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Are Citations Still Important to Local SEO in 2024?

by | Apr 22, 2024

What Are Citations in Local SEO?

Citations are essential for companies seeking to improve their local SEO. They mention a company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other websites. Citations assist search engines in understanding a business’s internet presence and location, improving its local search rankings. You may conceive of local citations as references to your company included in the published work of another individual. Your company will receive an increase in its visibility and credibility, which contribute to the development of your brand presence.

Different strategies to increase your trustworthiness with Google include listing your business profile on websites like Yelp, Bing Local, and of course, Google Business Profile. Google will recognize your website due to this action, which will assist you in gaining higher domain authority for your niche. Local citations are a significant factor to consider when trying to improve your rating in NAP, Google Maps, or even just on the first page of Google.

Importance of Local Citations and How They Support SEO

Building and maintaining citations are essential operations that marketers incorporate in managing a local SEO strategy. The following is a list of the importance of local citations and how they support SEO:

Enhancing Local Visibility

Local SEO citations help search engines understand a company’s location. Your business’s success hinges on online visibility, and it is also proportionate to how easily prospects can find you online. For anyone interested in establishing a connection with your company, each citation you create offers a direct route to your organization.

Search engines’ confidence in showing your company to consumers increases when your company’s information is listed appropriately throughout various platforms. Due to this increased visibility, there is a greater possibility that your company will appear in the results of local search queries. This places you in front of prospective clients precisely when they are considering purchasing what you offer.

Establishing Credibility

Consistency is paramount in local search engine optimization (SEO) citations. Directory websites and other sources of citations frequently allow consumers to provide feedback on local businesses. This is ideal for enhancing your presence in local search results and constructing a larger pool of good mentions across online platforms. The more citations you can acquire, the more prominent and well-known your company appears to both customers and search engines.

A small business that maintains consistent information across different online platforms gives search engines and potential customers a reputable impression. On the other hand, mistakes or discrepancies in the information about your business might increase the likelihood of confusion and decrease trust. When search engines notice that your company is referenced regularly, it signals reliability. This ultimately results in greater rankings and more confidence among search engine users.

Improved Search Rankings

Regarding organic search rankings, citations are highly influential to ranking websites in localized search results. A strong presence of local citations can significantly increase your website’s local search rankings. Prospects who view your company’s directory or website listing are more inclined to visit your website for more information, which may increase the number of converted visitors.

A Signal of Trust from Customer Reviews

Citations also give customers a place to leave reviews about your business. Reviews can be collected on sources like Google, Yelp, and Bing, as well as highly specific directories like a Zillow.com profile (for real estate professionals) or an Avvo.com profile (for law firms). Being able to showcase reviews through different citations shows future patrons of your business that you are trustworthy and easy to work with. Further, search engines can see reviews on other websites and can associate them to your brand. And a well-trusted brand earns higher rankings in organic results.

How to Build Local Citations

Building local citations for your company is not incredibly challenging; however, it does involve effort, time and careful attention to business details. The following are some suggestions for building local citations:

Submit Your Business to Online Directories

Adding your small business to local directories and specialist websites is a great way to increase the number of citations for your brand. Citations from local businesses are an essential component of search engine algorithms. It determines which companies should be displayed to customers when they search for products or services. You will enhance the likelihood of your company being ranked highly by Google. As a result, it will be discovered by prospective clients if you include your company in their respective directories.

Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Angi are well-known local directories and specialist websites that can help you build local citations for your business. When making your entries on these directories, the most important thing you should do is ensure that the information about your company is correct, especially the name, address, and phone number. Keep in mind that some of these citations require payment and some do not; if you have a budget for a paid profile, it can help you set your business apart from other local competitors.

Use Aggregators to Manage Citations

Reviewing all the business directories on which you may list your website would take significant time and effort. The use of data aggregators is necessary at this point. It is possible to discover how to build local citations for your company more time-efficiently using data aggregators. These aggregators are online platforms that gather and organize data from various sources into a single database. Some popular aggregators are Data Axle, Factual, and Neustar Localeze.

Claiming or adding your business to these websites is free or reasonably priced for their total reach. As things change, you can manage your business’s profile from a single platform. You can search on these websites, just like you would on Google or other business directories, to locate and claim your business listings. You can also change any inaccurate information that may be there.

Additionally, you can submit your information to these websites, and they will automatically distribute your listing to search engines. They can also be distributed to public data sources such as libraries and recent search tools such as automobile navigation systems.

Monitor Your Local Citations

It is of the utmost importance to track and periodically update your citations once they have been created. Inconsistent or inaccurate citations hurt local search rankings and user experience. For example, what happens if your business hours change but you don’t update them in Yelp? Consider using a citation-tracking tool to keep your citations current.

You can track your citations across directories and websites using many tools. These tools facilitate the fast correction of any inaccuracies that may occur. As one example and a tool we use internally, SEMRush’s Listing Management allows you to track where citations are published, resolve any discrepancies in the details and respond directly to reviews from within the platform.

Work With a Local SEO Company

Local SEO citations are essential for digital marketing strategies targeting local customers in 2024. Although they have lost some significance for a local SEO campaign as Google continues to tweak its algorithm, there is plenty of data to demonstrate their impact. It’s important to ensure your business is listed in popular directories and websites that allow for citations. And once you begin listing information, you need to maintain it anytime something with your business’s key details (NAP) change, and you should try to respond to reviews anytime a customer leaves one.

That all sounds like a lot and in most cases, business owners do not have the bandwidth or resources to manage citations like this (among other SEO duties). If this sounds like your business, let’s schedule a consultation to see how we can help. Not only can we lend a hand with listing your business on popular citations, we’ll also review your local SEO strategy and help you start ranking.

About the Author

Thomas Hillary

Thomas Hillary is a professional content strategist. With years of industry experience and an extensive writing backing, stemming from dual bachelor's degrees in English and Communications, Thomas has the skills needed to provide clients with quality and insightful work.

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