Simply put: A local citation is any mention of a business online that includes the business name, address, and phone number (often referred to as NAP).
Common citation sources include directory sites, data aggregators (i.e. Factual, Acxiom, Localeze, and Infogroup), Chamber of Commerce websites, social media, review sites such a Yelp, plus Google My Business and Bing Places. It’s important to note that a mention of the business on its own website doesn’t count as a citation.
A majority of citations include a link to the business’ website or additional information. Local citations are a valuable component of local SEO optimization regardless of whether they provide the business with a direct link. The benefits of citations go way beyond getting backlinks.
Additionally, having a consistent Name/Address/Phone Number (NAP) is quite important, because Google places a lot of weight on having that information accurate and correct. If you have it in the right format across many different sources, then you will rank higher because Google can be sure that it is listing the right contact info for your business. In addition, becoming active on local listings sites might be the most important single factor for performing well in local search. These include one-off sites like churches or community bulletin boards as well as listings that are more common across different areas, like the website for the local Chamber of Commerce. The more you can appear in these listings, the more Google trusts your business.
It is not uncommon for a small business that is listed on a few local listings without much traffic to beat out big chains that have a location in that area: that is how strong the effect of your presence on a listings site can be. This is because Google wants to give searchers a good experience by emphasizing the results that are truly local, and it uses these sites as a good way to determine that.
Search engines use citations (among many other SEO factors) to gauge a business’ online reputation. So the more quality citations a business has online, the higher the business’ placement will be in local search engine result pages.
The prevailing mindset over the past decade has been that having more citations is always better, but this is no longer valid. In fact, low-quality citations, particularly those that link to your website, can negatively impact Google’s trust in the business. Rather than trying to improve a business’ online reputation through sheer volume, Our service focuses on identifying and targeting specific high-quality directories. We only submit local businesses to directories that meet the strictest of qualifications, which we determine based on 23 different metrics, including domain authority.
Another important characteristic of valuable sources is that they distribute their data across other directories and networks, thus acting as a data amplifier for local business citations. With our service you have access to a Data Accelerator Network.Find Out More!