Citations are an online reference to a business that features the businesses name, address, and phone number or NAP. In search engine optimization, or SEO, citations refer to the online locations where your business information can be found. Citations are important, especially for local business listings, and can be found on business directories, websites, apps, and social platforms. Citations help people searching on the Internet to discover local businesses and can impact local search engine rankings.
For SEO, you ideally want 50 or more accurate citations. It’s important that your business name, address, and phone number are the same in all of these citations. Citations are considered a foundational factor in local SEO which means that citations alone won’t get you a number one ranking in searches, but having accurate and consistent citations brings credibility and visibility to your business. Having your business listed in trusted online directories sends signals to search engines that improves their degree of certainty that your business exists. If your business is listed in multiple places, and you change your address or phone number but don’t change them in all of those directories, this will flag to search engines that the information about your business may not be credible, and you may rank lower in searches. So it’s important to review your citations for accuracy which can be done through citation optimization, which is the process of updating your NAP in directories online.
A listing is basically the same as a citation. A listing includes the business name, address, and phone number like a citation, but it also includes additional information such as a website, hours of operation, images, etc.. Listings occur in local directories, websites, blogs, social media, or within apps and are important to help customers find you online and in real life.
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