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what are local seo citations

What Are Local SEO Citations, and Why Do They Matter?

Businesses online should recognize the importance of local search engine optimization (SEO). It creates a spotlight for potential clients to find them and improves the likeness they appear in local search rankings. But what are local SEO citations, and how does a citation help improve business chances? 

At Peppermonkey Media, we seek to demystify the art of the internet with our local SEO services. Read more to learn about local SEO and some of the most popular citation questions answered in plain English.

#1. What Are Local Search Citations?

SEO citations list the name of a business, its address, and its phone number on websites that aren’t yours. Think about them like cited sources in an essay or article but for business listings. 

SEO analysts refer to the name, address, and phone as NAP information, or just NAP for short. Search engine algorithms find the NAP on other sites and use them to prove the legitimacy of your business. 

For example, consider a website listing your company information in a compilation of the best upcoming local businesses in New Jersey. By seeing your location information here, Google considers your information more truthful.

#2. Do Citations Matter?

Yes, these citations can boost the amount of attention on your company. The GE Capital Retail Bank discovered that 81% of the people surveyed researched a company online before calling or visiting. If a person couldn’t find a company’s information online, this number means they were less likely to visit them.

In this case, the answer to “what are local SEO citations” can include that it’s the lifeblood of online relevance. Without NAP citations, your company cannot appear in local search results, missing out on a substantial amount of potential customers. Even businesses with established offline relevance can find themselves overshadowed by the attention online citations can bring.

Similar to word-of-mouth of the internet, NAPs help assure search engines that they can safely spread your business information. Google will then start displaying your business when a person looking for your services puts in the right search options.

The engine will also note the popularity of your company based on how many websites your NAPs appear on. This practice promotes Google as a reliable source of information and helps you build digital rapport. Therefore, some of the best ways you can help your online presence include affirming your NAPs and keeping details consistent.

#3. Are There Different Kinds of Citations?

Yes, there are two main kinds of citations: unstructured and structured. Both build company rapport and attract attention in person and online.

Structured citations come from detailed databases and directories that include thorough information about different businesses. Google My Business, Apple Maps, and Superpages would be general business information databases.

Unstructured citations include business mentions in news reports, blogs, or external websites. They lack the same cohesiveness you see in databases but can indicate the level of attention on your local business.

#4. How Do You Build Citation Relevance?

Affirming your NAPs with local or popular websites can help build local SEO citations. The websites that will benefit you the most depend on several factors, including:

  • Your local chamber of commerce
  • Trusted local citation websites
  • Industry-specific business directories
  • Vetted online directories

Of course, Google technically works as a citation source, but it and other search engines depend more on other reputable databases. This process means they trust your information more the more often it’s mentioned on trustworthy sites. Once people can find your name in valuable places, you can expect more resources to refer to your business. 

You can often find which lists locals trust the most by Google searching the local area and industry. Take note of the top three list results.

But what must you do to get your NAPs on these pertinent business lists? You have three options:

Self-Done Manual Subscription

In this process, you or someone on your team finds the listing websites your company wants to use. Then, you or the team member fill in NAP information by hand for each website. This process can be exceptionally time-consuming, so companies often opt for the next option.

Hired Manual Subscription

You likely spend your time doing the service your business provides, so you can hire someone to input the subscription details instead. Some companies use temporary contract workers, but better results often come from hiring an experienced service provider.

Aggregator Subscription

Some data aggregator services allow you to submit your NAP data and feed the information to hundreds of websites. Costs may vary depending on the competition for the area or the set pricing of the service provider.

#5. What Should My NAPs Look Like?

Every time you submit NAP information to an aggregate or subscription, you should include as many details as possible. The business name, address, and phone number are definite requirements, but you should also consider additional elements, such as:

  • Company logo
  • Business descriptions
  • Operating hours
  • Business email address

If the place you’re reporting the information has room for all of this, include as much of it as possible. You should also stay consistent with the details that you provide. For example, you should not present that your company operates from 9 to 5 when it is actually open from 8 to 4.

Inconsistent information may lead to search engines finding your business unreliable. To keep the company information accurate, you can create a document with all the details pre-prepared. Then, copy and paste those details into the designated spaces, or hire someone to do it on a larger scale.

Hire Expert Digital Marketers for Your Business SEO

Now that you understand the importance of local SEO, you can start making better business choices with Peppermonkey Media. Our expert team makes publicizing your business online easy. Rely on our customer service for any questions you have, like “What are local SEO citations?” or “what is keyword stuffing?”

We can show you how these concepts work firsthand while giving you the results of a good SEO policy. Call Peppermonkey Media at (888) 231-9764 for a consultation on your small and medium-sized business marketing endeavors today.

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