What is a Local Citation?
Local SEO and promoting your business generally is all about gaining people’s confidence.
Citations are an excellent way to achieve this confidence and trust to get your business seen in local search results.
A local citation means any mention of your company or brand online.
Sometimes it could be a business directory or mentioned on an industry-related site, a blog, or any other local website.
Usually, regular citations include listings on local directory websites.
A citation should consist of the name, address, and phone number of your business (NAP).
Local citations do not necessarily include a link to your website even though they are more valuable if they do 🙂
What do Local Citations do?
Local citations enable you to rank your company on the 3-pack (formerly known as Google Map) by providing Google with consistent and credible information concerning your company.
Local SEO citations show Google that your company exists is legitimate and that the information you provided is correct as it can quickly be corroborated from different sources.
Tip: Providing a consistent name, address, and contact on several sites is essential in giving Google trust signals.
How do Local Citations Work?
There are a variety of factors Google considers along with citation directories when determining to display your business listing to a person who searched for your products or services. One such consideration is the proximity of your business to the searched location.
To get the best out of Local citations, it is vital that you already set, claimed, and optimized a Google My Business listing.
In the typical organic SEO, links from a trusted and relevant website are a major ranking factor for Google. For local SEO, local-citations are helpful in ranking Google Local Pack listings in the search results.
The Different Forms of Citation
Local citations include:
- General business directories
- Industry or industry-specific directories
- Press websites and Local newspaper
- Local themed blogs
- Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and FourSquare.
How to Find Other Local Citation Opportunities?
To discover local citation opportunities, you should start by taking notes of the main general ones you can think of when local business directories come to mind. Also, try to know where your competitors are listed.
If all of this sounds overwhelming, you can SEO in Thailand with us!
Here are some local citation tools we recommend:
- SEMrush – can be used to conduct competitor backlink analysis.
- BrightLocal – can be used to run multiple local-citation audits or to get a paid citation burst that only takes a few minutes to set up.
- Ahrefs – provides numerous insights from competitor analysis, content and link building opportunities.
What makes an Excellent Local Citation?
An excellent local citation has to be seen as trustworthy and credible by search engine users and the search engine itself.
When building or claiming a business directory citation, it is vital to fill out three pieces of essential information ( NAP ) about your business. Those include:
- Name: This has to be your brand name.
- Local phone number: It is crucial that this matches the phone number you provided on your website.
- Physical location/address: This also has to be consistent with the address you provided on your site.
In a situation where a local media outlet is covering a story concerning your industry or business, they are unlikely to mention or display your company’s phone number or address. It is best to have your company referred to by brand name to enable your listing to receive value in such cases.
Setting up Google alerts for your company and your competitors can also assist you in spotting potential brand mentions and link opportunities.
How to Win the Local Citation Game?
While the amount of links you get is crucial, the quality of the links and the correctness of the information you provide is more critical. All the information you provide concerning your business, such as your name, address, and phone number, has to be accurate and consistent across all websites where you are cited or mentioned.
Complete and accurate citations are more important to Google Local Pack rankings and your overall visibility on the web. All of these helps spread the word about your company, attract potential customers, and make it easy for them to find your site.
Although business listing citations are reasonably easy to obtain, the more challenging ones are from niche or local websites or local newspapers. You simply need something newsworthy for people to give your company attention.
What do you Stand to Gain?
Creating local SEO citations can be tedious and time-consuming, and you basically need to have a local outreaching strategy to get the attention of people and journalist most especially.
Nonetheless, if you own a local business that would greatly benefit from a local listing in the Google Local Pack, it’s worth spending time on.
You can either work with any of the tools recommended earlier, or you seek out local SEO companies like us!
Conclusion and Recommendations
Local citations help create authority in your local area, improve your site’s authority, send trust signals, and improve your rankings on SERPs. As long as your business operates in a specific area or niche, it is more challenging to obtain directory links.
In a situation like this, you can get local SEO with us, try out more areas of focus or niche, or you can search for different approaches to build links depending on what’s essential to your business. Here are examples of what you could do:
- Actively post on Google My Business adding the NAP to each post
- Guest post on local blogs
- Sponsor local events
- Endeavor to reply relevant queries Quora and drop a link to your site
- Contact local social media influencers and collaborate with them.
- Operate on local social media platforms.