A citation is any mention of your business on the Web. It may or may not link back to your website, but, when fully completed, will always include a complete and accurate NAP. NAP means Name, Address, Phone number. These represent the lifeblood of your business’s online presence. Ideally, this information precisely matches your Google listing.

Citations hold particular importance when it comes to local search. They are key to Google’s and other search engine’s determination of your business’s authority, online and offline prominence and relevance. They are one of the major contributors to this assessment. Quality citations play a fundamental role in local search ranking algorithms. The more citations you have across the Web that display consistent NAP information the larger footprint your company will have in local search rankings.

Search engines, particularly Google, flourish on their ability to provide consistently accurate information. Citations are no different. If your NAP does not appear exactly the same from citation to citation, it does not receive the same weight. What this means is that even when your citation is registered, if it is not in a consistent format with other citations online (particularly Google), you will not get the same benefit.

It appears that even small differences have an impact. For example, if you abbreviate a street address (Street vs. St., for example) it can impact the effectiveness of your efforts. Including a suite number in some listings and not in others appears to be even more damaging.

To determine how you stand now, Rowan Reputation Resources provides a free analytical tool that will show you were you show up and where you don’t and if there are any inconsistencies when you do. To get this report, click on https://bit.ly/checkmysites2019.

Once this information is in your hands (you should wait for the full emailed report rather than pay much attention to the immediately displayed one) you can set out fixing what is not accurate or consistent. This is where having a solid system for claiming sites is critical. Use a template and learn exactly where to put the information.

The report will also display your agency’s results for the key Data Aggregators (the sites that send you data to sites all over the Internet) and it will include results for about 40 other sites. The more you claim the better, of course. Each one will take between 10 and 25 minutes to complete.

Too much effort? Rowan Reputation Resources has a team of experienced citation claiming experts whose job it is to make sure everything is absolutely consistent across 65 sites (including the data aggregators). Compared to the time required to do this with less experience and established systems to ensure accuracy, the price of $397 will prove to be a bargain. To find out more, click HERE and type “Citations” in the More Information box.

That being said, there is no “magic formula” to the process and you can do it yourself if you have the time to do so. It is absolutely worth the cost or effort to do so.