Proper internet marketing consists of lot of little things which add up in a big way, and citation management is among the most essential. It may sound obvious, but the company’s information is important, and search engines will treat it as such. It falls to the company, then, to make sure this information is correct everywhere it is listed. That’s all, though, because there are many, many directories on the web that can provide a boost to a company as long as they get listed. And it may not sound like a lot of work, but new directories are added all the time and hunting them down can be taxing. Fortunately, it’s something that a marketing firm can take over and steer for a business.
What is citation management and why is it important for a business?
Every time a company’s name or address is mentioned on another site, it’s known as a citation. This includes mentions that aren’t accompanied by a link, so it’s conceivable that a business can build up hundreds of them in short order. Google and other search engines use these mentions to build a complete picture of a company because if there’s one thing Google hates, it’s a lack of information. Even if a business has a nicely built, well-organized site, Google is going to hunt for more information on the company, and if it doesn’t line up just right, the business may take a hit to its relevance, and possibly its rankings as a result.
Where these mentions end up is a major consideration, as is the exact formatting of the company’s information. Reputable directories, like chambers of commerce and highly trafficked sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, are considered respected sources of information by Google, and if a business maintains listings in these directories, Google is much more likely to trust the company’s information. And the more Google trusts a company’s information, the higher the business will find itself in the rankings.
Of course, this is only true if the business’s information is formatted just right, and if the company is placed in the correct directories. For example, an independent plumber decides to list their business on a bunch of directories, including directories that list electricians. After all, the more mentions, the better, right? In this case, no, because Google will index all of those directories and will not be able to figure out if the plumber is actually a plumber, or an electrician. This conflict will be reflected in the plumber’s search rankings.
Finally, citation management is concerned with information formatting, as Google will consider even the tiniest discrepancy in two mentions as a problem. Something as simple as a missed period in an address abbreviation or a single typo can invalidate a mention. With enough of these mistakes, a business will be working against itself, in a way.
Internet marketing experts are skilled at securing the kind of mentions that are considered favorable by Google. And as additional directories open up and there are extra platforms for a company to gain recognition, a marketing expert will be there to ensure it happens. It’s that kind of focused effort that will keep a business relevant for as long as possible.