What is a citation?
Before we get to the heart of the topic, let’s explain what a citation actually is. A citation is reference to your business online. Most commonly for smaller businesses these citations will come from websites like Yellowpages, LocalSearch and LocalDirectories, who will list your website and all of your associated contact details.
So why is this important?
Google’s approach to this is similar to a process that humans use to distinguish an appropriate and credible vendor. Let’s say for a second you are in the market to buy brand new TV. When you are thinking of making a purchase are you more likely to trust a person selling products out of their home or a business with a store location?
So the answer is quite simple, credibility. Citations will help prove to Google and other search engines that you are a legitimate business, with an established location and that you have been around long enough to be listed in a number directories online.
Having said that, multiple listings with inconsistent or outdated information all over the web won’t do you any favours either. You will want to ensure that the information being listed across these citations are correct and up to date.
Checking your citations and references to your business online should always be considered as a part of a comprehensive, overall SEO strategy.