The Power of Citations


Let’s face it: you can’t just put your business website online and expect people to find it—let alone instill confidence in your products or services. With so many websites on the internet (and new ones being created every day) search engines need to know that your website is worth showing to their users.

This is where the power of citations (also called business directories) really shines.

What Are Citations?

You may have already heard of citations and their importance, but here’s a quick rundown: citations are entries in online databases that include details such as your company name, address, phone number, website URL, and other relevant details.

Citation databases come in a variety of types and sizes, such as local, industry-specific, and general business directories. Having your business listed on a citation database adds credibility and legitimacy to your digital footprint, building trust with both your potential customers and Google.

Citations are particularly important for local businesses, where they can significantly improve visibility and convince your clients that you are the right choice for the job.

List of Top General Business Listing Sites

  • •Apple Maps                                              •Foursquare
  • •Google Business Profile                          •Waze
  • •Facebook                                                  •Snapchat
  • •Bing                                                           •Here Maps
  • •Yelp                                                           •TomTom

Industry-Specific Business Listing Sites

  • •Angi (formerly Angie’s List)                     •Tripadvisor
  • •Houzz                                                       •Nextdoor
  • •HomeAdvisor                                          •Eventbrite
  • •FindLaw                                                   •Uber

A variety of the most popular citation database logos

Citations and SEO

Maintaining consistent, high-quality citations is one of the most powerful ranking factors for local search.

When it comes to the technical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), getting listed on high-authority domains signals to Google that your business actually exists. Getting more citations, keeping existing citations consistent, and listing your business on reputable directories will continue to improve Google’s perception of your business and increase your rankings.

In addition to the SEO benefits that citations provide to your website itself, citations also help boost your business’ visibility and allow you to earn referrals directly from these business directories. Business directories tend to rank well in all industries—try Googling your business type, and there is a good chance that a citation database will be among the top results, showcasing something along the lines of “Top 15 Kitchen & Bathroom Remodelers in Your Area.”

Many customers will turn to these business directories when they need a trusted local service provider, so being listed here can increase your chances of getting their business. You are essentially piggybacking on the page one results of the business directories while you continue to build the foundation of your online presence.

Your citations also provide you with a valuable opportunity for reputation management, as many business directories allow you to receive and respond to reviews from your clients.

The Importance of Consistency With Your Digital Footprint

All of the positive benefits of citations are only possible when you maintain consistent business information across ALL online business directories. Google values consistency because it allows the search engine to feel more confident in the information it provides to its users. Mismatched phone numbers, business hours, or any other business details can lead to Google recommending a competitor’s company over yours.

The main three pieces of business information that all citation databases value are name, address, and phone number—also called your NAP. Many studies have shown a direct correlation between NAP consistency and local SEO rankings, so you want to ensure all of your citations are accurate and up-to-date at all times."One incorrect citation can ruin your SEO. Be consistent!"

Quality vs. Quantity With Citations

Not all citations are created equal. This makes sense if you think about citations like a personal recommendation—for example, if Gordon Ramsay recommends a restaurant, you will probably value this recommendation more than someone you’ve never heard of, because he is credible and an authority in his field. However, you may also consider trying the restaurant if you hear a lot of random strangers all saying the same positive things about it.

This holds true with online citations. Getting your business listed in large, well-known, and trusted citation databases (think Google, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, etc.) will provide you with more of the benefits that you’re looking for. This is not to say that smaller databases are not worthwhile, but you should always prioritize ones with higher domain authority.

Continually Optimizing Your Citations

Creating citations for your business may seem like a one-time job, especially if you don’t plan on updating your business information anytime soon, but you’ll see better results with continuous optimization.

Here are some of the ways you can further optimize your citations:

  • •Writing a business description with targeted keywords
  • •Adding your website URL
  • •Updating your business categories
  • •Adding photos
  • •Receiving positive reviews

Citations and Semantic Search

Semantic search refers to the process by which search engines use artificial intelligence to understand the intent and contextual meaning of a user’s query. As search engines continue to embrace this technology, it becomes more important to understand your audience.

Rather than focusing solely on the keywords within the search, semantic search considers various factors such as the user’s location, the relationships between words, synonyms, and the overall context of the query. This approach allows for more accurate and relevant search results, aligning closely with the user's intended meaning and needs.

There are several ways to optimize for semantic search, one of which is maintaining online citations. By consistently mentioning your business’s name, address, and phone number across various authoritative platforms, search engines gather more contextual data about your business. This proliferation of relevant information allows Google to better categorize your business and connect you with your target audience.

Yext: Revolutionizing Citation Management

In order to effectively manage your online citations, we recommend investing in a citation management tool. There are many options to choose from, but at LinkNow we use Yext to provide our small business clients with unbeatable service.

Before we look at how our company utilizes Yext to our advantage, let’s look at some of the capabilities of this tool.

What is Yext?

Yext is a cutting-edge platform designed to streamline the management of online citations. It serves as a central hub, allowing businesses to control how their information appears across an array of online platforms, including search engines, social media, and industry-specific directories.

Whether it’s a change in address, contact information, or operating hours, Yext ensures that updates are instantly reflected across all platforms. This level of consistency bolsters your business’s reliability and aids in building trust with your audience.

A screenshot of the Yext dashboard

Adopting Yext for citation management offers several advantages. Time-saving is among the most significant benefits, as Yext automates the distribution of your business information across the internet, freeing up resources that can be better utilized elsewhere. Accuracy is another critical advantage—Yext’s centralized control hub minimizes inconsistencies, ensuring your business is portrayed correctly across the web. Yext can also help achieve a broader online presence by efficiently managing listings across a wide range of platforms, enhancing your visibility and attracting more customers.

Why LinkNow and Yext is a Winning Combination

At LinkNow, we do everything we can to make small business life easier—and nowhere is this more true than our integration of Yext into our citation management services. Our streamlined approach and in-depth understanding of citation management ensures that we use Yext to its full extent, allowing our clients to focus on what they do best while we take care of their digital footprint. Even better, we do it all for the best prices in the industry—even lower than if you paid for Yext directly!

Various statistics about the success of LinkNow citation management

Before we look at our process of integrating Yext into our clients’ digital marketing strategy, let’s cover a real example from a satisfied LinkNow customer:

Case Study: The Benefits of LinkNow’s Citation Management

With over a decade in the digital marketing industry and 10,000+ active clients, we here at LinkNow fully understand the important role that citations play in the SEO puzzle. To illustrate the effects of quality citations, let’s take a look at a client who started with us in October 2023:

Upon signing up for our citation management services, we promptly collected and organized all of the client’s business information and performed a citation audit to check for any conflicting information already on the web. Unfortunately, the results of this audit were a bit dire.The client had almost no existing citations or online reviews, and the citations that did exist had a 97% listings inaccuracy—which means they were likely doing more harm than good.

So, we did what we do best and got to work on their Yext campaign. After determining the number of listings the client qualified for, we started submitting them to all relevant business directories with consistent, up-to-date information.Based on the client, they qualified for 67 potential listings. However, out of those listings there were 29 that were ineligible for one or more reasons (ex. address needed to be hidden, client’s business category was not offered by that database).

Harnessing the power of Yext, our team ensured our client was accurately submitted to the 38 remaining citation databases. At the time of publishing this blog post, 34 of the citations are live with accurate information, with the remaining 4 still pending.

The results of our work were nearly immediate. After this client’s citations went live, they started appearing in more searches and getting profile views across various business directories.

What About Reviews?

Another powerful benefit of business citations is that they allow customers to leave reviews that contribute to your SEO. However, looking at the client’s audit, we could see that they had zero reviews across the internet—which certainly wasn’t helping their marketing efforts.

Fortunately, it wasn’t long after we started managing
their citations that the client started to receive positive
reviews. The client received this five star review on their
Cylex listing during its first month of being live 

How LinkNow Effectively Manages Citations

At LinkNow, we have designed our citation management services to ensure fast turnarounds, reliable results, and ease-of-use for our small business clients. With our digital marketing company on your side, you can feel confident that you have a consistent, well-managed presence across the web.

Here’s how we do it:

Digital Footprint Audits

We conduct exhaustive audits of your existing digital footprint, including your current listings across various online directories and search engines. These audits help identify inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and gaps in your online information that could be affecting your visibility and search rankings. If you have wrong or out-dated information out there—we WILL find it.

Strategy Development

Based on the audit findings, we develop a tailored strategy that outlines which directories and platforms are most relevant to your business. This strategy considers the industry-specific directories, local business listings, and other online platforms where having accurate and consistent information would be most beneficial.

Implementation of Yext

As previously mentioned, our partnership with Yext allows us to offer the very best citation management service. This involves setting up your profile on Yext and ensuring your business information is accurately inputted.

We then utilize Yext’s network to distribute and sync this information across the identified directories and platforms. Yext’s centralized dashboard allows for real-time updates and management of listings, ensuring consistency.

Integration with Other Digital Marketing Efforts

Because LinkNow offers comprehensive web design and digital marketing services, Yext is not used in isolation but is integrated into your broader online strategy. This includes SEO, content marketing, social media, and paid advertising efforts. The consistency and accuracy of the listings managed through Yext complement these efforts, enhancing your overall online presence and visibility.

Ongoing Monitoring and Optimization

We’ll continuously monitor the performance and impact of the listings on your online visibility and SEO. We collect analytics that provide insight into how customers are engaging with the listings, which is invaluable for ongoing optimization. We then make adjustments as needed, based on real-time data, to ensure your digital footprint remains optimized for maximum visibility and engagement.

Start Building Your Digital Footprint With LinkNow Today!

Thanks to our client-focused service, unbeatable prices, and proven results, we’re confident that you will be satisfied with LinkNow’s citation management services using Yext. If you have any questions for our team or are ready to start optimizing your citations, we encourage you to reach us at 1.888.667.7186 or by clicking here.







Tyson Breen

Author: Tyson Breen

About Tyson Breen

Tyson is a content writer and SEO specialist with over half a decade of industry experience. He is an expert on digital marketing and is passionate about providing his clients with powerful content that boosts traffic and engagement. When away from his desk, Tyson enjoys home cooking, comic books, and live music.