Which and why citations are important to the success of your local business.

We want to people to find our business on the web right?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) sounds really technical and many business owners can be really anxious about knowing where to start. Business citations however are an easy way to get a lot of leverage for your business website and it creates lots of alternative ways that potential customers can find you. Citations are a great way to increase your online visibility and it’s one of the SEO tactics that you can easily do yourself.

So what are business citations

Business citations are just mentions of your business name and address on other websites, sometimes referred to as your NAP (Name, Address, Phone). A common example of a citation is the Yellow Pages where your business is possibly listed. You can also find citations across Google Maps, your local chamber website, Yelp and TripAdvisor, Whitepages and many more sites.

How do citations help my business

Business citations are help your business in at least three main ways.

Citations are great for SEO. Let’s say there were two builders and each had their own website. All things being equal the builder with more citations will probably rank higher in Google than the one who has less. Going further, not all directories area given the same weight. Listing with more established directories gives your site even more credibility in search rankings. At the end of the day Google trusts citations.

The more citations you have the more chances people will find you. This is just logical. People search Google, but they also search other directory sites (like Yellow Pages). Being on multiple directories increases the chance of being found. You might even find you get to a point where you have multiple listings on the first page of Google including your website and some of directory listings you own.

Citations give you online credibility. It’s hard to fake your membership with your local Chamber or another business index. There is a subtle element of trust when people find your business listed on directory sites. Typically the more citations your business has the more you appear like an established and stable business.

Where do I start?

With so many business directories out there it’s hard to work out which ones to focus on or which ones will give you the most leverage and exposure. Below I’ve listed my Top 10 business directory picks for you.

  1. Yellow Pages
  2. TrueLocal
  3. StartLocal
  4. Yelp
  5. WhitePages
  6. Local
  7. Aussieweb
  8. Eatability
  9. dLook
  10. WoMo
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And now it’s over to you. Is your business listed on many directories?  Do you think it “moves the needle” in helping customers find you? Let us know in the comments below.