Why Citations Are Important to Your Local Business Success
Citations are defined as mentions of your business name and address on other web-pages. An example of a citation would be your online yellow pages directory listing. Citations can also be found on local chamber of commerce pages, or a local business association page that includes your business information. They have significant SEO value even if there is no link to your company (main) website.
Citations are a key element of ranking calculations in search engines (e.g. Google and Bing). Other factors being equal, businesses with a greater number of citations will most likely rank higher than those companies with fewer citations. But citation quality is very important and trumps overall number of citations.
Citations from well-established and well-indexed (quality) websites (e.g. Insiderpages.com) help increase the degree of certainty the search engines have about your company contact information and categorization. The greater the number of similar citations out on the Web, and the better the quality of the website the citation is found on, the better the search engine's trust factor.
Citations are particularly important in small, less-competitive niches, like diesel repair or diesel service, where many service providers have poor websites, or no website at all. Without quality information from a company's website search engines rely heavily on whatever information they can find on the Internet. So citations have a major influence on how search engines judge the importance of your company when they assign a search position ranking.
Citations also confirm that a business is part of a local community. This is critical to your local SEO. Search engines recognize it is difficult to fake membership in a local chamber of commerce, a Google Plus page, a city business index, or being written about in a local online newspaper or popular local website. Citations on these "local" websites can dramatically improve your local search engine rankings.
Local Focused Directory
Like local blogs, local directories are well-indexed by the search engines and are highly associated with cities and regions. Directories which are edited by a human are superior to directories which are open or have open or "free for all" listings. Human-edited directories are less susceptible to spam or junk listings, and therefore are more trusted by search engines. Two examples of high quality locally focused directories are Best of the Web's Regional Directory and Yahoo's Regional Directory.
Industry Focused Directory
Industry focused directory websites are focused on very specific topics and keywords. Local search engines count these websites as citation sources even if they are not focused on a particular location. Examples are membership directory of your trade organizations or industry or topic blogs and will be crawled by the local search engines for citations. Searches like "diesel directory" or "diesel repair shop directory" will show you the kinds of websites on which to get listed.
DieselVille.com is a human edited, local focused, industry specific directory for diesel related businesses.