What Are Local Citations?

If you’re in the business of SEO or are just trying to get your business to rank better in Google, you’ve likely heard the phrase “local citations”. Let’s talk about what are local citations and how they can help your business outrank your competition in Google.

What Are Local Citations?

what are local citations

First, let’s define what are local citations. A local citation is simply a business’ name, address, and oftentimes phone number listed online.

Oftentimes, a local citation is used interchangeably with NAP (name, address, phone number). They both essentially mean the same thing.

To Google (and your customers), this is the most important information as it relates to your business. This makes sense, because these are the three most important pieces of identifying information about a business. When someone is looking for local businesses in a particular niche, they need to know the name of the business, it’s location/address, and contact number.

If you own a local business, this information should be located on your website somewhere. Preferably it should be on every single page (possibly in the header, footer, or sidebar of your site).

But a local citation can exist OFF of your website, as well. You can (and should) create a listing on sites like Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, etc.

Why Do Local Citations Matter?

Local citations play a huge role in local SEO.

In addition to every other Google ranking factor (on page SEO, backlinks, SERPs CTR, etc.), a healthy local citation profile online helps you rank.

In other words, if you get your website’s NAP information into multiple local and general listing directories, this creates a consistent footprint for your business.

This helps to build trust in Google’s eyes, and just as importantly solidifies Google’s understanding of where your business is located.

As such, you’ll begin to rank well for the local keywords you’re targeting (Tuscon Dentist as an example).

Local citations are a way to vouch that your business is where you claim it is based on the local keywords you’re targeting.

Creating a listing on some local citation directories is as simple as inputting your business’ basic information.

Others (like Google My Business) require proof of your location (validated via physical mail).

Creating a consistent footprint on as many directories which feature citations as possible is essential.

This alone can be enough to outrank your competitors on a local level, so get started if you haven’t already.

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