If you are interested in Local SEO, you must have heard of citations and business directories before as a ranking factor on Google.
Although citations are not as important anymore as they once were, they are still worth your time and effort!
What is a citation?
A citation is any place on the web that allows you to place your NAP (name, address, phone number).
Typically these are business directories and social media sites. Some of them even allow links to your site or supporting images.
For example, Yellow Pages, Aussie Web, but also social media sites like Facebook and Twitter count as “citations”, because they all display your business name, address and phone number in a listing!
When it comes to your citations, it’s very important that your so-called NAP details (Name, Address, Phone Number) are consistent all over the web. We don’t want to confuse or misdirect Google!
Sometimes you may hear the term “NAPU” (Name, Address, Phone Number, URL), because the URL you use, especially if you have multiple locations and listings, is very important as well!
Citations vs Backlinks?
If you are new to SEO you might get a bit confused about the difference between citations and backlinks.
Basically, citations are mentions of your business’ NAP details anywhere on the web, with OR without a link. Links could be DoFollow or NoFollow
Backlinks are business mentions on the web (could be your business name, url, anchor text, etc.) linking back to your website. When it comes to backlinks, we are most interested in DoFollow links!
DoFollow vs NoFollow?
DoFollow links allow google (all search engines) to follow them and reach our website. You can see them as a “vote” for your website and they pass on link juice.
NoFollow links do not allow search engines to crawl and follow them. They are basically just a mention in Google’s eyes. They do not pass on link juice.
How do we find them citations?
You can use both manual research and competitor analysis to find relevant citation sources.
But if you want to have a shortcut, then check out the list below… It’s our list of the Top 40 free local business directories you must submit your business to!