Just like a student that will list the resources used at the end of a paper, its important for your website to be ‘listed’ on certain citation sites, here’s why…
Firstly we should describe what a citation is. It’s basically where your company is mentioned on another website, this is true even if there are no links back to your website. So, for example a free listing on Yell (where there is no link) is described as a listing.
If you can get some citations from some well established websites, then this will help the search engines verify all types of information about your business, what you do, your geography, telephone number and as a result you will become a more trusted website, over and above others with no citations, basically speaking citations help search engines confirm you are who they thought you were!!
Of course, the key ingredient to doing this well is consistency, different information across different citation sites will cause mis-trust and do you no good at all, so a key take-away is to ensure that you keep a spreadsheet with all your data on it and your log in information. Then if anything changes within your business you have the list to hand of all the sites you need to update.
There are two types of citation you should be pursuing,
- Local – show your part of a community and get listed locally, this is extremely important if you business is a ‘local’ service provider
- Your Particular Niche – getting listed with your peers demonstrates that you are an expert in your area, all great for the search engines and your credibility
As I said previously, you don’t even need to get a link back to your website from all of these places, a mention of your business in the online version of your local newspaper will add weight to your citation effort. Of course you will want to get some links back, but all mentions have a value.
Take a moment to think about all the places you could get listed, think about press opportunities, workshops you deliver, online directories, supplier sites, customer sites. They could all add value to your online marketing!