations) but any other website mentioning your business name + address and/or phone is number also considered (unstructured citations).

Google and other search engines look at this data and cross-match it to verify your business is legitimate – so it is very important that NAP is correct and consistent across all online citations.

The number and consistency of online citations are one of the main ranking factors for local search rankings of your Google My Business profile, and citations sometimes rank in their own right for relevant search queries.

Another important aspect of online citations is link building. While many SEO experts don’t consider links from citations a ‘real link’, they do still go into the equation of how many online properties link to your site.

So how many online citations are there for your business?

99% of all business owners don’t know the answer to that question, and the remaining 1% has a completely wrong idea.

If your business has been around for a few years, there may be 30+ citations and 50% are usually incorrect, especially if your business has relocated or if the business name has changed. This happens because many online directories scrape data from major directories and/or company registrars, etc. – these sources are also known as data aggregators. If your details on one of those data aggregators are incorrect or out-dated, that’s where the trouble begins. Directory A takes incorrect data from an aggregator, directory B copies data from directory A, etc. etc.

Which citations are important and how many do I need?

Every incorrect citation is important as it needs to be fixed, and the more citations you have the better. However, citations on major online directories such as Yellow Online, Localist and Gopher carry more weight than smaller directories like 2CU or Zoomin.

Most major directories offer free and paid listings and in some cases I recommend going for the paid option to gain access to additional features such as business descriptions. This really depends on your business category, marketing budget, etc.