What Are Local Citations?

What are local citations?

A local citation, also known as NAP data, is any online reference of a local business’s name, address, and phone number, whether partial or complete. They can also be called a “business listing.” Citations might appear on social media platforms, websites, apps, and local company directories. Citations both aid in local company discovery and affect local search engine rankings. In particular, having local citations can improve your position on Google’s local search results pages. In addition, many citations can be actively managed by Local SEO Services to guarantee data accuracy.

Why are Local Citations Important for SEO?

Building citations and monitoring citations are essential actions that search marketers include when managing a local SEO process because, when you’re just getting started, you need citations to appear in local search results.

For each local query, Google’s local algorithm always aims to deliver the top local businesses. Citations are a significant indicator of relevance, and websites are retrieved based on their prominence and relevance.

Your citations assist Google in confirming that you are located where your website indicates you are. In addition, Google will begin to recognize you as a reliable local business as it crawls the internet and notices that other trustworthy websites provide the same business information, including your NAP (name, address, and phone) facts. As a result, there is a bigger chance that Google may list your company in its local search results due to enhanced trust.

Similarly, the algorithm will start associating your number of listings with the relevance and popularity of your business as it notices that your NAP details are included on more local websites. Also, this can result in better local rankings.

Which Local Citations to choose for your local business?

Since each industry—and each city—will frequently have its essential citation websites, there is no definitive list of must-have business citation sources. These websites can range from your local chamber of commerce to well-regarded online directories, Yellow Pages websites, to industry-specific relevant business directories. Although well-known citation sources for any business include Facebook, Google, Yelp, Apple Maps, and Foursquare, you’ll need to conduct some research to find the citations that will be most visible to your target market.

A citation locator for your area. Whitespark, a business that provides citation building and local SEO services. The top citation sites for each country and each industry are listed on their website. Note the top 3 results after a fast Google search for your location and industry. These are the citations that will help your company the most.

What are the different types of Local Citations for Local Businesses?

Adding geographical metadata, such as latitude and longitude coordinates, to digital media, such as photos or videos.

Structured Citations

The main types of local citations include Search Engines, Primary Data Aggregators, Major Directories, Important Platforms such as local business listings on Yelp or Facebook, Industry-specific Platforms, and Unstructured Citations as government databases, apps, and blogs, and Owned Properties such as your website.

Unstructured Citations

Your business is frequently mentioned online without any direct involvement from the company. There are several ways of building local citations, including; through automated aggregation and the data flow from platforms that store local business information. Data from one website, such as Data Axle, may flow down to another, such as YP.com. Due to the nature of the web, local businesses must take charge of the quality of their data. By doing this, inaccurate data may be found and fixed, minimizing client loss, lost revenue, and any adverse effects on local search rankings.

How to audit Local Citations?

You can manually check your Local SEO Citations or through automated local listed checks.  Manually, you can check hundreds of local citation sources literally. You could theoretically examine each primary citation site by hand when performing a thorough manual audit of your citations.

There are only a few significant data aggregators that you should look at. Big players like Facebook and Apple Maps are among them.

Below, we’ve included a concise list of resources for citations.

Websites may have citations even if you don’t manually add them. Many  trustworthy local directories or websites accept third-party data feeds when obtaining listings, so your information will naturally flow downstream. There are three ways to take advantage of citation chances if you have a new business and need to list it on citation sites. 

Manual Submission

You or a team member manually insert each piece of information into the listed websites. It takes time, but it will help ensure your data is accurate.

Local Citation Building Services

You may use several services to hire someone else to manage your manual submission or NAP data. For example, you can pay a provider to add your information to citation sites on your behalf if you need more time or resources to do it. 

Submission through aggregators

You can submit your NAP data to significant data aggregators using a service like Whitespark or BrightLocal, which will cause your information to be fed to hundreds of other websites.

Important Considerations

Citations may also contain information about your company besides the basic NAP information. For example, provide information like your business’s operation hours, a complete description, your logo, and a contact email address wherever it is practical.

Your citations are the cornerstone of your SEO strategy. Ensure your company name is spelled correctly, and your address and phone number must be the same on all websites. For Google’s algorithm, incorrect NAP data on several citation sites can raise a red alert.

You’ll need to clean your citations by correcting the inaccuracies if there are issues with the consistency of your NAP data. Using citation auditing tools can do this manually, or you can hire one of those services to take care of the entire procedure.

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