What Is A Local Citation?

local shop cartoon in park

When we talk about local citations we need to remember it refers to any mention of your business in the online world. It is important that your company details, such as name, phone number, address, zip code, and website address be consistent throughout the internet. This will help you improve your online visibility and help lead potential clients to your business, where they may end up purchasing a product or service.

Why are citations Important for local businesses?

happy business customer with open for business sign on teal background

Citations send signals to search engines like Google and Bing, notifying them of the existence of your business. In other words, if your information is accurately listed through multiple sources, your local business will be seen as legitimate. As an added value, listing your business on recognized sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc. will help your business gain more authority and establish trust. Local citations will also help your business do well in terms of SEO.

As of 2017, in a survey conducted by MOZ, Google My Business and additional citations make up 32.30% of the ranking factors considered by core search engines to be influential in positioning your business in their results.

moz loca search ranking wheel chart

Are all citations equal?

woman looking at computer screen with a surprised face on yellow background

The answer to that would be, no. Whitespark separates citations into 4 tiers, and they go a little something like this:

Tier 1
Google loves them and people use them to find businesses. Both local and national sites are considered.

Generic
1. Yelp
2. Facebook
3. Yellowpages
4. BBB
5. etc.

Here’s an example of a structured citation for a coffee shop on Yelp:

local yelp citation for the markee in gig harbor

(By the way, The Markee Coffee Shop is amazing! If you’re ever in Gig Harbor, WA, go there.)

Hyper-Local & Niche
1. Lawyers.com
2. Avvo
3. City of Chicago.org
4. Denver.com
5. etc.

Tier 2
Lesser known, but Google likes them.

1. Yellowbook
2. Merchant Circle
3. HotFrog
4. etc.

After this tier it gets tricky. Good sites need to be filtered out from bad ones. You do not want your business to be listed on a citation site that is going to hurt your overall authority and visibility.

Tier 3

1. Yellowise
2. My Local Services
3. Local Database
4. etc.

Tier 4

1. IGotBiz.com
2. UnitedStatesSeek.com
3. etc.

In a perfect world your information should be correct throughout the internet, but sadly, that is not the case. Citation sites add your businesses information without you even knowing it. Data aggregators like

1. InfoGroup
2. Acxiom
3. Localeze
4. Factual

a cartoon of a group of people looking at electronic devices next to a phone that has a comment section on screen

They gather your information and validate it from web searches, utilities, the government, and the list goes on. The importance of consistency from your listings is now more important than ever. With potential clients looking for businesses from their smartphones and making decisions on whether or not they should trust your business from the information they gather online, consistent citations is key. Not only will your business gain more traffic, but you will also leave a professional impression. Imagine having the wrong directions, telephone number, or website under your business name. Potential clients might get lost, call some random person, or enter a site that is either not functional, or one that has a bad reputation.

Josue Oliveras Perez from humble fox media with black leather jacket in front of brick wall

Josué Oliveras Pérez is the SEO specialist & lead web designer at Humble Fox Media. He has helped many local businesses with their digital marketing needs for more than 3 years. In his off time, you can find him tasting some local beers around Gig Harbor, WA. Or searching for music from the 90’s at a vinyl record shop near you.

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