Why Local Citations Matter for Local Business

What are local citations?

Local citations are simply mentions of your business on third party web sites. Typically citations will include your business name, address, and phone number and often a link back to your website. This combination of information is referred to as NAP; short for name, address, and phone. Having consistent NAP data across the web is a major ranking factor in local and mobile based searches. This is important because more and more searches are conducted on mobile devices, especially when the search has local intent.

A large Google Maps pin marker

Image courtesy of Amber Case – CC

Why are local citations important?

For years, Google and other search engines have been using backlinks (hypertext links back to your website) as aA�primary metric for determining ranking. Although backlinks are still an important ranking factor, search engines nowA�look at other factors that are less easy to manipulate by spammers.A�Local citation and directory sites work great for this since they typically require phone or address verification and are less easy to “fake” than other ranking factors like links or social signals.

 

What are the best local citation sites?

The whole point of local citations is to help Google and other search engines verify that you are who you say you are. To that end, not all local directories are created equal. Google has penalized low quality directories in the past so it is important that you are only placing your data on a reputable, established site. Think Facebook, Yelp, Citysearch, MerchantCircle, orA�Tripadvisor. Of course, there are hundreds of reputable sites that you probably have never heard of which is why we have curated a list of the top 50 local citation sites. The best local citations sites will not only provide a mention or link back to your site, but will also provide referral traffic back to your site.

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