Local citations provide contact details for a business in directories or websites relevant to companies.
In this section, the name, address, telephone number and a link that redirects to the establishment’s website usually appear.
Many web admins need to understand local citations when building backlinks. The truth is that both are part of off-page SEO strategies, but they are two different practices.
Thus, local citations are essential to local SEO, as they generate geographical and thematic relevance for a company’s site. This makes them appear among Google results when searching for a company in a specific area and near your location.
An example of a local listing on Yelp, with the NAP specifications (Business Name, Address, and Phone Number) highlighted in blue.
Essential aspects of local citations
Contact details make up the most exciting part of the highlights of local citations. Therefore, this information must be available to Google web spiders, and this is where SEO optimization comes into play.
So, the data offered in the NAP details (Name, Address and Phone) must match each publication related to the company. Misinformation can cause confusion and distrust for visitors and search engines like Google.
Ideally, the data coincides with all platforms to generate that feeling of stability. This even facilitates the prominent positioning of a business in Google’s geolocated results.
While NAP details are a fundamental piece of citations, some directories can add more relevant information to their listings, directly influencing visitors’ future decisions regarding your website. Some extra elements can be:
Relevance of local citations
You can tell Google the geographical area and theme of a business through local citations so that the search engine considers this when displaying and positioning the company in its rankings.
Geographic relevance, for example, is improved by generating citations in regional and national directories containing the company’s NAP details. Accordingly, thematic relevance allows you to achieve better rankings on sites in the same or related industry.
For example, a freelance web designer could generate citations in freelance or design directories, thus improving the thematic relevance of her site to attract more traffic and, therefore, more clients.
Mentions in major directories such as Yelp and Google My Business are considered among the best citations. However, sources on smaller or niche pages are considered more effective when they offer high relevance.
Advantages of local citations
More referral traffic: Larger directories (including Google My Business and Yelp) get more traffic. Most users use them when they need to search for a company; therefore, they are an effective way to increase traffic to your site.
More chances of ranking: citations created by a company tend to rank often on Google. By offering enough content and optimizing the information, the business can rank for long-tail and brand keywords, thus improving its visibility in the SERPs.
Improves local ranking: These mentions have a clear local positioning purpose on Google. When related searches are performed, it is the first thing displayed for visitors from a geographic area.
Benefits overall ranking: Improved relevance can also benefit global keyword SEO.
Relevance for SEO
Local citations are a fundamental piece of local SEO and off-page SEO. Both strategies are vitally important for businesses operating in a specific geographic area such as a city, town, state, or country.
Local mentions are also beneficial for online stores. This type of help can generate thematic relevance for a page to Google. In this way, they make it easier for search engines to understand a site better and obtain more positioning possibilities in the SERPs.