In local search engine optimization (SEO), local citations are listings of a company’s information online. Businesses should build these citations to expand online visibility and authority. The business name, address, and phone number–also known as NAP data–are included in a local citation. It is also helpful to include a link to the company’s website. A factor of Google’s local algorithm looks at local citations as a signal of relevance and accuracy. By adding this information to directories and other websites, local citations can help potential customers find your business online.
It is important that local citations are correct because they serve as the foundation for SEO. Companies should check spelling, provide uniform NAP data across sites, and avoid unnecessary key words. Incomplete, incorrect, or duplicate NAP data across citation cites can cause a red flag in Google’s algorithm.
Why Local Citations Matter
Local citations are essential for effective local search rankings because they offer trust and verification about a business. If there are multiple credible sources with the same data about a company, it signals to search engines that the company is legitimate.
With increased trust and legitimacy, there is a better chance that Google will show the company in its local search results. As the algorithm sees a business’s local citations being listed on more sites, it will equate the number of listings with the popularity of the business, which can also lead to increased rankings.
Common Misconceptions of Local Citations
Some companies are not worrying about the consistency of their local citations; they are not focused on enhancing or completing their citations. Furthermore, they’re not worried about the consistency of data aggregators. They do not believe that local citations can help their marketing and business practices. Some companies also believe that local citations need to be accurate on certain sites, such as industry-specific websites. However, these actions are based on false myths and misconceptions.
In truth, local citations should engage with legitimate citation sources. Building citations should focus on laying the foundation for NAP consistency. Local SEO citation link building must also focus on relevant citations. While the online directories used for NAP consistency will vary, it’s essentially to work with citation and directory sites that are relevant, credible, and trustworthy.
Local citations are essential for businesses’ SEO foundation because NAP consistency is a critical factor for data collection in a local search. If search engines or online users come across contradictory information about a business, this will likely lead to decreased trust and legitimacy surrounding the company. Local citations help potential customers find your business online, thus resulting in increased revenue.