Citations – Everything you need to know

 

Today I am going to write a little about citations and their use in local SEO.
There is a lot of confusion on the subject, so lets clear that up!

Directory da pa
yelp.com 94 87
Issuu.com 94 95
foursquare.com 90 91
business.intuit.com 88 68
merchantcircle.com 86 61
manta.com 85 61

I presume you would love some Citations?from directories and other sources of NAP listings, such as those above pointing straight at your site right?

First, you should make sure that your GMB Listing (Google my Business listing) is created, verified, and filled out 100%. You can do this either manually or by using a service that instantly verifies the listing for you.

Traditionally, we create citations in order to send a signal to Google that notifies them we are working at this address, essentially saying, “Please, please rank us in the maps listings on Google!” Companies, such as PBN Butler, can help you with the tedious process of creating a list of citation sources to submit that are niche and GEO specific. They are also able to then execute the process of submitting your details and individually verifying them to each citation source.

Some customers ask us, “Why aren’t all citations live directly after submission?” and “Why are they submitted as a screen-share of instead of a live link?”

This unfortunately is due to the amount of spammy requests that the directories get on a daily basis, so a lot of directories have decided to no longer allow automatically verified submissions. This means that the submissions can take up to 6 weeks to be reviewed by a site administrator.

Once your citations have gone live, we usually ping them to make sure they index nicely and start working their magic for you!

Another question we get asked almost every day:
“My customer has moved addresses and their citations are all over the place, can you clean this up for me?”

Citation cleanup is a tedious process, but is worth the trouble!
Let’s assume your customer has moved around a bit, and has citations in different directories with all kinds of different NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) details. These inconsistencies are not exactly ideal for your rankings.
Here is how you can fix it;
In the unlikely event that your customer has a full record of every citation they have created, and has taken note of the login details for all, you can then log in to each one and edit them.
Unfortunately, most clients will not have those details. Without record of the citations you can only claim/edit about 10-20% of all live listings immediately. Once you have done that, the best method is to email the admins of each directory and ask them to remove/update your listing. This is the cleanest method of updating the NAP details on the directory, and will get you the best results. Again, this is something PBN Butler can do for you!

Lets say you have done all this and your customer now has a fantastic amount of citations from niche relevant, geo targeted citation sources. Surely, you want to really benefit from those citations for your organic rankings too right?
Don’t worry, there is also a method to this madness;
Build high quality contextual links to your citations, maybe 100 – 200 to each citation! While this is some effort, the benefits you will receive are absolutely shocking!
If you don’t have the time or tools to do this yourself, PBN Butler will boost your citations for you!

graph2

 

(Above) The direction?in which the contextual links are built.

Citation Boosting

 

(above) Some results from a citation boosting campaign

Here are some other ideas on how to get high quality Citations:

Image Distribution:
Your image gets distributed via a network of high quality sites that allow a comment with the image. Next, GEO?tag the image and add your full NAP in the comment. Index and build links. Voila another HQ citation!

Video Distribution:
You create a short video about your business (30 seconds will do), upload that video to different sites, YT/Vimeo etc. and add your NAP in the description, build links, and off you go!

Press Release (PR) Distribution:
You write a great press release about how your business has come to the area and is ready to receive business at location x (enter you NAP here). Then you send your PR out via the newswire (a service that distributes your PR to relevant news sources), you get great publicity as well as a citation!

These three services will be available with PBN Butler from the beginning of June!

Quick Look at How Important Citations are for Local Search Rankings

 

A recent study from Bright Local shed some light into the importance of local search citations in relations to search rankings.

In their study, 22 local experts were asked to provide their insights and opinions regarding the subject matter. Since it?s already 2015, Bright Local keyed in on how effective and relevant local search citations are at this day and age.

The saying that ?The only constant in this world is change? holds true for local search results. Year after year, the dynamics of local search results changes. What works this year, might not work next year. This is what makes the recent study all the more important.

Expert Citation Survey by the Numbers

When it comes to Local Search Ranking Factors, External Location Signals sits at a good spot with 15.5% of the overall rankings. It only trails behind On-Page Signals and Link Signals in the overall pie.

Citation volume will forever be looked at as an integral part of local search rankings, but according to the recent study, 71% of the experts agreed that the quality of citations is more important than quantity. As with anything, quality always trumps quantity. No matter how many citations you have, if they are?low and mediocre quality, then you?re not going anywhere.

Basically ? It?s better to have a few, yet strong and high quality citations rather than hundreds of crappy citations.

55% of the experts say that accurate citations are critical to local search ranking. Keyword there is ?accurate?. Honestly, citations are a waste if it?s not accurately done. It?s best to make sure that everything?s been double checked and polished to make sure that you get the most out of your citations.

45% of the surveyed experts claim that existing citations should be updated before creating new ones. It?s important to clean up existing data issues before anything else. Make sure that everything?s polished before you go about building new citations.

Duplicate citations should be merged or deleted according to 57% of the experts. This is pretty much common sense. There?s really no reason why you should keep duplicate citations. It can cause some negative repercussions if there are a lot of duplicate citations since it?s pretty much useless.

Say you bought an iPhone 6 Plus yesterday? Do you really need to buy another iPhone 6 Plus today? Same thing applies with citations.

And lastly, Local Gov sites are rated to be the highest unstructured citation sites (20%). Local SEOs are still focusing on Local Gov sites because they are projected to be high quality and trustworthy.

Learning to Adapt

As an SEO practitioner or a business owner, it?s important to know the basics in citations. Knowing what works and what doesn?t is crucial for beginners and experts alike.

The real secret in this industry is learning to adapt. What works today, might not work tomorrow so it?s best to always stay alert and quick on your feet.

By knowing, you already won half the battle, so it?s up to you to keep up and take action!
Another option is, to hire the pro’s like PBN Butler and let them manage your citations for you!