Local Search Citations: How They Work and Why You Need Them

One of the most essential local SEO strategies is citation building, an approach that requires minimal effort and expense but can have a big impact on your ranking. Citations are a key part of local SEO because they help Google verify that you’re a legitimate business and that your name, address, and phone number are the same across all websites.

You can build citations in a variety of ways, including manually entering information into directories or using a citation management tool that identifies popular citation opportunities. However, it’s crucial to choose the right citation sources to maximize your investment and achieve your local SEO goals.

Citation and NAP Inconsistency: A Common Problem

Citations are important because they’re a signal to Google that your business is authentic and trustworthy. They also increase your chances of appearing on the first page of search results, which can make a huge difference in foot traffic and online leads.

It’s important to have NAP consistency, meaning that your business name, address, and phone number are the exact same on every citation you have. This is a big reason why NAP consistency is so critical to local search rankings.

The best citations are structured and appear on reputable online business directories with high domain authority. If a citation appears on a low-quality directory with poor domain authority, then it won’t be very valuable to you.

Getting listed on high-quality online business directories is a must for all businesses, but it’s especially important for local businesses that need to compete with other local competitors. The same goes for obtaining what are local citations from online reviews sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and YellowPages.

You can use a citation-building tool to track your progress, monitor and suppress duplicate citations, and create new ones as necessary. This can be a time-consuming process, but it’s worth the effort if you want to improve your local search rank.

If you aren’t sure where to start, you can get a free competitive analysis using the Local Citation Finder from BrightLocal. This tool analyzes your competition’s citations and lets you see how they are structured and where they’re listed. You can also see where they aren’t listed, which can give you a better idea of where to begin building your own.

The best way to get started is to use a citation-building tool that has multiple sources and is designed to be used by both novice and experienced SEOs alike. It should also have a tracking feature that makes it easy to see which citations are working and where they aren’t.

When creating citations, it’s also helpful to remember to include links to your website. This makes it easier for users to find your business and contact you if they have questions or need more information. It’s also a good idea to link your business name to your Google My Business profile so that your information is as consistent as possible.