In local search engine optimization (SEO), citations are mentions of your company's name, address, and phone number (commonly referred to as NAP) on a website that isn't your own. Citations are considered a ranking factor for local SEO, as they provide search engines with the certainty that your business exists. A local citation is any combination of the company name, phone number, address, zip or zip code, and website address.
Why Are Citations Important for Local SEO?Citations are essential for local SEO as they help search engines to determine the legitimacy of your business. They represent approximately 13% of how search engines like Google will rank your company in local searches, which places them among the four main factors that search engines like Google use to rank your company in local searches.
It is important to include all three elements of NAP (name, address and phone number) in a full citation, as partial citations may not have the same effect. Additionally, it is beneficial to appear in hyperlocal directories such as the local Chamber of Commerce or other local business association websites.
How Do Citations Help Local SEO?When you search by keyword, the local search engine shows the three companies that rank first in the local ranking for that term and then searches for their citations, both structured and unstructured. Prominence is quite important; Google's local search document states that it's one of the main factors it uses to determine local rankings. There have been several independent studies that have shown that having a consistent NAP list can be a factor for local SEO.
However, it is important to note that using any local address (not real) can have a negative impact on search engines.
How Can You Build Citations?Including your company in the main national and local sites helps your company build authority, build trust and will improve the company's ability to rank in local search results. Creating unstructured local citations is a little more difficult than creating structured local citations because you'll need someone who cares enough about your company to write about it. Moz Local extracts all the corresponding listings related to your website from the main local indexing platforms and shows any inconsistencies it finds. In conclusion, citations are an important ranking factor for local SEO and should not be overlooked when creating an SEO strategy.
They help search engines to verify the legitimacy of your business and can be used to improve your ranking in local searches. It is important to include all three elements of NAP (name, address and phone number) in a full citation and to appear in hyperlocal directories such as the local Chamber of Commerce or other local business association websites.