What Are Citations?
Simply put, citations are a fancy internet term for any online reference to your business. Citations generally include your business website, name, address, and phone number among other things. Like backlinks (websites who link back to your website), Google uses them as a factor when evaluating your ranking position. Examples of citations webpages include Yelp!, Bing, Yellow Pages, FourSquare, Google Maps, City Squares, Chamber of Commerce, Merchant Circle, as well as close to 50 other websites.
Should I Care About My Citations?
We think so. To what level you should be engaging in a citations strategy will depend on each businesses local competition as well as how they want to go about managing their citations. Even the smallest business can benefit from citation management. Google has said they use your citations as a factor when ranking your website. Additionally, for certain keywords, your local citation could show up first, so it’s important that information is accurate.
Additionally, Google cross references websites that include your business information for accuracy. Additional, many of these citations/directory websites will automatically generate a listing for you (which is super obnoxious most of the time) without you even knowing it. It’s possible the information they list is incorrect and that would be seen as a conflict.
- The number of quality accurate local citation listings can affect your search rankings
- A robust, accurate citation set on major platforms
- Awareness, discovery, and correction of inaccurate data
- Permanent closure of duplicate local business listings
What Are My Options?
It’s our belief that most businesses should have a strategy for managing their citations.
So what should you do? First, you need to figure out how you want to manage your citations. There are a few strategies when it comes to managing citations and which strategy you partake of will be contingent on how much time you want to spend on your citations as well as how competitive your location is.
The first strategy is a passive approach. A business will pick a list of websites that they’d like to have their listings on and then they manual go about updating that information. Most businesses update their listings once and then forget about it – simply because they don’t have time to mess with it and then they forget about it.
The second (better) strategy is an active citations management approach. A business will pick as many websites as they think they can manage and then they go about managing their citations as actively as possible. Regardless of whether you will ever change your phone number, website, or business description, your online business information isn’t as set in stone – office hours change all the time! Therefore, the benefit to the second strategy is that your information is always accurate.
So… What’s The Problem?
When it comes to actively managing your citations and listings, there are a few problems that always creep up. Keeping all your business information up to date is hard work. No one really wants to log into tons of different websites and update business information, especially if your business information is regularly changing. Ask anyone who has tried to manually manage the citations of a business who’s office hours constantly change, or they moved addresses, or they went through a rebrand. It’s tedious, frustrating work!
Additionally, not all listing websites and created equal. Google can actually punish you for listing your business on certain websites. This presents another problem: How can you possibly keep track of which directories and listing websites are safe?
The great news is that ClearPG has built a robust citations management panel that can integrate with your existing client dashboard. If you’re curious about activating it and managing your citations through your ClearPG dashboard, we’d love to have that conversation with you!
In the ClearPG citations panel, you can update all of your information with the click of a button. Additionally, we help you manage with directories and listing websites are safe and have the most benefit.
Citation Client Dashboard Features
- Actively see which citation listings have been updated and which are in process
- See all reviews in one place that were left on Google, Facebook, and Yelp!
- Easily update all your listings information in one place.
- Manage business information uniformly across major local business listings (Hours, Address, and Description)