Local SEO is one of the most effective ways to get more customers through the doors of your business. When someone uses a mobile device to search for a business near their location, say “coffee near me”, Google will show the best match based on relevance, distance and prominence. But just how do you get your business listing to appear in these local search results? In this blog, we’ll discuss local citations and why they are an essential part of your SEO campaign.

What are local citations?

A local citation is simply an online mention of your business name, address and phone number. These are also sometimes called NAP citations (Name, Address, Phone). They help search engines like Google verify that your business exists and is located where you say it is. Local citations can take many different forms but some examples include: 

  • Online business directories such as Yelp, Google My Business or Foursquare
  • Local Chamber of Commerce websites
  • Industry-specific websites
  • Blogs or news articles that mention your business 
  • Business listings

How do local citations help SEO?

There are many benefits of local SEO citations, but here are a few of the most important ones for your local SEO strategy: 

  • Creating local citations helps improve your local search rankings. The more high quality citations you have, the more likely you are to appear in local search results and the higher your local rankings will be. The benefit of having higher local search engine rankings is that you’ll receive more customers, and therefore more business. 

  • By building citations you help customers discover local businesses and find your business information. When potential customers are searching for local businesses like yours, having accurate and up-to-date citation information can make all the difference in whether or not they choose to do business with you. 

  • Citations help build trust and credibility. Having your local business information listed on high quality websites helps show Google and potential customers that your business is legitimate and trustworthy. This ultimately helps grow your business online. 

What is the best strategy for local citations?

It’s important to keep in mind that while local citations can be very beneficial to your local SEO efforts, not all citations are created equal. In order for a citation to really help your business, it needs to be on a high quality website that is relevant to your industry. So while it’s great to get listed on local directories and Chamber of Commerce websites, you’ll also want to focus on getting mentions on websites that are specific to your industry or niche.

For example, if you’re a plumber in Brisbane, you’ll want to focus on getting listed on local directories like Google My Business and Yelp. But you’ll also want to try and get mentioned on websites which are specifically for home improvement businesses.

The bottom line is this: when it comes to local SEO citations, quality trumps quantity. So don’t worry about getting listed on every local directory out there. Just focus on getting high quality mentions on relevant websites, and you’ll be well on your way to improving your local SEO!

If you’re looking for more tips on how to improve your local SEO, be sure to check out our blog for more great articles! 

Thanks for reading!