Local Citations

When it comes to boosting your website search ranking, there are many important signals to consider. Arguably one of the most important is local citations, which are crucial for local map pack ranking and local organic rankings.

How Local Citations Help Your Business

Local citations include any online mention of your business information (e.g. business name, address, and phone numbers). These citations allow potential customers to find local businesses via business directories, social media sites, and other websites or apps. This includes helping businesses to be discoverable through search engines as well.

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Types of Local Citations

All of the following types of local citations can be developed through various methods of PR/marketing, by manually entering information on local business platforms, or through the use of automated software, like Bright Local.

Here are the most common types of local citations:

  • Local Business Data Platforms
    • Examples: Google My Business, Infogroup, Acxiom
  • The Wider Web
    • Examples: blogs, publications, apps, databases, news sites, maps, etc.
    • Businesses can develop these citations intentionally, or they can be earned through user interest and sharing of business information.
  • Geo/Industry-Specific Platforms
    • Examples: Professional guilds and associations, chamber of commerce websites, etc.
    • Citations listed on industry-specific sites or geography-specific sites.

Key Components of Local Citations

  • Category of business
  • Directions to business
  • Hours of operation
  • Description of business
  • Videos and images
  • Accepted forms of payment
  • Customer reviews
  • Geo-coordinates
  • Taglines
  • Social media links
  • Contact information (Email, fax, alternate phone numbers)
  • Specific business attributes

Why are Local Citations Important?

Local citations are important for your business because they can have a big impact on two things: local search engine rankings, and customer leads. If businesses establish a high number of citations with accurate data, this improves the validity of the data which positively impacts search engine ranking. Additionally, accurate citations help consumers to find local businesses which helps businesses to thrive.

Active Location Data Management

There are two approaches to citation management: active or passive. A passive approach to citation management neglects citation development and can lead to the following challenges:

  • Inaccurate citations
  • Small or weak citations
  • Lack of awareness of edits to local business listings
  • Inability to strategically:
    • Discover inaccurate data
    • Manage citations during any changes (e.g. business moves, mergers, rebranding, etc.)
    • Discover and manage reviews
  • Lack of control over the representation of the business on the internet

On the other hand, there are many benefits that come with an active approach to citation management. Some of these benefits are:

  • Accurate and powerful citations on major platforms
  • Ability to manage, discover, and correct inaccurate data
  • Manage duplicate local business listings
  • Ability to strategically edit citation data during changes (e.g. business moves, mergers, rebranding, etc.)
  • Ability to discover and manage reviews
  • Maximum control over the representation of the business on the internet

In summary, citations are publications that encompass your core business data on the internet. These local citations have the power to influence search engine rankings and consumer discovery and access, which therefore impacts a business’s reputation and revenue. It is essential that businesses utilize active location data management and research potential options and service solutions (e.g. manual, semi-automated, or automated) to determine the resources that will best support their business.