What are Local Citations in the SEO?

The citation is a straightforward online reference of the business name, phone number, and address. Like the links to the website, major search engines will use local citations to evaluate a business’s online authority. The difference with the links is that a hyperlink is unnecessary for receiving credit. The business details can be added in plain text.

What are Local Citations

In this part of local SEO work, we see the citations mentioned above, but there are also partial citations that include only one of the elements we highlighted. In some cases, you may see a listing of only the name or only the address. While this can bring advantages since it is better than not having a citation, aiming for complete citations is always a goal in local SEO work. Also, remember that going through a citation audit is always an excellent idea to know exactly where you start from. You might have some local citations present and not even know about them.

Why Do Local Citations Count?

Besides reviews and links, local citations are the main factor that major search engines use to decide business ranks in local search results. Logically, the often-mentioned business should have a higher authority. The only thing is that those locations need to be as relevant as possible. If you have a citation in a directory of food companies, you have no benefit if you have a business in the entertainment business.

Google will use the citations to verify the accuracy of the contact details. Those that are incorrect or that are falsified are practically identified. Since the search engine’s reliability is questioned if inadequate citations are offered, it is normal for Google to care a lot about what is presented. Correct information will be provided when the exact contact details are seen on various sites. That is when Google highlights the address and contact details for the searchers.

Citations will also be essential to improve the business’s Internet awareness. More people will see if a company has the information highlighted in many different places online. That is just a second advantage business owners are surely going to appreciate.

What are local citations

Now you know what citations are in Local SEO. You would not even dare underestimate their power. But if you are starting, let me give you a short definition. A local citation mentions your business on local directories and local business association sites. It may or may not contain a link to your website.

If you are still wondering how citations and ‘NAP’ can help your local business, this article is especially helpful for you. What is NAP, you may ask? It’s just an acronym for your business’s name, address, and phone number.

Local Citations Improve Local SEO

Accurately consistent local citations would convince Google that your business is authentic. So, the more places you cite your business, the higher your chances of ranking in search results.

Let’s talk about the figures.

A recent study suggests that local search queries (on mobile and desktop) accounted for almost half of the search volume.

Local SEO table

Take a moment to consider these numbers. You will realize that building your local citation will also impact your conversion rate.

When users perform any “near me” search, they want ready-to-action information. This could include the address/location, hours of operation, reviews and ratings, discovering coupons, etc. You should ensure your citation mentions your category, links, and email ID.

Local Citations

For example, take a look at the screenshot above. The highlighted text shows the following elements of the listings: price, facilities, ratings, and reviews. If they appeal to me, I will not think twice before booking a room.

One powerful mantra that you should never forget is that consistency is critical! Be consistent with every citation you build.

Why Are Citations Important for Your Business?

See the points below to know why citations can empower your local business.

1. Google is judgmental!

Google enlists those businesses that customers cite and visit more often. It uses local SEO and citations to verify the accuracy and authenticity of the contact details. If 100+ different websites list the same NAP, then it’s most likely accurate. Thus, every mention from authoritative and relevant websites builds Google’s confidence in you.

2. Word of mouth

The more people visit you, the more they will talk about you. Local SEO citations create awareness about your product and brand in the market. They provide people with more ways to find you online. If your business is listed, it can be easily discovered by your potential users.

Thus, increasing your local citations can boost your popularity.

3. Getting reviews

Everybody has their own favorite space on the internet. I like Foursquare because it has categories covering almost everything. So, when I experience excellent service or dreamy food from any restaurant, I write a review on Foursquare. I do the same when I walk out of a spa (listed in the directory), which makes me feel as relaxed as ever. But a friend (a big-time foodie!) doesn’t write reviews anywhere except Yelp.

When all directories cite your business, your chances of getting reviewed are higher. So, if you are not listed on Yelp, you will most likely miss a review from my friend!

4. Make sure everything is alright!

There might be duplicate listings trying to impersonate you by slightly altering the spelling of your business name. This could create a negative impression in the eyes of your customers. Local SEO needs to enlist your business at all the relevant places, which ensures nobody will copy your NAP.

How to Build Local Citations?

In local SEO, you must check out the competition before building your citations. Ultimately, the key to ranking is to be better than your competitor.

Find citations of your competitor.

Here’s a way:

  • Identify the keywords that you want to rank for and perform a Google search.
  • The top 10 results are your competitors. Prepare an Excel sheet and copy their URLs.
  • Once you have their URLs, check your competitors’ NAP individually.
  • Note the places where your competitors are listed and enter the URLs in an Excel sheet.

You have your starting point once you know where your competitors built their citations. If one of your competitors has five listings, you must get listed on those five places and others, too!

Building your listings manually might seem like a tedious task. As it involves an analysis of your business niche, it consumes a lot of time and energy.

To simplify this, you can use automated tools. They can pull a list of websites and directories where you should get listed. On a local rank-tracking website, you can also compare this list with the places where you have already been cited. It will help you build your citations further.

Local Citations Service

There are so many great citation options available for businesses these days. You can start with the common directories, but you should also consider options on social media sites, forums, and blogs.

The best thing you can do is to look for high-authority websites and directories where you can add citations. Make sure all the local citations are done manually and that you make them as unique as possible regarding business descriptions. This practice helps you to gain some extra benefits.


A local citation is an asset to your business. You might have a great product, but what good is that “unique business idea” if people don’t know about you? Mentions of your websites increase your business reputation and visibility in the market. You rise in the eyes of Search Engines and users, which is the ultimate goal.

1 thought on “What are Local Citations in the SEO?”

  1. Avatar photo
    John steven

    I personally believe that local seo is not just an option ,its a critical element that you cannot survive without.Thanks for sharing this wonderful article

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