How Essential Are Citations In Local SEO?

Citation in Local SEO
Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

Citations are most important in local SEO. Not considering them negatively affects the positioning of your web page in Google search engines. In this sense, if you want your business to be seen online, you should consider them. Continue reading and find out how effective and important are citations in local SEO. Here’s a closer look at the significance of local citations and how improving your own might help your company.

Citations are what?

Any internet mention that includes your organization’s address, name, and phone number is a local citation. Many SEO specialists believe they play a big part in local SEO rankings. Citations can be found in business directories and on social networking sites, as well as other places where individuals could look for information about neighbouring businesses.


What format should citations take?

Citations are references to your company’s name, location, and contact information also referred to as your NAP. These particulars are crucial since they serve as a distinctive marker that establishes your identity and aids Google in distinguishing you from all other businesses listed online. In addition, your NAP proves that you are physically present in a specific location, which is necessary if you want to show up in local search results.

While only a name, address, and phone number are often needed for citations, most websites offer many more options to include extra details. But here is a good example:

“55 Carnaby Street, Brent, London, NW (020 7871 6726)”


What is the best method for creating citations?

Having some structured and unstructured citations will be advantageous to the majority of organizations. But you don’t have to get them from every website you find. Here, quality prevails over quantity. To construct the citations you truly need, follow these recommendations:  

Look for support with main data aggregators

Although there are dozens of business directories online, most business owners just won’t submit to all of them. This issue is resolved by data aggregators. These businesses gather data on businesses and share it with hundreds of other websites. If these people know who you are, you’ll get cited all over the place.

Before submitting a new listing, make sure to conduct a thorough search for your company and claim any existing entries. Make sure the information is accurate and that you claim any duplicates.

Consider additional important websites

Many well-known websites receive NAP data from major data aggregators, but not all of them do. To the main sites in your nation directly is therefore frequently helpful. It’s crucial to browse Google lists and submit to the websites that seem worthwhile.

Consider well-known industry and regional websites

Your company’s physical location will create more options for citation. There are various methods for locating these chances.

  • Search online on Google
  • Employ a list of industry citations
  • Use the Link Intersect tool in Ahrefs
Local SEO

Consider using unstructured citations

You’ve probably already outperformed the majority of your rivals in terms of structured citations. But you need to consider unstructured citations too. Unstructured citations are an entirely separate item. They frequently result from press mentions, testimonials, and blog entries about your company. They are therefore more difficult to acquire than structured citations. For someone to write about your company, they must genuinely care about it.


Go to Google

Supplier pages are one easy-to-find resource for unstructured citations. These are found in many industries. They list and provide links to the businesses that they or others that serve them supply. The success of your SEO strategy will depend on your ability to provide the content that.

Go to HARO

The success of your SEO strategy will depend on your ability to provide the content that users are looking for, which is why they use search engines in the first place.

Use the site explorer in Ahrefs

You can discover citation chances by looking at your competitors’ backlinks because the majority of unstructured citations include a link to the company’s website.

How much do local SEO citations actually help?

Citations are crucial for earning Google’s confidence, and without them, it’s unlikely that you’ll rank very well. Additionally, they help you become more visible in local searches, and if Google determines that you are attracting more attention than one of your rivals, you will likely outrank them in SERPs.

They are also thought to increase the worth of companies that don’t yet show up in Google’s local business pack. Citations’ overall significance has, however, considerably decreased in recent years, and they are now widely seen as a foundational strategy rather than the end-all and be-all of local SEO.


How many citations are good for SEO?

Building as many citations as you can is beneficial because they have various SEO advantages. The number of citations you need to build up to gain an SEO advantage will depend on your industry, with some industries more likely to have a higher number of citations than others. Businesses with first-page rankings in local searches typically have 80 or more citations to their name.


Update from Google's Possum

Google Possum is an algorithm update that was introduced in 2016 to enhance local search results. The main goal of the Possum algorithm was to diversify local search results and filter out any spam that may have previously been identified.

Since the Pigeon update in 2014, the Possum update has been the most significant Google algorithm change. The Possum upgrade did indeed diversify local SERPs, but it also had the unintended consequence of removing certain local business citations from the local pack and local finder.

Google started to only display one or two results from a single location, filtering out businesses that shared an address, such as a shared office space. Several businesses according to a survey done at the time of the update, were impacted by the Possum algorithm upgrade.

Google Update

How did the Update from Google's Possum impact companies?

Local search results were significantly impacted by Google’s Possum algorithm update, which eliminated many businesses with the same address and/or ownership structure. Due to greater filtering by Possum, some businesses saw an improvement in their search rankings and impressions, while others almost vanished from local search. The two recommended approaches to addressing concerns brought on by Possum are enhancing the site’s overall local SEO and modifying the Google My Business page.


Strengthening local SEO

Getting local citations should only make up a small portion of a larger local SEO strategy to make a significant impact. Localized link building, obtaining online customer evaluations and ratings, and content optimization are other crucial elements. Additionally, it seems sensible to broaden your keyword research technique to include more regional terminology and expressions.

Of course, this does not imply that citations should never be used. They are far too significant to be disregarded given the presence and dependability they give your company. The best approach for your website to have an impact is to develop a comprehensive strategy that increases every aspect of local SEO. This will allow you to see a difference in your rankings.

Reputation management

Management of reputation is not a set-and-forget chore, even if you run a single-location business in a small town and have no plans to move, change phone numbers, operating hours, or other information.

Some local business listings are editable by users and competitors, which makes it possible for false information about your company to be published. If this happens, you need to be able to notice it.

Reviews are incorporated into your local company listings on the majority of key citation sites. To monitor, examine, and react to this user feedback, you must be made aware of any incoming reviews.

Even the most straightforward company concepts need to be conscious of and proactive with their citations. Ongoing active location data management is essential in situations that are more complicated (many locations, multiple practitioners, and enterprises).

Why it's crucial to maintain accuracy and consistency in your citations

You need to try your best to maintain your citations precise and consistent, whether they are structured or unstructured. If companies don’t maintain their web presence, you can infer that they aren’t trustworthy or that they have shut down. Citations are significant for local SEO, but they are not the only factor. Additionally, you must perfect your on-page SEO, and conduct appropriate keyword research to be successful.


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Michal Barus

Michal Barus

My name is Mike, and I am passionate about improving the digital experience between brands and their audiences. I studied at the Dubin Institute of Technology. By 2014, I had found my own thriving company, Webjuice. We generated over $10M+ in leads for our clients.

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