What Are Citations (And Why Do They Matter For SEO)?

Correct and consistent citations are important for business owners who want to be found by potential customers on the internet (and who doesn't, right?).

Being in business is hard enough sometimes; just thinking about the effort involved behind the scenes can be exhausting - the planning, the organising, the doing and oh... the paperwork!!

But do we cover everything when our business details change?

You may have changed business location or connected your new 1800 number. Sure, you've informed your customers and updated your website and social pages (have you?). You've set up your new premises and it looks sweet. But, have you thought of your existing citations?

Just like the dictionary definition of 'citation' (which is a quote or form of reference to a book or scholarly work), an online citation is the internet's references to your business. Commonly referred to as your 'NAP' (Name, Address and Phone number), these citations are an important factor to getting local web traffic to your business.

Making sure your citations are correct and consistent is also key for your local search rankings. Google My Business, Yelp, True Local are all examples of online directories that are considered citation sites.

But what is the impact of incorrect or out of date info on a citation site. Think about this:

You've started a business. Things go well. There is a real need for your service.

You do the righty and pop your business details into some directories to get exposure, additional links and hopefully more business.

You do business for the next year or two and all is goooood.

You move out of the home office and set up a fancy office in town (you've done so well!!).

Your business phone number changes to a 1800 number. Your customers are going to LOVE that!

You forget to check your old citations and business goes on, although it has slowed down a bit.

But what about Bob? Bob needs what you are selling.

Bob looks online for sellers near him.

Bob may, or may not be this cat.

Bob sees your business, but it has two different numbers on two different sites.

Bob is a bit dubious about which number to call, or where you actually are.

Bob sees your competitor. It is clear where they are located and what number he needs to call. Your competitor made it easy for Bob.

Sad story is... you lost Bob - he had a couple of thousand to drop on a product just like your selling. Did you need Bob?

Google also penalises your site by dropping your ranking, because they don't really know where you are either. Did you even need Google anyway?

Ahem - yes you do.

3 TOP TIPS TO KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR CITATIONS... without making it too stressful on yourself.

1. Start with your Google My Business page and check how your business is listed. USE THE EXACT SAME COMBINATION to set up your NAP in any online directories you set up.

For example, if you listed on Google My Business as 31 Rainbow Court, make sure your business is listed as that in all your listings rather than 31 Rainbow Ct.

2. Keep a list of the online directories you have added your business too. It is easier to scan down a list and update all than to have to work out 2 years after you set them up, what you set up. Include your logins. Manage this as you would any marketing component to save time down the track.

3. If a citation site allows you to add more information such as business hours, photos or descriptors - add them in. The more details the better.

If you can't see why citations are important, try this search term in Google: 'Bunbury Cleaning Services'.

What do we see?

These directories take up 3 places on Page 1!

Getting your citations right and current is one part of your web traffic strategy and contributes to the authority of your business.

Here are a list of top 5 Australian online directories you can add your business to - just because we like to be helpful.

1. True local.


2 million estimated website visitors per month.

2. Hotfrog


95 000 estimated website visitors per month.

3. Sensis (Yellow Pages)


190 000 estimated website visitors per month.

4. Aussie Web


108 000 estimated website visitors per month.

5. Yelp


If you need help building your citations, you can contact Amberlen for help or you can do this manually. Happy citation building and updating!

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