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What are Citations?

What are citations and do I need them?

In simple terms a citation is quite simply a reference to your business somewhere on the internet.  So for instance if someone posts on their blog “I just passed my test with Exel Driving School” that is, in the broadest sense a citation. Google sees it and it may give credibility to your business in terms of higher search ranking as a result (although in reality one mention like that is going to make very little difference.

Now going into SEO terminology a citation is normally referred to as an entry on a website which is normally a directory type of website. The prime example would be Yell.com. If you have an entry that Google can see is clearly your business then Google thinks “this is a good business because it has an entry at this/these directories.

For SEO purposes your entry needs to have your NAP. Name, address and phone number. Also it is very important that all your entries at these types of website have exactly the same and 100% correct information. So, for instance if your address is “1B High Street” you don’t want variations used such as 1b High St, 1b highstreet, 1B High street. Also it is important that you use your exact business name with no variations. So variations such as Exel Driving School, Exel Driver training, Exel Driving Lessons, Exel Driving London are not good. You need one business name that is always consistent. These type of citations will also most likely have a link to your website.

Citations are valuable especially for ranking well in the Google Business listing and maps listing. The reason being that they say that your business is a credible local business. Google wants to list good credible businesses and so it pays a lot of attention  to citations for its business listings (usually the first 3 listings in a local search).

However the answer isn’t to just go out and get loads of citations. What you need is citations from good quality sites like Yell.com. There are literally thousands of spammy directories where you can get listed and plenty of people offering to get you listed in 30 or 50 of them for just $5. These citations will bring you very little benefit and in fact can actually harm your site’s ranking.

 

An example of a citation is here – https://www.fyple.co.uk/company/exel-driving-rpho0ir/