A local citation is an online mention of a business’s Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP). This information is critical for influencing search engines like Google to display local search intent, while also helping internet users discover local businesses.
NAP data can appear on business directories, websites and other social platforms. Local citations are very important and can either help or harm consumers.
For example, say a hungry patron goes on Yelp to find a place to eat lunch.
If a business has accurate citations, the customer may notice the establishment is located close by and can use the number provided to call in and place an order. However, if the business lists inaccurate citations, the customer may be misdirected, leading to a loss of not only the restaurant’s revenue, but reputation as well.
There are two kinds of citations: structured and unstructured. Google’s algorithm looks at both when ranking search results:
A structured citation is a mention of your business on websites and business directories.
An unstructured citation is a mention of your business on blogs, news sites and other businesses’ websites.
It is important to make sure your business is listed on high authority and industry-speciﬁc sites to earn credibility and trust from Google, as the local search ecosystem is complicated.
Your brand is everywhere—potential customers are ﬁnding you on search engines, maps and online directories. A good listings management and reviews strategy will be well worth your time and eﬀort, helping you win more local business online.
Download our full eBook to obtain our list of the Top 15 Citation Sites you should be using, as well as more tips for defining citations criteria.