If you want to drastically improve your local search ranking you should look into building high-quality citations. Building plenty of accurate local citations can be a great way to shoot your business above the competition and get noticed more often online.

In this article, we will go over what local citations are, how they benefit a business’s local SEO efforts, where you can find them, and some tips to keep in mind when building citations.

What are local SEO citations?

what are local seo citations
Local SEO citations are mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on various online platforms, directories, and websites. These citations are specific to local SEO and play a crucial role in establishing the credibility and relevance of your website in the eyes of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Local SEO citations can appear in structured formats, such as business listings on online directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, or Google My Business. These structured citations typically include your business’s NAP information, along with other details like website URL, hours of operation, and customer reviews.

Additionally, citations can also be unstructured, meaning they appear in various online content such as blog posts, articles, social media mentions, or even press releases.

How Do Citations Benefit Local SEO Efforts

how do citations benefit SEO
Citations offer several benefits to your local SEO efforts.

Citations serve as a ranking factor for local search results and act as digital references to your business. When search engines find consistent and accurate citations across multiple reputable sources, they validate the legitimacy and relevance of your business.

Consistent and accurate citations across different sources contribute to building trust and credibility. When search engines and users encounter consistent information about your business, it establishes confidence in your legitimacy and professionalism. This can encourage potential customers to choose your business over competitors.

Local SEO citations help search engines understand the geographic location of your business. They reinforce your business’s association with that specific location. This improves the likelihood of your business being displayed for local searches in that area.

Citations are particularly influential in local map rankings. When your business information is consistent and accurate across directories, it increases the chances of your business appearing in local map results, such as Google Maps and can even land you a spot in the Google local 3-pack.

Where Can You Find Places To Build Citations

where to build local citations
There are hundreds of different citation directories you can get your business listed on. Some are global and anyone can get listed on, and others are local directories that only accept businesses in certain locations.

Here are a few places you should definitely build citations on to improve your local SEO.

  • Google My Business
  • Yellow Pages
  • Apple Maps
  • Social Media Platforms
  • Yelp

While each of these websites are a very good place to start building citations for your business, you should also look for local business directories like your local chamber of commerce. Getting listed here will greatly improve your chances of being found by local traffic and may be an easier citation to obtain than other non-local directories.

Magazines and associations are also another way of getting listed in directories which can further help drive traffic to your website.

You can also find directories by searching through industry-specific platforms or using SEO tools like SEMRush to track the backlinks of your competitors to find which directories they are listed on that aren’t. This is a great way to catch up to your competitors or widen the gap between your business and theirs.

Tips To Keep In Mind When Building Citations


When building citations there are a few important things to keep in mind that will make the process of building relevant citations much smoother.

Most importantly you have to be consistent. All information you provide about your business should be accurate and consistent across all citation platforms and your own website.

Next, you should focus on getting high-quality citations instead of just going for as many as possible. Citations from authoritative and reputable sources are more impactful as these sites typically have a higher domain rating and may even give you a do-follow link.

Another tip when building local citations is to not make duplicate listings on the same platform. Instead, you should update existing listings. If your business already has a listing on that directory you can contact the directory to claim the listing and update the information if it is incorrect.

To learn more about local SEO and the impact of citations check out the rest of our blog.

Originally published . Last updated .

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