what are citations in seo

What Are Citations In SEO

Citations are one of the most important parts of any local seo campaign. They provide free foundational links for any business and also send trust signals to search engines that your business is authentic.

What Are the Types of Citations?

There are two main categories of citations: structured and unstructured. In addition to these main citation types, we also have a couple that are less publicized: local citations and niche-specific citations.

What are Structured Citations

Structured citation – A citation that has a link to the website in addition to your NAP (name, address, phone number). This is the most common type of citation from the plethora of online directories.

What Are Unstructured Citations?

Unstructured Citation – An unstructured citation doesn’t contain a website link. They are often referred to as “online mentions” because they reference your brand without linking to your website.

Unstructured citations do not need to follow any set format. However, there are some guidelines that writers should keep in mind while creating them.

  • Keep the information accurate
  • Try to include a URL even if it doesn’t hyperlink
  • Utilize keywords where possible
  • Don’t get mentions from poor online assets like spam websites

What Are Local Citations

Local citations are citations that live on directories with a “home base” in your target market. These types of links send a strong signal to search engines because you are in the same geographical area. A great example of a local citation you want for your brand would be the local chamber of commerce.

What Are Niche Specific Citations

Niche-specific citations are citations that are specific to your niche or trade. The biggest thing here is that if there are directories focused on your niche, you get listed, even at a price. If they don’t apply to you, don’t even bother getting listed. An example could be Avvo, a directory for finding legal counsel. It wouldn’t make sense for plumbers to try to get listed there.

How to Pick the Right Citations

When picking which citations to add, think about your niche. If they just aren’t a fit for you then don’t waste time. Nobody searching on a niche specific site will use your services if they differ from their needs, same with location. If you aren’t in their area, don’t get listed on their localized directories.

Why Citations Are Important

Because citations are so important, it’s essential that you know how to pick the best ones. When choosing citations, you want to choose those that are going to provide value to your customers. For instance, if a customer is searching for a good restaurant nearby, he or she would want to see reviews from people who have been there recently. He or she wouldn’t care about reviews from five years ago. Good rehab center search engine optimization practices will get citations completed right out of the blocks.

How to Get Your Citations Listed

There are many ways to get your citations listed. You could hire someone to do it or start creating them yourself. While each platform differs, it takes anywhere from 10 minutes to half hour to create each one. If you start with a list, you can bang them off one by one and be done in no time.