Many don’t understand the importance of citations for SEO, and it’s an often overlooked aspect of off-page Search Engine Optimization.
You should aim for relevance and authority with your business listings on trusted and authoritative sites. Business directories are an excellent start, as they command SERP real estate and help capture targeted traffic. Here are some ways to maximize your citations. Read on to learn about Structured and Unstructured citations and how to use them to boost your SEO.
Structured citations are crucial to SEO and the success of any online marketing campaign. Structured citations are listings in some fo the top internet directories. I have listed several below, but there are hundreds across the website. Usually you must submit your content directly to the directory and contains the usual: name, address, phone, website, hours, business photo, and additional information.
|Directory Name||Domain Rating||URL|
|Google Business Profile||98||https://www.google.com/business/|
|Angi (formerly Angieslist)||91||https://www.angi.com/|
You might be a one-person band, but you must include your web address and phone number in your listings. While this can be challenging, the more relevant information you provide, the better off you’ll be in Google’s eyes.
Unstructured citations are those that are not formal directories, instead, they can be a blog, or top ten list, or something more informal. To improve your ranking in Google, structured citations must appear in relevant stories, blogs, and websites. Unstructured citations of your business in a blog with links are the most valuable because the more links you have, the higher your domain authority.
If you want your citations to be valuable, make sure your site is up-to-date. Unstructured citations don’t need to be linked to your website but should be relevant to your niche and company.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your SEO, you should know about niche citations. These websites are usually targeted and rank well for specific search terms. They’re also the most likely to provide reviews and additional leads for your business. Many online marketers have little to no knowledge of niche citations and may be unaware of the benefits they can provide.
Here is an example of niche directories for a legal professional. Yellowpages.com may offer anyone with a small business a listing, Findlaw.com will only serve the needs of lawyers and attorneys.
While every business should include its details on several trusted directories, not all of them are created equal. It is important to prioritize these listings over questionable ones, as they can damage your ranking by association.
For example, Google will likely treat a site listed on the Harvard Business School listing of businesses higher than one from 123zaafeed.au as it likely is a low-quality spam site.
Those directories widely viewed as trustworthy and authoritative sites can boost your SEO. On the other hand, directories that are not trustworthy and questionable can hurt your business’s ranking through guilt by association. You can see above that may of the directories have a 1-100 score. The closer to 100, the more trustworthy the citation.
A citation is a listing that contains information about your business. While some citations are accurate, others are not. It is possible for multiple citations to contain incorrect information, including missing phone numbers, address information, and business hours. You can use tools to find citations, including Moz’s free local listing checker.
It is important to monitor citations for errors to avoid losing customers and lowering rankings.
This is just an overview of the importance of citations for SEO. As we’ve outlined, they provide visibility on a broad range of search engines, reinforce NAP accuracy, and allow people to leave reviews to provide credibility in the future. You can easily start listing yourself on niche websites like Angi.com or dogwalkers.com and gain an edge on the competition.