If you are relatively new to the world of digital marketing, you may not have come across the phrase ‘local citations’ before. They might sound like something horribly complicated but, as our small business web design team explains, citations are actually very simple … and very useful for your small business!

What are local citations?

A citation is simply a reference to your company name, address and phone number. This chunk of information can occur in lots of different places (more on that a little later) and in a combination of formats.

An incomplete citation might just have your business name and address. A complete citation could give all of your contact information: name, address, store telephone number, email address and website link.

An online citation can include any, all or just some of the following information:

  • Business name
  • Store or office address, including the zip code
  • Store or office opening hours
  • Telephone number
  • Website link
  • Images (of your products, services, team or location)
  • Video (of your products, services, team or location)
  • Links to your social media profiles, such as your Facebook Business Page
graphic of man leaning against a giant cell phone

Why are citations important?

As you might expect from a web design, New York service, here at Hummingbird Web Design we work with citations a lot. They play several roles and are important for many reasons:

  • Google uses local citations as part of its local SEO ranking algorithm – meaning the more citations you have, the better your chances of appearing higher up in the local search results.
  • Small business web design focuses on giving you a great looking website – citations are a way to drive traffic to that site. A complete citation, including your website URL, makes it easy for a customer or potential customer to find you. When your website address is included, the citation functions as a link back to your site, helping to send interested visitors your way.
  • They are useful in lots of different contexts – helping shoppers to find your bricks and mortar store for example or giving a phone number so a lead can easily get in touch with you.

How do I build citations?

This is a question our small business web design team fields often from clients. We have lots of suggestions, tips and techniques ready to share!

Citations are found all around the web, in places such as directories (like Yelp or the Yellow Pages). You can find citations on review sites like TrustPilot or TripAdvisor. Social media profiles, newspaper articles ,or blog posts and even apps are examples of citations.

You might have built a number of citations already and are only just now realizing that’s what you did! If you set up your Facebook Business Page for example and completed the profile info, you can consider that a citation built. Likewise, if you opted for a Yellow Pages listing, that’s another citation built.

There are loads of opportunities to build citations for your business. They are divided into either a structured or unstructured citation.

Structured citations

A structured citation follows a specific format, usually a form with a field for name, address, phone number.

Unstructured citations

Unstructured citations contain the relevant information but do not use a specific structure or field layout. Having your company referenced in a local newspaper article is a good example of an unstructured citation.

You can:

  • Register for new directories
  • Join a trade body and fill in a profile for your business
  • Obtain local newspaper coverage
  • Register for new review sites
  • Use a citation builder or aggregator
  • Create additional social media profiles
  • Work with influencers to build sponsored posts
  • Get your business listed with apps like FourSquare

Want more citation building tips from the leading web design company, Port Washington? Get in touch with our small business web design team to see how we can help. 516-883-3851

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