One key aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is citation building. The power of proper citation building can often be overlooked, because of the fact that if it is done manually instead of through a program like Yext, it can be an extremely tedious process. However, when done correctly, citation building can be an extremely useful way of not only bringing about more traffic to the website, but also, of taking advantage of the way in which Google geotargets places on the web.
The first thing to remember is that a profile of a company or business only truly becomes a citation when it contains the NAP of the place that you want Google to locate on Google Maps and list online: the name of the business, the business address, and its location. Although this seems like basic information, it is really crucial that all of these elements are included on the page, since if even one of them is missing, Google will question the legitimacy of the business being listed. Additionally, the more citations that a business has listed on a variety of different websites throughout the internet, the more Google will recognize that the business does, in fact, exist. As well, building citations for a business on many different websites also influences the way that Google ranks applicable search results for said business; the number and strength of the citations listing the business on the internet acts as one of over two hundred factors that Google analyze in the algorithm used to generate the order of search results every time a person types a query into the search engine.
Although all of this may seem extremely easy to do, problems occur when numerous citations have been built all over the web and they are incorrect in some way. There are many ways in which a citation can be flawed – from crucial NAP information being missing, or if the citation contains information that is incorrect in any way. Something as simple as a business name that was previously used but is no longer accurate, or an old phone number or address that has since changed can wreak havoc upon the way in which Google analyzes these citations and factors them into the search results. This is why it is extremely important to provide 100% correct information the first time that the citations are built, as well as to ensure that citations that contain outdated data are corrected.
The easiest way to combat these issues is to stay organized. Keep a record of all of the existing citations, and update the report with the name of the business directory and the URL that leads to the business’s citation every single time a new citation is built and listed online. This way, it will be much less time consuming and tedious should you have to go back and update or modify any of the citation data. As well, if you have an organized, updated list of all of the citations in existence, it will also be extremely easy to note which citations should be deleted – since duplicate listings of the same business can also skew with Google search results.