Local citations, better known as a business listing or online directory is any page that shows your business name, address, phone number, and potential website. This is known as the NAPW and is considered a foundational building block of local SEO. Here is a list of some of the most popular and influential websites that display citations:
Google My Business
You might be surprised to see Google My Business on the list but it’s considered a citation, amongst other things. Google My Business is also considered the most important citation to have for your local business. Many times, Google My Business can make or break your presence online.
There are two types of business citations:
Structured Citations: This is the most common type of listing. You know when you see a structured citation if the information is laid out like
Unstructured Citations: These types of citations are far less common but hold just as much value. An example of an unstructured citation is “You can find Joe’s Plumbing on Hill Street in Vermont’ and then later add ‘Got a plumbing problem? Just call 555-456-765 for a quote’” The name, address, and phone number still appear in the content, but not in a structured format.
Having a citation presence online is considered a ranking factor and can help boost your organic and local rankings. It’s important to note that the weight of having citations has diminished over the years but it’s still important to create. Citations also help in collecting reviews for your company.
One can create their own citations by manually going to all the websites they want to target and setting up profiles. This can become quite a time-consuming endeavor, and if you have to make updates, can duplicate the amount of time invested. Many people simply hire a company to create listings on their behalf.