Blog

A Complete Guide to Local SEO Citation Building

Link Building
On May 4, 2023

Subscribe for monthly updates

The first step to promoting a business is earning people’s trust. Gaining a potential customer’s trust is easier said than done. Alongside gaining trust to get brownie points, it is important to stay updated with the latest trends and work on SEO accordingly to maintain your company’s ranking.

 

This is where local SEO citation building comes in like a knight in shining armor for your business!

 

Besides, it might come as a surprise, but citations are one of Google’s most influential ranking factors. Therefore, even if you have a strong business profile on Google, you cannot get too far without local business citations.

 

Without further ado, let’s dive straight into the world of local SEO citation building:

What are local business citations?

Local business citations refer to any mention of a business online. A local citation entails a business’s basic contact information like website, address, phone number, and business name. Local citations are also called listings, local SEO citations, or local listings because they are often found in online directories. how to build local citations                                                                                              Source

Normally, your company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are enough, but some websites may ask you to provide more data. This may include: 

  • Industries served
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Description
  • Social Media links 
  • Photos of your products or services. 

 

Bear in mind citation sources aren’t restricted to data aggregators or directories. Even something as simple as a blog post can be considered a citation if it mentions your business’s NAP.

How do they work?

Google considers many factors when deciding whether to display a business listing or not. One of the many important considerations is the distance between the business and the searcher. Local citations use a Google My Business listing. 

 

Unlike traditional organic SEO, where links from a trusted website determine Google’s ranking, in local SEO, text hyperlinks play the deciding role in Google’s Local Pack listings.

 

In other words, local citations from websites with high traffic and high domain authority can boost your business’s ranking in local searches.

Types of Local Citations for SEO

Local citations are grouped into two categories:

Structured Citations

A structured citation includes the NAP (name, address, and phone number) of a company in a defined format. The websites and directories with structured citations are designed specifically for this purpose. These include sites like LinkedIn, Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, and more.

 

For instance, this is what a structured citation for Globex Outreach looks like:

Source: Yelp

Unstructured Citations

An unstructured citation is just the reference of a company anywhere on the web that is not specifically a structurally business listing. An unstructured citation has the NAP level of data. Examples include blogs, news articles, wikis, and more.

 

This mention of Globex Outreach in a blog by Linkio is an example of an unstructured citation: 

Globex Outreach

source

Unstructured Citations

An unstructured citation is just the reference of a company anywhere on the web that is not specifically a structurally business listing. An unstructured citation has the NAP level of data. Examples include blogs, news articles, wikis, and more.

 

This mention of Globex Outreach in a blog by Linkio is an example of an unstructured citation:

Unstructure Ciatation

Why is citation building for local SEO a drool-worthy option for businesses?

Here’s why your business needs Local SEO Citation Building

Improve Visibility in Search Engine Rankings

Big names such as Yelp and Google rank impressively high in organic local search results.

 

You know what they say, ‘If you can’t fight them, join them.’ 

 

These directories offer more opportunities for businesses to rank on the first page of the SERPs. Since Google also considers them trustworthy, they dominate the first page of the search results.

Referral Traffic

Local SEO Citation Building can help you earn valuable referral traffic. Therefore, it is vital that your business is listed in as many directories as possible. 

 

Make sure that your business is visible on industry-relevant directories. Don’t go the irrelevant route.

Adapt to Changing Circumstances

Things like location, hours of operation, photos, and phone number change all the time. Local citations can be modified with minimal disruption. You can easily fix inaccurate citations and update important details.

 

Improves Local Rankings

The number of citations, accuracy, and quality of directory listings are instrumental for SEO. Local SEO citation building may not influence your ranking directly; they have a huge impact on organic search rankings.

 

More Opportunities for Third-Party Review 

Certain citation websites double as review sites, thus allowing users to grade their local business experience.

This helps with ranking in the SERPS because it complies with Google 3-Pack, i.e., relevance, proximity, and prominence. The Google 3-Pack is defined by a positive reputation in the industry. 

 

How to Build Local Citations: A Tutorial

Do you want to know how to build local citations for your business? Let’s dive in then:

Start with Data Aggregator Listing

Data aggregators remove any chances of gaps in the direct submission of NAP info. They distribute business information to different directories using consistent NAP to ensure data accuracy. Some commonly used data aggregators include: 

  • Factual
  • Data Axle
  • Express Update
  • Neustar Localeze 

Manual Citation Building for Local Business

 

Don’t forget to enter your business phone number if it has already been listed. Review the information and wait for the verification process. The verification process can take some time.

Directly submit to core sites

Data aggregators do not distribute data to all sites. That’s why we recommend submitting your business details to core sites. Core sites are Facebook, Yelp, Apple Maps, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, and BBB.


citation building for local seo

                                                                                            Source

You can submit your data in two ways:

Manual submission

If you do not mind doing mundane tasks and have a lot of time to spare, you can submit to all sites one by one. Search your company’s name on the core sites and update the information. 

 

Enlist the help of a business

If you want to save time, enlist the help of a company like Globex Outreach and let them integrate your business into reputable sites and manage your citations from one place.

 

Popular industry-related local websites

Make sure to look for industry-specific sites in your local area. For example, if you run a restaurant, you must get listed on TripAdvisor. The location of your company will generate better local SEO citation opportunities.  

Here’s how you can find these opportunities:

Google

Enter your industry and location with phrases like “business listings” and “business directory.” Google will provide you with sites to submit to.

 

Industry-specific citations lists

You can also find an industry-specific citation list online to save time. These lists will make it easy to get listed on sites relevant to your work.

 

Go after unstructured Citations for SEO

As explained above, unstructured citations include blog posts, articles, and reviews. They are harder to get as compared to structured citations. You can use Google or HARO to get unstructured citations.

HARO

HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out, and it connects journalists with sources for information. It is free to use, and you can get cited if a journalist uses your information. It is one of the most effective ways to get high-quality citations.

 

Pursue Application Program Interfaces (APIs)

Once you have tried everything, give APIs a try as well. APIs allow you to submit citations via an automated procedure. APIs function autonomously, so there will be no manual effort involved. You can use them to submit to SEO directories.

How to make sure that your Local SEO Citation Building is effective?

Consistency is key

It is crucial to keep the NAP the same across all platforms. This enables Google to identify and group your local citations.  

 

Needless to say, if your address, phone number, or name is different, it will lead to an unwanted pitstop, so make sure the information is accurate.

 

The number of citations

Google loves consistency, like a kid loves candies. It notices any recent activity. So, if you keep updating information and keep adding SEO citations to different websites, Google will mark your business as ‘active.’

 

This will get you higher rankings in the search results..

 

Quality over quantity

Make sure that you claim your local listings on the most used sites and sites with high domain authority instead of adding additional business citations.

 

Reaping the benefit of all available fields

Take advantage of any extra field a listing allows. If it allows you to add a webpage, a contact email address, a logo, or a picture, go for it! 

The more diverse your listing is, the most authoritative your business will appear to Google and its users.

Top Free Business Citation Sites For Local Seo Citation Building

Give the following free business citation sites a chance if you wish for your business to be found by more potential customers:

P.S. We have thrown a few paid ones in the mix as  well!

Citation Site What Do You Need To Know About It
Google Business Requires a Google account
Bing Requires a Microsoft account
US City Lets businesses claim their listings
Infignos Results for businesses of all types
Judy’s Book Costs $7/month to register a listing
CitySquares Lets businesses claim their listings
Data Axle Fees discussed on account creation
Business Directory Library Includes over 60 million companies
Google Maps Requires a Google account
Apple ID Requires an Apple account
LinkedIn Requires a verified social media account
Facebook Requires a verified social media account
BizExposed One-time fee at $9.99 USD
Jayde Businesses need to have their own domain
Biz Community Tiered packages offer extra exposure
Better Business Bureau Requests need to be approved before listing
Kompass UK Requires a B2B status
Thumbtack Works seamlessly for trades, but leads require extra payment
Manta Focuses on smaller businesses
Cylex Lets businesses claim their listings
Show Me Local Lists 22+ million businesses
Local Business Guide Results for businesses of all types
KnowEm Helps users establish their brand across websites
PureLocal Includes listings similar to a phone book
Kompass Costs $20 to register a listing
Lacartes Includes listings similar to a phone book
HotFrog Results for businesses of all types
Sales Spider Includes listings similar to a phone book
Merchant Circle Results for businesses of all types
Yellow Pages Includes listings similar to a phone book
Yahoo Small Business Starting at $24 USD/month
Cybo Supports 50+ languages
Foursquare Offers options for customer engagement
Brown Book Supports image upload
Crunchbase Offers upgrade and marketing options
Tupalo Offers search engine exposure with free package
Better Business Bureau Requests must be approved before listing
TripAdvisor Owners must claim or request a listing
HERE Maps Focuses on local engagement
TrustPilot Starts with review and profile access
Yelp  Results for businesses of all types
Find US Local Includes listings similar to a phone book
eBusiness Pages Results for businesses of all types
My Huckleberry Includes listings similar to a phone book
Angi Works great for trades but leads cost extra
eLocal Results for businesses of all types
Neustar Costs $7/month to register a listing
Discover Our Town Fees discussed on account creation
Tuugo Results for businesses of all types
WhitePages Includes listings similar to a phone book
CitiServe Works great for trades but leads cost extra
Chamber of Commerce Results for businesses of all types
Cityfos Includes listings similar to a phone book
EZLocal Lists businesses automatically but can update on request
Mapquest Lets businesses claim their listings
ABLocal Includes listings similar to a phone book
HomeAdvisor Works great for trades but leads cost extra
Consumer Affairs Fees discussed on account creation
CitySearch Lists businesses automatically but can update on request
Scoot Results for businesses of all types
Insider Pages Lets businesses request a listing if not found
Find the Needle Works great for trades but leads cost extra
Thomson Local Includes listings similar to a phone book

 

Frequently asked questions about local citations

What is a Google Map citation?

Simply put, a Google Map citation is simply the name of your business on another site. Sometimes, business owners also add their addresses and phone numbers. A business directory like Yahoo, Yelp, or Foursquare where your company is listed by its name would be an example of a Google Map citation. A local citation does not have a link to your website.

Are local citations and local listings the same?

Local citations include a company’s name, address, and phone number (AKA NAP) listed online. A local citation can also include other information such as business hours, driving directions, email addresses, fax numbers, etc. However, the NAP is most important for SEO.

A local listing, on the other hand, is when a company is added to a list online. A local listing may cover citation data. These listings may include citation data. For instance, Yelp is a listing where every company is paired with its NAP data and includes high-value citations.

Are local citations free or paid?

Local citations can be free or paid. You can find plenty of free citations online for local SEO citation building, or you can pay for a citation that you want to build.

What is the difference between unstructured citations and structured citations?

Structured citations are listings on formal directories. These include major directories and data platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, Superpages, etc.

Unstructured citations, on the contrary, are references to a local business’s contact information by other platforms. These include best-of-lists, online news, and blogs such as Chamber of Commerce websites and the local YMCA.

Life Is Too Short For Manual Local Seo Citation Building: Let The Professionals Handle It For You!

Let’s be real; managing locations over multiple local SEO citations increases the chances of human error and is also time-taking. We do not want you to waste your time when you can invest it somewhere else to scale your business.

 

Let’s suppose it takes you ten minutes to update one of your many locations. If your locations are available on 39 directories. More than 30 directories lead to an increase in user actions by 136%.  In that case, it will take you more than six hours to update your local citations. Plus, if you have 60 locations, you won’t be able to go anywhere for weeks. You would not want that, would you?

 

Allow the professionals to take the wheel and steer the ship for you. Globex Outreach can make citation building for local SEO look like a piece of cake. They have a team of experts who specialize in citation building and, with a few clicks, magically disperse your information across all channels.

 

Why Do You Need to Let Us Take Care of Manual Citation Building for Local Business for You?

Another benefit of letting us do your work is that we make sure there is no human error or lapse of judgment. Besides, our team goes the extra mile and identifies relevant platforms for local citations for your business in your niche. We make sure to consider account directory-specific requirements, for instance, what would be the best way to format phone numbers.

 

Wrapping It Up

Is local SEO citation building worth your time? Absolutely! No matter how big or small your business is, your local SEO strategy must have local citations to bear jaw-dropping results. Every mention of your business on authoritative directories will improve your organic search placement and drastically affect the leads you acquire.

 

If you are looking for the best citation service to build local SEO and take your business to new heights of success, we have got your back. Feel free to reach out to us, and our team of experts will reach out to you with the best-in-class solutions that suit your business needs the best.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *