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Simple SEO Tip For Small Businesses: Local Citations

I specialize in translating online marketing jargon into plain English. If you’re running a small business, especially a small business with a local focus like dentistry, self storage, legal, or accounting services, and have looked into running a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, chances are you’ve run into the term “citations” or “web citations.” Nobody wants to look like a fool, and upon hearing the term you may have thought, “Citations? What the heck are those? Well, better just nod my head and act like I know what this web geek guy is talking about.” To make you feel better, allow me to confess that I run an online marketing firm, and I thought the same thing the first time I heard about citations from one of my employees.


What Is A Citation?

It’s not Google’s version of a speeding ticket. The kind of citation I’m talking about is a good thing. Loosely defined, any time someone mentions your company on their website, that’s a citation. You might also call it a reference, shout out, or mention, but in SEO-speak it’s a citation. Is it a citation even if there isn’t a link to your business? Yes. What if it’s just the name and nothing else? Well, yes, you could still call it a citation, although a citation is more effective if it’s not just the name of your company with a logo link, but the company name accompanied by a phone number, address, or other identifying information that tells search engines exactly who you are. For example, my firm is named “MWI,” which is a rather generic name that is shared by perhaps hundreds of other companies around the world (we even ran into a few in Asia when we decided to open a branch office in Hong Kong). Unless the name of my firm is accompanied by a link, phone number, address, or other identifying information it’s difficult for Google or any other search engines to know if that citation belongs to my firm or one of the other MWIs in the world. by Joshua Steimle Read the rest of his article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2013/11/07/simple-seo-tip-for-small-businesses-local-citations/

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Sara Ohara
sara@saraohara.com
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