Benefits of Local Citations

What is a Local Citation?

A local citation mentions your organization's name, address, and phone number on a website based in the same city as you are.
Citations are the best to connect you with your local area. They are also easy because you don't have to build a whole website. With citations, it only takes one click to make an update or upload photos/videos!

10 Important Benefits of Local Citations

1. They Influence Search Engine Results

Local citations can have a dramatic impact on your website's ranking. They allow search engines to understand better the user's intent and what they're looking for.
Platforms such as Yelp or Google My Business can help you rank higher in local searches. When your site has citations from reputable sources, Google's PageRank algorithm takes them into account and assigns a score.
Local citations are good for SEO because they provide context about your business or other information that would help people decide whether your site is worth visiting.
The use of citations at the local level is also an important topic for SE optimizers because it helps establish credibility.

  • Keep your Name, Address, and Phone number consistent across directories
  • Use a listing management tool like SEMRush
  • Do fill out all citation fields

Here's a screenshot of SEMRush's listing management tool:

2. They Improve Your Reputation

A business's reputation is improved when they are mentioned in local citations. Local citations are one of the most important aspects of a company's digital footprint. They improve a business's reputation for the clientele by displaying their work on the internet.
They are a quantitative measure of reputation. The more often a business is mentioned, the more potential it is to be viewed as credible.
Citations on popular business directories like Yelp attract consumers to a business because it shows that the company is reputable in the neighborhood. This means that people trust this local business and purchase products or services.
Three Best Reputation Management Tools

  • Reputology - A platform to monitor and analyze online reviews
  • Social Mention - Find who is talking about your brand online
  • SentiOne - A social listening tool to improve customer service

Here's an example of Social Mention showing the sentiment tone of a company's mentions:
Read: Tips to Boost Your Reputation Using SEO

3. They Get You More Reviews

There are many reasons business owners want to have their company listed on directories and other sites. Among the most compelling reasons is that it can help to boost online reviews.
Sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook are major players in the review game, important for businesses.
Having citations for your business on local directories is an important step in encouraging people to review your company online.
The higher the number of citations a business has online, the more likely it will get increased reviews.
If a business has more citations than competitors in its industry, this creates an advantage for that business in terms of credibility and trustworthiness. Furthermore, these citations will increase the business's visibility on the internet.

  • Get your Google My Business profile verified
  • Always ask customers to leave reviews through post-purchase emails
  • Respond to reviews
  • Use a review management tool for efficiency

Here's an example of Amazon asking customers for reviews post-purchase via email:
Read: Step-by-step Setup Guide for Google My Business Set up

4. They Improve Your Brand Visibility

This is a no-brainer. A business not listed in its local area will have a much lower chance of being found by customers. Local listings are important for businesses to establish visibility within their region because they are found when customers search for them.
Businesses with local listings are also more likely to appear in navigation apps, Google, or other search engines.
In an age where most people research a business on the internet before visiting it in person, local listings are paramount to its online visibility.
The internet is a vast terrain, and listing your company on Yelp, Google Plus, Foursquare, Facebook, etc., will help potential customers find your company easily.
Tips to improve brand awareness:

  • Come up with a referral program
  • Collaborate with influencers. A tool like Promoty comes in handy for such tasks
  • Be active on social media. A tool like Falcon may help you with the task.

Here's an example of an influencer on Instagram promoting a brand:

5. They Give You an Edge Over Your Competitors

Every day, companies are jumping into the online market. It has become an increasingly competitive place for companies to do business. One way that small businesses can stay ahead of their competitors is by acquiring more citations.
The more citations, the more well-known and prestigious a company becomes. The rules of how to become successful in business are always changing. However, what will not change is the need for businesses to be seen as experts in the domain.
No matter what industry your business is in, there will always be competitors who want to take your customers. The way for you to beat out your competition now is by amplifying your visibility so that people will see you as the expert they need.
One way to do this is by having as many citations as possible for your business.
Three helpful tools for competitor analysis:

  • SEMRush: Find what your competitors' strategies are using this tool
  • SpyFu: A great tool to find the ads your competitors are running
  • SE Ranking - A spy tool to gain insights about your rivals' SEO and PPC campaigns

Here's a screenshot of SpyFu analyzing what ads a competitor business is running:

6. They Improve Your Credibility

Every business wants to be seen as legitimate. People will take their advice and buy their products if they are credible. One tactic to prove that a company is credible is to show off its local citations.
Other businesses create local citations in your area, not outside companies or your previous employees. They are usually found on Yelp, Google My Business, and Yahoo! Small Business platforms.
Local citations are society's way of measuring the value an organization or business provides to the community. They are a great way to show that a business is reputable.
Many people look up a business online before going into it for the first time.
If a company has no citations, this can cause concern, and the customer may choose to turn around and spend their money at another establishment.
Tips to improve credibility:

  • Display testimonials on your website
  • Have a stellar customer service
  • Be honest and sensitive
  • Use hard data to back your claims
  • Address negative reviews

Here's an example of a business displaying testimonials on their website:

7. They Increase Your Sales

Citations are essential when it comes to business growth. They help businesses find new customers through search engines, increasing their sales. They provide value and exposure to customers that live in an area.
Online presence is one of the most important things in today's age. Many people find businesses and compare their prices and offerings before buying from them.
If a business has many reviews and ratings on sites like Yelp or Google, they are more likely to sell their product or service.
Local citations like newspaper articles and press releases will help increase the chances of success by putting your company in front of potential customers that you would not otherwise come across.
Tips to increase sales

  • Run a sale
  • Have a unique selling proposition
  • Expand to new markets
  • Increase your sales channels
  • Retain your customers using good service

Here's an example of a business that has not only many reviews but highly positive reviews:
Read: 15 Tips to Increase Your Sales Using SEO

8. They Reduce Marketing Costs

The landscape of a business is constantly changing. In this digital age, marketing tactics have been evolving rapidly. However, the most cost-effective way for small businesses to promote is by using their online presence and local citations.
Local citations are online records that help consumers find the best products and services in their area. They provide a convenient way to choose from various options in one location, rather than being bombarded with dozens of ads when simply searching online.
Sometimes local citations are the only marketing channel that hyper-local businesses need. For example, if you're linking to your business on Facebook pages in your town, you will likely get free marketing through the page's followers.
Tips for cutting marketing costs:

  • Use marketing automation tools
  • Retarget your customers
  • Concentrate on word-of-mouth marketing

You can use Hootsuite to schedule Facebook posts:

9. They Send You Quality Traffic

You may not realize it, but local citations are among the best ways to generate high-quality leads. They are more likely to be clicked on by potential clients so that they can provide your business with a steady stream of qualified prospects.
Some people might think that citations don't do much for your business. However, citations can be a great way to send high-quality leads your way. It all depends on where and how you use them.
For example, Google My Business and Apple Maps are the most authoritative citation sources. With these, people will be able to find your company instantly.
Tips to get quality traffic:

Here's an example of a newsletter from Domino's Pizza:

10. They Send You Free Traffic

As a small business owner, you've probably heard about the importance of local citations and how they can help your business grow. When viewed from a marketing perspective, citations are a great way to drive free traffic.
Locally-targeted citations, such as business listings on Google Maps, can help you get more customers in your local area by facilitating easy access to your store information. All the customer needs to enter their location and find your company name.
Tips to get free traffic:

  • Use social media for quick reach
  • Earn backlinks from high-quality sites
  • Have an affiliate program

Getting your business featured in an article with a high Domain Authority earns you excellent quality backlinks:

What are the Different Types Of Citations

1. Structured Citations

Structured citations are a formal reference to your business so that they can be found and cited by other people online. Structured citations are usually formatted consistently.
These citations ensure that a reference to a URL is valid and correct for SEO purposes. Structured citations include a few elements which must be present for a citation to be valid:
The name of your business, location, operational hours, contact info, and the like.
Structured citations enable businesses to be found in Google and other search engines. They are crucial for indexing and sorting.
Yellow Pages is a good example of structured citations:

2. Unstructured Citations

Unstructured citations come in many shapes and sizes, but all share a fundamental resemblance. They are not formally formatted because they are never intended to be submitted to a directory or a commerce website for publication.
Instead, they are used by the author as an informal citation when referring to a business. Some experts believe that unstructured citations impress Google against the traditional ones.
Listicle articles are a good example of unstructured citations:

How Local Citations Can Help You with Local SEO

1. Citations Impact Local Search Rankings

Google has always been interested in giving web users the best possible search results, but doing so has become increasingly difficult with the proliferation of fake news and websites that only exist to generate ad revenue.
To counter this problem, Google differentiates between high-quality and low-quality content by prioritizing local citations.
When Google indexes your site, they will look for any mention of your business in the local scope.
If you do not have any citations on sites like Yelp, then chances are it will take more time for Google to index your site and rank your site better in local search listings. This may also cause your site to rank lower than competitors in Google's listing who have a higher number of citations.
Three helpful Local SEO tools

  • Brightlocal - A suite of tools to get more traffic and leads from local search
  • GeoRanker - Get unlimited local SERP data using this tool
  • Tribe Local - A Local SEO tool to manage listings and online reputation

Here's a screenshot of Brightlocal tracking citations:

2. Citations Drive Local Traffic

Local businesses are struggling to see enough return on investment these days and wondering why their website is not bringing them the customers they want.
The answer may lie that people looking for local businesses use search engines to find what they need and local directories.
It can be hard to drum up interest in your business without having decent online visibility. The best way to get people interested in your business?
When other sources cite your business, it's like having endorsements from them. The more citations a website has, the more traffic from fresh eyes.
Three amazing local citation software

  • Whitespark - A set of tools to build citations, earn reviews, and track rankings
  • Yext - A listing management tool to transform your data into formats that different publishers accept
  • Advise Local - A real-time listing management tool that offers a free visibility report

Another local citation software you can use to manage listings is uberall:

3. Citations Help Search Engines Verify Your Trustworthiness

If a business has an established and reputable online presence, it'll naturally rank higher on Google and other search engines.
But what about the little guys?
What about start-ups/local businesses who do not have a bright chance of ranking high in the SERPs because of their lack of resources?
That's where local citations come into play.
Local citations are a business's credibility. Local citations are tangible evidence that a company exists and is dedicated to its customers.
When your business listings receive good reviews, they stand as proof that you have high-quality products or services and provide excellent customer service.
Tips to improve website credibility

  • Include reviews and testimonials on your website
  • Display certificates and awards
  • Give customers a great user experience

Here's an example of a website displaying certificates and awards:

4. Local Citations Improve Brand Mentions

It may seem difficult to understand which marketing efforts will increase brand mentions with different marketing techniques.
Citations will always be one of the most effective marketing strategies to reach new customers and increase brand mentions through positive reviews.
The number of people who can review your business online will increase with the inclusion of citations. These are references to your company in news articles, blogs, and other sources that are relevant to your industry.
The more citations you have for your company, the more reviews you will get. The more reviews your business receives, the more the brand mentions.
Tips to increase brand mentions:

  • Build a brand
  • Do guest blogging
  • Join hands with influencers
  • Ask customers to leave reviews

You can send customers a link that directs them to leave reviews on your business. You can find the link in your GMB profile; under "Info," click on 'Share new form.'

4 Simple Tips To Get Local Citations

1. Guest Post

Getting local citations is important if you want to rank well in Google. One way to do this is with guest posting. Guest posting is contributing content to another platform (usually a blog).
If you can find a blog that ranks high in your target area and create great content for them, they will publish it and often link back to your site. As a result, you could get more citations and rank better on Google.
It is common for businesses, especially small to medium-sized ones, to run guest posts to increase their visibility. For example, if you are a company that sells power tools, you could consider writing a guest post about 10 of the most helpful power tools for small business owners.
Blogs that accept guest posting

By filling up this form, you can publish guest posts on My Venture Pad:
Read: Importance of Guest Posting & Tips to Strategize It

2. Use Business Directories

Business directories can be an excellent resource for citation-building. You can gain citations by getting your business listed on various business directories such as Yelp, Manta, and Google Places.
Most directory databases are updated regularly using the information submitted by users, making them a powerful tool for boosting your citation count.
The best way to use business directories is to verify that it's the correct database for the industry your company belongs to, then search for your company on the site and click through any links that are returned. From there, you can either submit a link to your website.
Three best directories

  • Merchant Circle - A platform that has 2 million merchants
  • Angi - A platform that provides special tools to manage and showcase your business
  • Hotfrog - A directory that operates in 44 countries

Here's what a citation to your website would look like on Merchant Circle:

3. Use Industry-specific Directories

When using a business directory, it's important to make sure you choose the right one for your industry. For example, one of the most popular directories is Yelp.
Yelp concentrates on restaurants and retail stores, so selecting another directory is recommended if you're in a niche sector or looking for citations outside this scope.
Almost every industry has its own set of business directories that list companies and their contact information.
For example, if you're a chiropractor, you might want to check out or

4. Chamber of Commerce Websites

You work hard to build a business that's recognized in your community. You spend a lot of time and money on advertising, building relationships, and creating a good reputation.
Your goal is to attract customers from your local area – people who will visit your storefront, hire your services, or buy from you online.
Many new entrepreneurs don't realize that there are many other opportunities for visibility in their community. One of these opportunities is through the chamber of commerce website.
Chambers of Commerce are organizations that promote the interests of their communities by helping businesses.
One should be aware that Chamber of Commerce websites have exclusive resources for this purpose. This includes forms, articles, and more. These are the places where you will get local citations.
Three Best Chambers of Commerce

Key Takeaways

  • Keep your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) consistent
  • Use a listing management tool for efficient workflow
  • Use social listening tools to respond to reviews actively
  • Work with influencers and bloggers to get mentions
  • Create great content to get cited by others
  • Send post-purchase emails to get reviews
  • Guest post to get citations
  • Use chamber of commerce websites and directories to get citations.

Rank Your Website

Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years strategizing and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested in writing Digital-marketing, PPC, and Social Media Marketing related topics.


Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years strategizing and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested in writing Digital-marketing, PPC, and Social Media Marketing related topics.