Small businesses can benefit a lot from consumer citations online. Citations are basically references made to a particular product by the online community. These references can be in form of posts, comments or reviews posted in any kind of online platform. Every time a consumer references a particular product online in a positive light, search engines that index the web pick up this information and use it increase the visibility of the product as part of SEO. These citations therefore can be very effective forms of SEO for a small business due to a couple of reasons that include:
Increase of contextual value of the brand
All the big search engines work using algorithms that rank brands according to the interest they generate. A brand that attracts a lot of online attention thus will be deemed more valuable by the search engine. This in turn prompts the search engine to rank the particular product higher than others, making it visible to more people.
Citations increase indirect marketing
Many brands become successful based on customer loyalty. A brand that has a lot of positive reviews going online will definitely create a buzz around it where consumers discuss things like what they like about the brand. These discussions lead to referrals, multiple positive reviews, and more sales overall. It has been established by research that most brands that have good ratings online have better credibility among consumers.
Search engines value orderly information
The most basic information about a particular business like its name and address are very valuable bits of information to search engines. This kind of information, often referred to as NAP, is the fundamental gateway to products as it links consumers to brands. It is therefore important for businesses to maintain consistency across all platforms when providing NAP as it increases its visibility to both the consumers and search engines.