Local Business Listings – Citations
When directories change their basic information about your business, discrepancies can occur. Business Listings – Citations are defined as mentions of your business Name, Address and Phone number (known as your NAP) on other web pages – even if there is no link to your website. An example of a citation might be an online yellow pages directory where your business is listed but is not linked. Citations can also be found on local chamber of commerce pages, or on a local business association page that includes your business information.
Back in the old days of the printed yellow pages, you only had to worry about one listing being correct in your local phone book. Now, whether you know it or not, your business is already listed on many digital search portals both correctly and in a majority of cases, incorrectly, while your business is missing altogether from other important directories.
Why a consistent NAP record for your business is important, particularly for local businesses, is that Google looks at the accuracy, frequency and consistency of a NAP record when determining who shows up on Google Local 3-pack, commonly known as being on Google Maps when a search is performed, now simply called Google Local.
Our citation process starts by gathering the correct identifying information of your business from you, along with other information and then verifying it with the US Postal Service online database as this is the source Google uses to verify the validity of your information. Vanity addresses, such as the use of substitute characters or an abbreviated address, that are different and contrary to what the USPS database says your address is will only lessen the impact of citation efforts by creating a discrepancy. If you have multiple business locations, this must be repeated for each location. Business citations are a one-time fee service, although many clients elect to undergo the citation process annually or semi-annually due to the ever changing status and reliability of citation sources.