What Are Local Citations?

Local SEO and Citations

Do you want your business to come up more frequently in your audience’s search entries? Then you should be aware of the importance of local citations. Local citations are “any online mention of the name, address, and phone number for a local business.” Let’s say you own a hardware shop and a random user types in a search entry ‘hardware shop + location’. Ideally, you would want your shop to land amongst the top list of results. It’s important to note that the value of citations isn’t just confined to search engine optimization.

Citations are mentions of your business which can occur in many types of mass media such as social media, business directories, and even location-based apps such as Google Maps. Any mention of your business in a structured manner that has your NAP or Name, Address and phone number can have a positive impact on your authority standing in the eyes of the search engines and the web in general.

Types of Location Citations (from Moz)

  1. Major Local Business Data Platforms – Data platforms such as Google My Business, Acxiom, Localeze/Neustar, and Infogroup are designed to create local business listings. For example, If you wanna have your business appear in Google Maps, then Google My Business is where you should get a citation.
  2. Geo/Industry – Specific Platforms – These platforms cater to niche types of trade. Their content is more specialized and is suitable for an audience that desires a narrow but reputable list of choices. For example, a prominent restaurant cited in Yelp’s list of top recommended eating establishments within a specified geographic region. It’s a huge milestone in seeing your business being cited in a distinguished platform that caters to your specific type of trade and industry.
  3. The Wider Web – Wider Web citations are less precise than their specialized local listings counterparts but that does not mean they’re less important. Wider Web comprises of other types of content platforms such as blogs, magazines, apps, and many more. For example, instead of having a restaurant being cited at Yelp, being cited through a form a vlogging entry by a distinguished Youtube viral celebrity can be considered a form of wider web citation and can have a considerable impact.

Why Are Local Citations Important?

Location Citations add a sense of legitimacy and trustworthiness to your business. Once people frequently see your business across multiple forms of media, then they’ll eventually create the impression that your business is genuine and worthy of their consideration. Instead of trying to determine how to obtain the best citation on each media platform, it would be easier for you to understand how citations on different media platforms complement each other.

Take for example a reputable restaurant review website highlights a restaurant as a one-of-a-kind dining experience, then an interested audience searches your restaurant’s address in Google Maps that contains all of the relevant information they need such as route directions and hours of operation. See how having one citation in one platform complements another? They don’t necessarily have to compete with each other and neither should any business owner have that kind of digital marketing strategy. In short, the conglomeration of different citations across multiple platforms eventually creates a synergy of legitimacy to your business which will ultimately lead to more perceived authority and the increase in web traffic that comes with it.

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