What are Local Citations?
Local Citations for Local SEO are an online reference to your business Name, Address and Phone number (NAP)
A common example of a citation might be a business listing in the online yellow pages directory or a local business association page.
Importance of Local Citations
Citations are a key component of the ranking algorithms in Google and Bing, as well as a key component of successful Local SEO. Businesses with a greater number of properly listed citations will rank higher than businesses without.
Citations from well-established and authoritative portals help increase search engine confidence to rank your business. Citations, sometimes referred to business ‘mentions’ are particularly important for businesses without a high quality website.
Citations validate that a business is part of a community, and will improve your local business search engine rankings.
SEO Gold focuses on building a strong core of citations to broaden your business visibility, strengthen search engine “trust”, and to drive traffic and sales.
Where does SEO Gold acquire Local Citation Business Listings?
1. Data aggregators
There are five primary data aggregators of local business data in the US. Infogroup, Neustar Localeze, Acxiom, and Factual have compiled indexes of 20 million plus business locations across the United States.
Data aggregators license data to most local search engines, including Google and Bing.
2. Local search engines
Local search engines, such as Google and Bing, crawl the web for citations to validate business information in their indexes. Acquiring listings on sites like YellowPages, SuperPages, Yelp and others can increase search engine confidence in the accuracy of your NAP, business name, location, and website.
Most local businesses should engage in a citation building campaign and obtain as many relevant, quality, local business directory listings as possible.
3. Local blogs
Local blogs provide a good source for local business citations. Perform a search for “[your city] blog” or “[your neighborhood] blog,” and check out the query results.
The sites that display will be well-indexed, and associated with a relevant neighborhood, city, or region in local results. Businesses mentioned are viewed as trusted, relevant results in the local search engines.
4. Locally focused directories
Local directories are well-indexed by search engines and relevant to a particular city or region. Human-edited, local directories are less susceptible to spam, and are more trusted by local search engines. Perform searches for “[your city] directory” or “[your state] directory” to find good prospects for these kinds of citations.
5. Industry-focused directories or blogs
If a website is focused on topics and keywords related to your products and services, it may be included among the sites that local search engines count as citations — even if that website or directory is not focused on a particular geographical region.
The membership directory of a popular trade organization is a good example. It will likely be crawled by local search engines for citations regardless of geography. Search “[your industry] directory” or “[your keyword] directory” to find some potential listing sites.
Here’s great source for the top 50 Citation Sources in the United States
Below is a list of a few of the most important sources for Citations.
Top Citations by Category
I highly recommend taking a look at this Top Citation by Category List to see which citation sources should be top priorities for your specific type of business.
Citation Listing Errors
It is critical to avoid duplicate or inaccurate listings. It’s important that business listing info is consistent in all listings or search engines will push down your ranking. Check all your local citation business listings, and if not accurate and consistent, correct the problems asap.
SEO Gold wants to build a strong core of citations to broaden your business visibility, strengthen search engine “trust”, and to drive traffic and sales.