Citations are mentions of your dealership’s name, address, and phone number on other websites – what most dealers think of as directory listings. They’re incredibly important to local SEO – and it’s important that they’re consistent everywhere they appear.

This week’s Wednesday Workshop video walks through a simple free tool that allows you to check the top 15 citation sources for your dealership. Whether you’re doing your own SEO or you want to check in on your provider, this tool will help you keep an eye on your citation profile.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Hey everyone, welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop with DealerOn. I’m over across the pond this week, speaking at Brighton SEO, the biggest SEO conference in the UK. But, just because I’m over enjoying some delicious fish and chips and a few pints of Guinness doesn’t mean the Wednesday Workshop train stops.

This week’s tip is a pretty quick one. If you’ve seen me speak at a conference or watched many of these Wednesday Workshop videos, you’ve heard me talk about citations. They’re mentions of your dealership’s name, address, and phone number on other websites.

When talking about citations, most dealers think directory sites – those are what’s called a structured citation. You can also have unstructured citations, which occur when your name, address, and phone info are mentioned, just not right next to each other – think blog posts or news articles.

It’s incredibly important that your dealership’s citation information is consistent everywhere it appears. Check out this graphic – it shows the citation ecosystem in the US. You’ve got the big thick lines that represent the feeds from the primary data providers, which feed down to the medium lines of the second tier providers, which feed down to the thin lines of the third tier providers.

What happens if a site pulls data from a few different sources upstream, but each source is showing different information? Even worse – look how everything points back to Google – when Google is running its local algorithm, it expects that a dealership will have the same name, address, and phone info everywhere.

If you’ve got mismatched information, you’re sending a bad signal to Google. That’s why call tracking can absolutely wreck your SEO efforts.

If you’d like to do a quick check to see how your dealership’s citations look, you can use a tool called Moz Local. Head to moz.com/local/search, enter the name of your dealership and your zip code, and click search.

Moz Local will return a list of possible matches. Ideally, you only want to see one option here – that means you don’t have any confusing information. If you see multiple options, pay attention to why – is your dealership name inconsistent? Are the different options showing different phone numbers?

If you click on any of the listings, it will take you to a second screen that shows data on your citations on the top 15 citation sources. Ignore the score at the top, it’s an arbitrary score, and as long as you’re about about a 65% you’re good.

You should focus on the bars below. If there’s any red below, that means you’ve got inconsistent data on that site. If there’s yellow, then you’ve got a duplicate on that site. The really cool thing is that you can click on any of the bars and it will jump you right to your listing – you don’t have to try to figure out how to get there. Then you can log in and fix whatever bad info is listed.

So that’s a quick hit on citations and how to check them. If you’ve got any questions or want to know more, leave a comment down below and we’ll get back to you ASAP. Thanks for coming by, and we’ll see ya again next week for another Wednesday Workshop with DealerOn.