According to a recent survey among local search experts, citations are still an important ranking factor for local SEO. What you have to keep in mind is that the quality of citations is more essential than their quantity. When choosing the right website for a citation, you should look for those sites within the suitable industry or niche.
Local Citations are mentions of a business together with its name and address on other websites - with or without a hyperlink. For example, a citation can be an entry in the Yellow Pages or a listing on the website of an organization like the chamber of commerce. Search engines like Google or Bing use Local Citations to verify if a business really exists. The more citations there are available about a business, the better.
A recent survey among local search experts shows that citations are still an important ranking factor for local SEO.
Local Citations: still important ranking factor for local SEO
Compared to the results of the survey of 2015, the relevance of citations has slightly decreased: While last year 55 percent of the experts said that citations were critical for local search, in 2016 only 33 percent shared this opinion. On the other hand, in the recent survey 57 percent said that citations were very important - compared to 45 percent in 2015.
Here are the most oustanding findings of the survey:
- According to 90 percent of the experts, citations are critical or very important for local rankings.
- 86 percent of the experts say that quality of citations goes over quantity.
- Choosing the proper industry is critical when selecting websites to place citations on.
- Specific directories for niches or industries yield the highest authority for citations - according to 33 percent of the experts.
- The correct formatting of the address in citations is important but not critical, 21 percent of the experts say.
- 61 percent say that "Rich Citations" with additional information like images, desription or opening hours are very important.
In the survey 21 local search experts were consulted. The survey was conducted for the third time (after 2013 and 2015). In total the experts had to answer 17 questions like "Are citations more or less important than 12 months ago?"
The complete survey can be found here.
Cover image © Rob hyrons - Fotolia.com