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The best way to promote your business is by gaining the trust of your audience. Once you gain the trust of your community, they won’t mind buying from you. Citations can help you in gaining trust and get your business seen in local SEO results. When set up correctly, citations can be easy to manage and can lead to improved local rankings. However, if done incorrectly, citations can be a nightmare to clean up.

We’ll walk you through every aspect of citations in this tutorial to help you boost your local SEO approach.

What is a Local Citation?

A local citation is any online mention of a local business’s name, address, and phone number. Citations can be found in local business directories, websites, apps, and social media platforms. Citations assist Internet users in finding local companies and have the potential to influence local search engine rankings. Having the necessary fundamental citations, in particular, can help you rank correctly on Google Maps. Many citations can be actively managed by local businesses to maintain data accuracy. A complete citation should include the name, address and phone number of your business. Local citations do not always include a link to your site although they are more valuable if they do.

Why are citations important?

Citations are useful for the following reasons|

Improve Local Rankings

For local SEO, citations are considered a ranking factor. Having your company included in reputable web directories provides signals to Google, increasing their confidence that your company exists.

Google’s perception of your online presence is influenced by the number of listings, the accuracy of your listings, and the quality of the web directories. This is why it’s critical to choose your citations carefully.

Piggy Back Page One Results

Another benefit of citation building that goes unnoticed is that some online business directories dominate page one of local search results. For most local queries, sites like Yelp and YellowPages routinely rank high. So, if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them! Other ways to earn real estate on page one can be found in these internet directories.

Earn Referral Traffic

Many people trust various citations, such as Yelp for eateries. Many foodies are taught to use Yelp before Google while looking for new restaurants. Getting your website included in as many directories as possible will help you generate crucial referral traffic.

What do they do?

Citations assist in the ranking of your Google Local Pack listing (previously known as Google+ Local map) by giving Google reliable sources of information about your company. Citations tell Google that your company exists, is real, and that the information you provide about it is correct because it can be verified by various sources. It is also critical to have a consistent name, address, and phone number across many sites in order to provide Google with trust signals.

How do they work?

When considering whether or not to show your business listing to someone who has looked for the items or services you offer, Google analyses a number of variables, including citation directories. One of the factors they consider is the distance between your business and the search location.

To benefit from local citations, you must first have a Google My Business listing that has been claimed and optimised.

One of the primary ranking variables Google utilises in conventional organic SEO is links from a trusted related domain. Text hyperlinks aid in the ranking of Google Local Pack listings in search results when it comes to local SEO. Obtaining citations from a site with high domain authority and traffic can aid in improving your local search results. The idea is to prioritise quality over quantity when it comes to linking.

How To Check Your Local Citations?

1. Manually

You have access to hundreds of local citation sources. In theory, you could examine all of the main citation sites by hand when performing a complete manual audit of your citations.

There are only a handful of large data aggregators that you should look into. Big names like Facebook and Apple Maps are among them. Here’s a quick rundown of where you can acquire citations.

2. Automated Local Listing Checks

Many online solutions provide automated local listings solutions for your business to make things easier. You may double-check the features and accuracy of your local company listings on the internet. These are the key data aggregators that have the largest impact on web results.

What are the types of local citations?

Major Local Business Data Platforms | Citations can be created on a variety of significant local business data platforms that exist to publish this type of data by local business owners and marketers. Google My Business, Acxiom, Localeze/Neustar, and Infogroup are also important platforms. Popular social and review-oriented sites like Facebook and Yelp can also be used to create key local company listings.

Geo/Industry-Specific Platforms | Your company can aim to develop local business listings on websites that are specific to its sector and area, in addition to the large local business data platforms that service all industries. Websites of chambers of commerce, as well as professional organisations and guilds, are examples of these platforms.

The Wider Web | Supplementary citations can be created or gained on a variety of sources, including blogs, news sites, apps, maps, government databases, and more. You can either seek these citations for your company or simply get them based on merit and public interest/information sharing.

All of the aforementioned types of citations can be created through automated tools, manually filling out forms on local business platforms, or through other means of PR/marketing to various platforms.

Finally, citations and local business listings often arise without the business taking any action. Automated aggregation and the flow of data from local business data systems can result in citations. Data from one site, such as Infogroup, can flow down to another, such as Superpages. Because of the way the internet works, it’s critical for local businesses to take control of their data’s accuracy, so that false data may be identified and fixed, preventing customer loss, income loss, and any bad influence on local search rankings.

What are the components of a local citation?

A citation’s essential components are the company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP), as well as a reference or link to a specific page on the company’s website. Furthermore, a reference may include any or all of the following parts |

  • Business categories
  • Hours of operation
  • Driving directions
  • Business description
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Payment forms accepted
  • Geo-coordinates
  • Reviews
  • Owner responses
  • Taglines
  • Links to social and other forms of media
  • Email addresses
  • Fax numbers
  • Alternate phone numbers
  • Attributes

Why do local citations matter?

Local citations significantly influence two scenarios relating to local businesses:

Local citations can influence local search engine rankings in either a positive or negative way. The amount, of citations a company receives, the veracity of the data it publishes, and the quality of the platforms it uses all have an impact on rankings. Google and other search engines collect information on each company. If what they find is correct, the search engine believes the data’s accuracy, which is thought to improve the company’s chances of ranking well. If the data that search engines encounter is inconsistent, confidence is weakened, and ranking opportunities are reduced. Click

Consumers are affected either positively or badly by local citations. Accurate citations assist customers in finding a local business, which can lead to increased web, phone, and foot traffic, as well as sales. Inaccurate citations, on the other hand, might lead to customer confusion, resulting in a loss of reputation and money.

Rankings, reputation, and revenue are all key concerns for businesses at all levels of local commerce, from one-person startups to huge brands. Because they play a role in all three of these areas, local citations are crucial.


Local SEO helps in the development of local authority, strengthens the authority of your website, sends out trust signals, and can improve ranks. Accurate citations positively impact rankings, reputation, and revenue, whereas inaccurate citations detract from these assets. Due to the high stakes of these assets, active location data management is a necessity for all local businesses, and you can choose from manual, semi-automated, and automated solutions for your business. You must fully research each potential option or service you consider discovering whether your investment of resources will result in meaningful value.

Lean on to Shergroup’s digital marketing services to take your marketing to the next level. Our SEO experts will align your marketing goals with a strategically designed marketing plan to boost your sales. We’ve built up the marketing process for many of our clients and have helped them gain an edge over their competitors, so if you too would like to take your marketing to the next level, instruct us today.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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