Citations – A Guide For Local Businesses

What Are Citations & Why Do They Matter?

In an online context, a citation is a mention, usually in the form of a listing, for an online business or indeed any business that has a website.

Yelp Citation

Probably the most popular and best-known citation are from major directory websites like Yell.com, Yelp and Thomson Local, however there are many many more and if you are to stand out from the crowd you should try to get a listing on as many as possible.

How Much Do Citations Cost?

In most cases the actual basic listing is free and from the point of view of optimising your website, the free ones are all you need.

However, in some cases, although you get a free listing you may have to upgrade to a paid listing in order to get the full range of benefits, including a link to your website which is highly desirable. We recommend that you assess these on a case-by-case basis but we do have a way of helping you to decide. It’s called the Citation Index and in it each citation site is given a rating out of 100 in terms of its value to your online optimisation and visibility. There are hundreds of sites on the list but the top ten, in terms of ranking value for your website, are as follows:

digital-marketing-digest-google-sheets

Holders of a PitStop Pass can download the top 50 listings for free – get your free Pitstop Pass now.

What Is Citation Flow?

Citation Flow is a metric used to measure how much “citation power” your website has. This is believed to be the equivalent to one of Google’s ranking factors that it uses to determine your position in the search results for any given search phrase. All other things being equal, a site with no citations will not be as prominent as one with several high qulity citations.

Citation Flow is compiled by an organisation called Majestic – the producers of a very large database of website links which is used by marketers and SEO people the world over. Majestic also compile another metric called Trust Flow which measures the level of trust that a website has based on its links with other sites.

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How Do I Know What Citations I Have?

You could download the citation list that we mentioned above and check each one manually or, save yourself a bit of time and order a Citation Audit for your site – just £9.99 for PitStop Pass holders.

How Do I Get the Citations I Need?

As we said, most citations are free but they all have to be applied for individually and it can be very time consuming. Sometimes the listing needs to be confirmed by telephone or text. In almost all cases you will need to write a short description of your business for inclusion in the listing.

Alternatively, you could make use of our Citation Submission Service – We offer 25 citations for £99 and that includes a free Citation Audit listing all of the citations that you already have and checking the NAP (Name Address Phone), settings for each one.

This is a well-known way of gaining prominence on Google in a way that they not only approve of but actually encourage!

If you haven’t got your Citation Flow sorted out it would be well worth your while to do so as soon as you can – websites nearly always climb up the rankings as a result of improving their CitationFlow and this is especially true of local businesses.