How Many Citations Do You Need To Compete?
Having regular citations is an important factor for the local SEO strategy of any local business. When a consistent mentioning of the name, phone number, and address of a business is present across the Internet, there is a better chance of being found by Internet users and a better chance of being ranked well by Google in local search results.
Studies have shown a direct correlation between the number of local citations and local rankings. The importance of citations is undeniable, however, many business owners are unsure about the number of citations needed to compete and achieve a better exposure through search engines. Businesses ranked within the top ten positions of local search rankings were found to have approximately 75-86 citations on average. However, the number of citations needed may depend on the industry.
Citations make an impact, but the question remains: how many citations do you need to compete? And what are the most effective strategies for implementing those citations?
Data About Citations
A detailed study performed to answer these questions found clear evidence on the necessity of citations and also provided insight into the number of citations needed and the best sites to list on in order to compete. Over 120,000 local businesses were studied across a wide range of industries checking into the average number of citations within their individual industries, number of citations for the top ranking businesses and the most popular citations sites.
Among the key findings, the study revealed that local businesses ranking within the top 10 listings had 81 average citations, with a 108 median. Businesses ranking within the top three search engine results had an average number of 85 citations. Businesses ranking at position 10 showed to have fewer citations with an average of 75.
In regards to specific industries, businesses within the hospitality industry consistently produced the highest number of citations. Hotels listed at the top followed by businesses such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants. The lowest number of citations was found to be among photographers and tradesmen. On average, hotels accounted for 152 citations, followed by bars at 124, and restaurants at 108, while photographers only produced 34 average citations. Close behind the hospitality industry, the medical and dental industries were found to have an average of 101-107 citations. For these industries, it is extremely important to be both visible and accessible in order to generate business providing a clear connection for the importance of citations.
The study also showed the importance of not only having the right number of citations, but also the importance of listing them in the right place. Among the most popular sites for citations, Facebook claimed the top spot with 84% of local businesses confirming that they have a listing on the social media site. Yelp came a close second with 80% and Mapquest was found to be in the third position at 72%.
The ideal site for citations can vary between industries and the specific products/services offered, however sites such as Facebook and Yelp that allow for local listings and reviews are the most widely used and the most widely beneficial.
Tips For Optimizing Citations
Ensuring that citations provide current and detailed information about your business is critical to ensure that they perform effectively within Google local search. In addition to the name, address, and phone number of your business, it is highly recommended that you add extra information like the industry your business operates in, link to your website, hours of operation, a short description of your business, and so on.
Quality of citations is also an important factor. Simply getting as many citations as possible will not guarantee a good result. If you have too many low-quality citations across the Internet, it might end up neutralizing the SEO boost your business receives from the high-quality citations. Be sure to always aim for quality before quantity when it comes to business citations.
Finally, consider using a local phone number rather than a 1-800 number. Important information should also be identified using schema markup. And remember to never include the name, address, or phone number of your business as an image since the search engines will not be able to crawl it.
1 Source Media Group provides comprehensive Local SEO services, including strategic citation building. Our team has the knowledge and experience to identify the optimal number of citations along with the best sites to implement them in and the ideal information to include within them. For more information, contact us today at (702) 840-5000.