Citations are one of the main off-page SEO factors that affect local search rankings. Having more citations with accurate data on high-quality directories sends a strong signal to search engines that your business is relevant and authoritative. This results in a higher chance of showing up in local search results, leading to more foot traffic and revenue for your business.
Local SEO Citations refer to online mentions of your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP). These citations often appear on directories like Yellow Pages or Yelp and are called structured citations because they follow a specific format. They are important for local SEO because they show that your NAP information is consistent across the web, which is a critical signal to Google and other search engines.
Structured citations also provide valuable backlinks, another off-page SEO factor that helps improve your local search ranking. However, they can be time-consuming to build and may require paying for a premium listing on some directories. As a result, it’s important to focus on the quality of your citations and prioritize getting listed on the best sites that your target audience uses.
Unstructured citations are mentions of your business in blogs, reviews, and articles that don’t use a standard NAP format. These citations are less common but still important for local SEO because they can help you gain visibility in search engine results and drive traffic to your website. Unstructured citations can also be difficult to manage because they don’t usually provide a link to your site, so you’ll have to manually submit them and ensure that the information is correct.
The value of local citations stems from the fact that they help search engines verify that your business is legitimate. When a customer searches for a service or product in your area, the search engine looks at the NAP information of all the businesses that appear in the local search results to determine which ones are most relevant. If your NAP information is inaccurate or inconsistent, you’ll be ranked lower in the local search results.
Local citations are also an important factor because they can help you reach new customers. Many people who find your business through a local search are already in the mood to buy, so they’re more likely to turn into a paying customer than someone who found you by accident. Moreover, research by Nectafy shows that 88% of customers who run a local search will visit or call the business within 24 hours.
The best way to start a Local SEO Citations strategy is by performing a manual search of your local market and industry to see which directories are the most popular. Next, you should check whether the listings have been claimed and that all the NAP information is accurate. Once you’ve done this, you can begin building your citations. It’s a good idea to focus on quality over quantity, so make sure that your citations are on high-quality directories that have a DA of 30 or more.