The Importance of Directories and Citations

Getting your business found on the internet is, of course, crucial to success. Showing up in local directories that are relevant to your product or service builds your online authority, which is used by search engines in search rankings.

If you Google your business name, you will likely see listings in multiple directories. You may not even have put them out there, but getting listed in as many relative directories as possible is very important. It’s important to claim those listings, as well as to verify your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) are consistent across these listings. If there are inconsistencies, the search engines will be confused and think there are multiple businesses, which can hurt your rankings on Google Maps considerably.

Listings Can Improve Your SEO

Citations are mentions of your business NAP on other websites and directories, with or without backlinks to your website. Citations can be great in boosting your overall SEO score, so the more citations you have, the better you’ll rank. This is because the search engines consider your business more authentic and legitimate when it is listed accurately across multiple reputable directories. Citations increase general awareness of your business and provide more ways for people to find you online.

Being listed on directories that are relevant to your business can help with rankings in your “niche”. For example, if you have a dental practice, there are directories specific to that function.

Being listed in directories will especially improve your local SEO score. If you have a business that has a brick and mortar store in a particular location, you probably are looking to be found within that geographical area. Google and other search engines will use your NAP and match it to the location where the search is initiated. Also, if a search phrase includes a “geo tag” (specifying a location, like “dentist in Philadelphia”), the search engines will troll the directories and citations to produce the results.

Accuracy Is Critical

Online business citations need to be regularly checked for completeness and accuracy. Search engines and online directories all share information about your business, and a single piece of bad information can get passed along throughout the online community and wreak havoc on your efforts to drive traffic to your website.

Incorrect listings could be caused by several issues. Some reasons could be changing your business location or phone number, using a toll-free phone number instead of a local number, use of a different phone number to track advertising response, using different trade names or variations of your business name, and creating a brand new listing instead of correcting an existing one.

Sources for Getting Citations

First and foremost, know the 5 kinds of sites on which you will need to get listed:

  1. Data-aggregators- i.e. sites creating the basic business database for local search directories (e.g. LocalEze).
  2. Horizontal directories (e.g. Yelp).
  3. Industry-specific directories
  4. Region-specific sites
  5. Sites providing “unstructured” citations like blogs, newspaper websites, event listing websites, job websites, government sites, etc.
  6. Alternative sources, like blogs, press releases, online forums, social media, articles, guest posts, etc.

Philadelphia SEO for Growth Can Help!

Going through the process of adding, claiming and verifying your business listing on multiple directories can be a time-consuming process, but the results are worth it. Most local directory websites will allow you to claim your business listing on them one by one. It’s a long, tedious task, but it’s an important piece to your digital marketing puzzle. You can claim the listings yourself, but that’s not your only option.

At Philadelphia SEO for Growth, we have the tools and resources to expedite the process of claiming and verifying your business’s citations and listings on directories. We have the expertise to determine which directories and sites offer the best return for your niche.-

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