How to Build Local Citations and Increase Your Visibility
How to Build Local Citations and Increase Your Visibility
Local citations included the business name, your business address, and phone number. Generally known as NAP (Name, Address, Phone number). Many SEO experts believe that they are ranking factors for local SEO.
Citations appear in many places such as; business directories, social networks and anywhere someone finds business information.
Here is an example of the resort in the United States:
This is known as an NAP citation because it contains the name, address, and phone number of the business.
In this guide you will know:
- Why are local citations important?
- Types of citations
- How to get citations
- Why do consistency and accuracy matter
Why are the Citations Important?
- Citations are important for gaining the trust of search engines. This also helps to boost the visibility of your website in local searches
- Citations are also helpful in adding more value to your business which is not yet appearing in Google’s local business pack
- Helping people to discover your website on search engines
- Ranking higher for the local search queries
How Can Local Citations Help with Local SEO?
Citations are believed to help search engines find your business’s legitimacy, trustworthiness, and existence. If the same data appears on various trusted websites, then it helps to increase the confidence of Google about your business’s relevancy and existence.
When local people search for your business, local citations help Google find the most relevant results related to your business. That’s because Google cross-checks the information given by businesses across various sources before showing it to users. It looks at:
- Google Maps
- Your Google My Business Profile
- Your website
- Business Directories and Other Third-Party Sources
This can help to increase your local ranking and visibility because Google shows your website with trust and confidence.
How Citations Help People to Find Your Business?
People do not always use Google to search for your business, they also use Yelp, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. That is one of the reasons for getting listed on these platforms. The other reason is that the business directories often dominate the search results for local SEO.
For example, try searching for “Best SEO Tacoma”
You need to be listed in local business directories, as Google returns these results for local searches. You can see the business directories that list the best SEO Tacoma companies in the above example.
Types of Citations
There are two types of citations that we need to understand.
An unstructured citation is a contextual mention of a business that appears in blog posts, forum posts, or press mentions.
A structured citation includes the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of any business. Social media and business directory profiles are the best examples of these.
You can find some examples of structured citations on:
- Google map, Apple map
Here is an example from Yelp:
How to Build Citations?
Most businesses can benefit from having both structured and unstructured citations. However, it’s not necessary to get citations from every website you come across. When you are talking about citations, quality is more important than quantity. Follow these four steps to build the citations:
- Get listed with the data aggregators.
- Submit to other popular sites.
- Submit to popular industry and local sites.
1. Get Listed with the data aggregators
There are numerous business directories available on the internet. If each of them relied on business owners submitting their NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information directly, there would be a lot of gaps in their data. Most business owners do not have the time to submit their information to thousands of websites.
To solve this problem, data aggregators come into play. These aggregators collect information about your business and distribute it to many other websites. If these websites have your information, you will end up with citations in numerous places.
There are examples of data aggregators:
- Express Update (by Infogroup)
- Neustar Localeze
You can freely claim, manage, and submit business listings with Infogroup and Neustar Localeze. You have to just search your business and claim it. But with Factual you are no longer able to edit or update listings directly.
2. Submit to Other Popular Sites
The data aggregators submit NAP to most of the business directories but not all. That is why it is useful to submit your data to other core sites directly.
For example, In the US, these are sites like:
- Bing Places
You can find many important core sites in the US from here. But this is only one company’s interpretation, there are plenty of local citation sites available. You can submit manually or you can use submission and management services.
3. Submit to Local Sites and Popular Industries
After taking care of the basic citations, it’s time to look for popular industry and location-specific citation opportunities. For instance, if you own a hotel, it’s essential to ensure your business is listed on TripAdvisor. If you’re an attorney, you should make sure that findlaw.com has your information. Similarly, if you’re a realtor, your presence on realtor.com is necessary. In short, these are citation opportunities specific to your industry. You can get these opportunities in a few ways:
- Use Google
- Use Ahrefs’ Link Intersect tool
- Use an industry citation link
Why it’s Important to Keep Your Citations Accurate and Consistent
Keeping your citations accurate and consistent, both structured and unstructured, is crucial. This means not having two different phone numbers listed in different places.
This is not only bad for Local SEO but it also wears down the trust of users. One study found that:
- Incorrect online information causes 62% of consumers to avoid businesses
- 7% of consumers would abandon their search due to incorrect address details, compared to 3% in 2021.
You can see in this graph why it is important to keep your business information reliable and accurate. Businesses need to maintain their online presence to avoid being perceived as unreliable or having closed down.
However, it is not necessary to be overly obsessed with consistency. If one directory lists a business as “Relevant Marketing Solutions” and another as “Relevant Marketing,” it is unlikely to cause significant issues as long as the other information such as an address, phone number, and website match. In such cases, Google will be able to connect the dots and understand that both listings refer to the same business.
In conclusion, local citations are important for Local SEO, but it is far from the ultimate goal. You also need to optimize your Google My Business, do proper keyword research, and optimize your on-page and off-page SEO.
Ultimately, local citation building is a vital component of local SEO that helps search engines find your business’s authority and relevance. You can’t ignore citation building if you want to do Local SEO.