How To Write A Citation For A Local Business Listing

by | Jul 10, 2017 | How to.. | 0 comments

What is a citation?

In its simplest form, a citation is an online mention of your business name.

For small local businesses these citations are an excellent way to help develop and grow your site traffic.  As search engines use citations in their search algorithm, having more quality citations than a competitor in your field will help your rankings increase.

Most listing directories are free and as a new small business free is always good.  Some will give you the opportunity to pay for the up-levelled service but in my opinion there is very little point in paying for this service.

Never mind the quantity…

There are so many directories and other forums for you to list your business but I recommend that you choose wisely.  A low number of good quality citations outweigh the benefit of a huge quantity of those which may be below standard.  A good quality listing site or directory will require verification of your business to prove that you are a real business owner. This could be done by phone or by sending a postcard to your business address.

Citations help people to find your business which, after all, is what you are hoping for. The other thing to note is that the citation doesn’t necessarily have a link to your website.

The NAP

There are three main components needed for an effective citation:

Name
Address
Phone

Commonly known as the NAP.

A citation can consist of one or two of the NAP but won’t carry the same weight as having the three together.

Having your NAP on a range of directories sounds simple enough but there are some things that will give your citation more credence in the world of business and the search engines.

Consistency is the Key

Although it sounds a simple task to add the NAP to directories there is a system that will ensure you build a reputation of professionalism and credence within your local community and the search engines.

BE CONSISTENT

Wherever your business is mentioned whether on your website, social media, business directories etc, make sure that your Name, Address and Phone number are identical.

It doesn’t matter which style you use as long as it is the only one you use.

Although Business directories are a popular way of listing your business, mentions can also be found in: press releases, forums and social media to name but a few.

Other Information for your Listing 

When submitting citations there are a number of other criteria you may need before you are allowed to be listed.  Before starting to apply for listing I suggest you create a document with the following information that you can copy and paste to any application.

Along with the NAP you may need:

    • Business opening hours
    • Website URL
    • A short description of your business (this only needs to be a few sentences)
    • A longer paragraph or two describing your business more fully
    • Any awards you or your business may have
    • The category of your business
    • The number of employees
    • Date of the creation of the business
    • List of products or services
    • Your business logo

Having this information easily accessible on your computer before you start the listing process will save you time and make the applications feel less tedious.

Another tip is to create a spreadsheet to keep track of all your citations. Below is a screenshot showing suggested column headings to keep your citations organised.

Listing your business shouldn’t be a one off task.  Keep a look out for any quality opportunities to list your business and make sure you keep the original ones up to date.

Is your business listed in a directory not mentioned above?  Let me know so I can add it to the list:)

If you need any help in setting up or organising your citations, let me know and I’ll be happy to lend a hand.

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What is a citation

In its simplest form, a citation is an online mention of your business name.

For small local businesses these citations are an excellent way to help develop and grow your site traffic.  As search engines use citations in their search algorithm, having more quality citations than a competitor in your field will help your rankings increase.

Most listing directories are free and as a new small business free is always good.  Some will give you the opportunity to pay for the up-levelled service but in my opinion there is very little point in paying for this service.

Never mind the quantity…

There are so many directories and other forums for you to list your business but I recommend that you choose wisely.  A low number of good quality citations outweigh the benefit of a huge quantity of those which may be below standard.  A good quality listing site or directory will require verification of your business to prove that you are a real business owner. This could be done by phone or by sending a postcard to your business address.

Citations help people to find your business which, after all, is what you are hoping for. The other thing to note is that the citation doesn’t necessarily have a link to your website.

The NAP

There are three main components needed for an effective citation:

Name
Address
Phone

Commonly known as the NAP.

A citation can consist of one or two of the NAP but won’t carry the same weight as having the three together.

Having your NAP on a range of directories sounds simple enough but there are some things that will give your citation more credence in the world of business and the search engines.

Consistency is the Key

Although it sounds a simple task to add the NAP to directories there is a system that will ensure you build a reputation of professionalism and credence within your local community and the search engines.

BE CONSISTENT

Wherever your business is mentioned whether on your website, social media, business directories etc, make sure that your Name, Address and Phone number are identical.

NAP Consistency                                                                                                          It doesn’t matter which style you use as long as it is the only one you use.

 

Although Business directories are a popular way of listing your business, mentions can also be found in: press releases, forums and social media to name but a few.

Other Information for your Listing 

When submitting citations there are a number of other criteria you may need before you are allowed to be listed.  Before starting to apply for listing I suggest you create a document with the following information that you can copy and paste to any application.

Along with the NAP you may need:

    • Business opening hours
    • Website URL
    • A short description of your business (this only needs to be a few sentences)
    • A longer paragraph or two describing your business more fully
    • Any awards you or your business may have
    • The category of your business
    • The number of employees
    • Date of the creation of the business
    • List of products or services
    • Your business logo

Having this information easily accessible on your computer before you start the listing process will save you time and make the applications feel less tedious.

 

Another tip is to create a spreadsheet to keep track of all your citations. Below is a screenshot showing suggested column headings to keep your citations organised.
Citation screenshot

 

Below are some directories specifically for UK businesses.

  • www.118.com
  • www.192.com
  • www.approvedbusiness.co.uk
  • www.brownbook.net
  • www.businesslist.co.uk
  • www.city-listings.co.uk
  • www.citylocal.co.uk
  • www.cityvisitor.co.uk
  • www.cylex-uk.co.uk
  • www.freeindex.co.uk
  • www.fyple.co.uk
  • www.hotfrog.co.uk
  • www.listz.co.uk
  • www.local-buzz.co.uk
  • www.localdatasearch.com
  • www.locallife.co.uk
  • www.localmole.co.uk
  • www.localstore.co.uk
  • www.misterwhat.co.uk
  • www.moreuk.com
  • www.mylocalservices.co.uk
  • www.mysheriff.co.uk
  • www.opendi.co.uk
  • www.scoot.co.uk
  • www.smilelocal.com
  • www.thelocalweb.net
  • www.thomsonlocal.com
  • www.ufindus.com
  • www.uk-local-search.co.uk
  • www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk
  • www.wampit.co.uk
  • www.yalwa.co.uk
  • www.yell.com
  • www.yelp.co.uk

Listing your business shouldn’t be a one off task.  Keep a look out for any quality opportunities to list your business and make sure you keep the original ones up to date.

Is your business listed in a directory not mentioned above?  Let me know so I can add it to the list:)

If you need any help in setting up or organising your citations, let me know and I’ll be happy to lend a hand.

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