What Is a Local Citation and How To Set Up One

local citation concept

Citation management is an important aspect of SEO that is often overlooked. A local citation is an online reference to your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). It’s important to set up your citations correctly and keep them updated because incorrect information can hurt your ranking.

In this post, we will explain what a local citation is and how to set one up. We will also provide tips for maintaining your citations.

What Is a Local Citation

A local citation is an online reference to your business NAP. Citations can be found on directory listings, social media profiles, and other websites.

local business listing

What Types of Local Citations Are There?

There are main two types of local citations –structured and unstructured citations.

Structured citations

Structured citations include directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, and Yellow Pages. These sites have specific requirements for listing businesses. For example, Yelp requires businesses to have a physical location, and Foursquare requires that businesses be verified.

Unstructured citations

Unstructured citations are mentions of your business on other websites, such as news articles or blog posts. These citations don’t have to meet any specific requirements, but they can still be valuable for your SEO.

Why Are Local SEO Citations Important?

business local listing

Setting up your local citations correctly is important for the following reasons:

Helping to improve Local Pack and organic rankings

Citations are one of the factors that Google uses to rank businesses in the Local Pack and organic search results. So if you want to improve your ranking, you need to make sure your citations are accurate and up-to-date.

Getting in front of customers and earning referral traffic

Citations help customers find your business, and they can also generate referral traffic. Referral traffic is when customers click on a link to your website from another site. This traffic can be valuable because it’s often high quality, meaning the customer is already interested in what you have to offer.

Being one click away from the first page of organic SERPs

If you’re not ranking in the Local Pack, your business may still appear in the organic search results. And if you have a citation on the first page of the organic results, customers will only be one click away from your website. So it’s important to set up your citations correctly to make sure you’re getting the most exposure possible.

Getting more links back to your website

getting links - chess piece illustration

Citations can also help improve your website’s link profile. A link is when another website links to yours. Google sees links as votes of confidence, and they use links to help determine a website’s ranking.

Citations can help you get more links because when your business is listed on a website, there’s a good chance that the site will link to yours.

Providing more opportunities for third-party reviews

Citations can also provide more opportunities for customers to leave reviews. Reviews are important for two reasons.

First, they’re another factor that Google uses to determine rankings.

Second, they can help improve your click-through rate (CTR), which is the percentage of people who click on your listing when it appears in the search results. A higher CTR means more traffic to your website, and that can lead to more sales.

So if you want to improve your local SEO, it’s important to set up your citations correctly and keep them updated.

What Are the Benefits of Local Citations for SEO?

Citations can help improve your local SEO in a number of ways, including:

Business Directories Are Cost-Effective

cost effective meter

Business directories are one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business online. They give you exposure to a large audience without breaking the bank.

Local Business Listings Help With SEO

Local business listings help with SEO by giving you more opportunities to include your keywords and business information. When customers search for businesses like yours, your business will be more likely to show up in search engines if you have a local listing in a business directory.

If You Don’t Have Citations, Your Competitors Likely Do

If you don’t have citations, your competitors likely do. And if they have more citations than you, they’re probably getting more traffic and customers than you are. So if you want to stay competitive, you need to make sure your business is listed in the same directories as your competitors.

You’ll Get a Visibility Boost

When you list your business in a directory, you’ll get a visibility boost because more people will see your business. This is especially true if you list your business in a popular directory like Yelp or Google My Business.

You’ll Improve Your Business’ Reputation

improve business reputation - customers review

When you list your business in a directory, you have the opportunity to include information about your business, such as your address, phone number, and website. This helps improve your business’s reputation because it gives potential customers everything they need to know about your business before they even visit your website.

Citations Can Attract Potential Clients, Partners, and Investors

If you list your business in a directory, you could get found by potential clients, partners, and investors. This is especially true if you list your business in a directory that’s specific to your industry. For example, if you’re a web designer, you could list your business in a local directory for web designers. This way, when people in your industry are looking for someone to partner with or invest in, they’re more likely to find you.

Carefully Monitored Citations Eliminate Customer Confusion

If your business is listed in multiple directories with different information, it can confuse customers and make them less likely to do business with you. But if you carefully monitor your citations and make sure they’re all up-to-date, you can eliminate customer confusion and increase the chances that they’ll do business with you.

Listing your business in directories can help you attract more customers and generate more sales. So if you’re not already taking advantage of this marketing tactic, now is the time to start.

How to Set Up Local SEO Citations

Setting up citations for your local business is relatively easy and only takes a few minutes. Here’s how to build citations:

local citation listings

Start With Core Sites

The first step is to start with the core sites, which are the most important directories for your business. These are typically the directories that are niche or industry-specific. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, you would want to list your business in directories like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com.

Using Aggregators

If you want to get your business listed in multiple directories at once, you can use data aggregators like Moz Local or Yext. These platforms will submit your business to the most important directories for you.

Finding Relevant Directories

If you want to find more directories to list your business in, you can use a tool like Whitespark or BrightLocal. These tools will help you find relevant directories for your business.

Optimizing Citations

Once you’ve listed your business in the most important directories, you need to optimize your citations. This means ensuring that all of your business’s information is accurate and up-to-date. You also want to include keywords in your citations so that they’re more likely to be found by potential customers.

When Is the Best Time to Get Local Citations?

local citation concept - person working on laptop in front of binders

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best time to get local citations is when you first start your business. This way, you can get a jump start on your marketing and start generating leads and sales right away.

If you’ve been in business for a while and haven’t been focusing on local SEO, now is an excellent time to start. The sooner you start, the sooner you can generate more leads and sales from your local market.

Boost Your Business With Better Citations

Citations can be a powerful marketing tool for any business, but they’re essential for businesses that rely on local customers. If you want to attract more local customers and generate more sales, you need to ensure your business is listed in the most relevant directories.

Monitoring your citations and making sure they’re accurate and up-to-date is also important. This way, you can avoid customer confusion and increase their chances of doing business with you.

If you’re not already taking advantage of local citations, now is the time to start. Boost your business with better citations today.

Get Help From The Expert

Maintaining your local citations is an integral part of SEO. By setting up and keeping your citations updated, you can help improve your website’s ranking and visibility to potential customers.

If you need help getting started or would like someone to manage your citations for you, contact LeadOrigin today. We are experts in SEO and marketing, and we would be happy to assist you with all of your citation needs.