Local citations are references to your business online, which search engines believe can help you rank higher for local searches. They can appear on business directories, industry-specific websites, blogs and other online platforms where people might search for a local business.

The information in these citations is known as a NAP citation (name, address, and phone number), which is considered an important part of local SEO. If your business’s name, address, and phone number appear consistently on relevant and trusted websites, Google is more likely to believe that you’re legitimate and trustworthy.

Getting Started with Local Citations

There are several different ways to build and manage local citations, including manual submissions or using services like Yext. These companies connect to hundreds of popular sites and allow you to submit your business’s information in one place. Some of these companies even offer paid citation management services, such as Semrush’s Listings Management tool.

Structured and Unstructured Cited Data

There’s a wide range of structured citations to choose from, including general directories, industry-specific websites, and social media pages. These citations generally list key details about what are local citations your business, such as its name, address, and phone number, and may link to your website or Facebook page.

Some of these citations are generated by businesses and others are created through algorithms based on keywords. This makes it difficult to ensure that all your citations are accurate, so many businesses prefer to use a service to help them keep their information up-to-date and consistent across the web.

A company with the best local citations is more likely to receive a higher ranking from Google for searches related to their business. This is because they are more trusted, and that helps Google determine which listings to display in the local search results.

To get started with local citations, start by finding and adding your business to online business directories. These can be general directories, like Yellow Pages, or industry-specific directories, such as HealthGrades. You can also create your own citations by submitting your company’s information to industry-specific websites or blogging platforms.

Review Sites

Customer reviews are a great way to add local citations to your business’s website, because Google picks up on these reviews and links them to searches that include your business name and address. It’s a great way to increase your visibility and drive traffic to your website.

Social Media Accounts

Creating social media accounts that feature your business’s NAP is an easy and effective way to build citations. Make sure that the information on these accounts is up-to-date and accurate, so you can gain the most benefits from these citations.

Data Aggregators

Data aggregators, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, are a great way to build citations. These websites collect and share information about a variety of businesses, and they’re often more reliable than business-specific directories.

You can also use a free citation finder to see which citation opportunities are most beneficial for your business. For example, BrightLocal has a tool that will show you which citations are most popular for your industry and location.