SEO building blocks

Understanding the Different Types of SEO Citations

Citations are mentions for your business on a different website. They may link to your site, but that is not mandatory. They are essential for search engine optimization because algorithms use them to rank your site compared to your competition. Local businesses need more citations to appear on the first pages of the search results. Note that you may need to verify that you are indeed a business, with an address, so that you earn credibility.

Most businesses want to know from a digital marketing service provider in Virginia Beach if all citations are equal. They are not. Big sites will carry more weight. Additionally, being featured in local directories reinforce your place in the business community. The popularity of your local platform and the content on your site will help you appear more trustworthy. Note that most people look for small businesses online, first. Below are common citation types:

Structured citations

These citations are likely to be featured in high-quality directories. They often have an address, business ID and will be formatted with metadata for search engines. They are typically yellow page directories that are organized by the type of business and where it is located. They resemble traditional hard copy yellow pages. It is advisable to pay more attention to directories specific to where your business is located. Ideally, one should look for organizations where they can become members and gain listings.

Unstructured citations

someone using the laptop

These citations show up in many types, but they will typically include the business name, phone number, and address. However, these do not have to be rigidly structured. In some cases, the citations may be part of the name of your business and the address, or maybe just the phone number. Such citations come from different places, including social media platforms. Sites like Twitter allow you to include a location and phone number in the bio. On LinkedIn, you can include an address.

There are numerous opportunities to have unstructured citations. One only has to engage their imagination. Whether you own a podcast, a YouTube channel, or even blog posts, you can cite without structure as a way to improve organic results for the search.

Co-occurring keywords

When building a structured citation, the SEO specialist will look for opportunities where they can describe your business. Even in unstructured citations, descriptions need to use keywords that can improve listings. The idea here is to create relationships between your keywords and brand. One should always use trusted anchor texts with the care not to spam.

As search engines use citations to determine the sites to rank first, they trust some citations more than others. As a rule of thumb, one must always pick ones that prove them to be who they claim to be. The hardest part may be when a business is required to verify its legitimacy through phone calls or postcodes. In principle, while any mention of your business might be useful, one might want to zoom in on the honorable mentions. It’s best to work with a reliable SEO company to ensure the effectiveness of your citations.