The Importance of Local Citations for SEO

Peter A. Liefer II | Posted: October 8th, 2019 | Updated: November 8th, 2019

What is a “Local Citation”?

A local citation is any mention of your business on the internet. The most basic is your: Company Name – Address and Phone number simply known as “NAP.” 

Name, Address, Phone Number

The Importance of NAP to your customers

The importance of your name, address, and phone number online should not be overlooked. Being in as many places as you can where potential customers might find you give a real boost to Local SEO. And isn’t that what Search Engine Optimization is all about, helping consumers find you?

The importance of NAP to Google

Google values providing accurate information to its users. Your NAP information for your business needs to be correct when optimizing your website for local search.  Google also values the consistency of that information wherever it appears online.

Why is it important to have consistent and accurate NAP across the web

You need to make sure the information about your business is accurate and consistent across credible sources. Don’t assume that search engines and customers are going to find the right NAP info if there are different names, addresses, and wrong phone numbers.

Inconsistent_Name,_Address,_Phone_Number

Businesses with accurate and consistent listings across directories are rewarded by search engines with a more favorable position in search results. If your business listings are inconsistent you may be losing business or making it difficult for customers to even get in touch.

If people looking for your business get the wrong address or phone number for the local area they are searching, they may give up finding you and go elsewhere. A survey by BrightLocal found that “80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online.”

Some other statistics from their survey of consumers showed:

  • 24% said they will call a local business before visiting it.
  • 40% stop looking for a local business if they can’t find it because the address was wrong.
  • 68% would stop using a local business if they found incorrect information in online directories.

Where to place your NAP info?

Your local citations, your NAP,  can be in a blog, your website or another website, social media, etc.. The more places your business information appears online the better for SEO and the more prominent your business appears to Google and other search engines. 

To really get your info out there where search engines will more easily notice it, use online business directories. Online business directories are websites that list the NAP info of businesses in niche-based categories. Businesses can be categorized by niche, location, activity, or size.

Each online directory listing for your business is like a new webpage where your business can be discovered by new customers. The more local business directories you have, the more visible the business and the more opportunities to be found. 

There are thousands of business directories, these are some of the well-known ones:

  • Yelp
  • Yellowpages
  • Superpages
  • Better Business Bureau
  • MapQuest
  • Kudzu
  • Angie’s List
  • Google My Business

Depending on the business directory, you can include information such as:

  • Your business hours
  • Business description
  • Types of payments you accept
  • Directions
  • Reviews
  • A link to your website

While there are many citation sites, you don’t want to get your business listed on the low-quality directories. Getting listed on spammy or low-quality directories can result in lower local SEO rankings, hurting your search results, and your relationship with Google.

Claim your directory business listings

Online directories scrape the internet for businesses’ information, sorting, categorizing, compiling and adding that information to their database. They do this so their local directory will become a quality resource that Google uses when it needs to find local business information.

Even if you don’t add your NAP data to online directories, there are likely some online listings already made for you. If you don’t claim these listings, someone else could and that can hurt your business. Also, the information may be wrong or has changed recently.

NAP on your website

Insert NAP in your header and footer

The best practice for local businesses is to place your NAP data in your header and footer to make it easy for people and search engines to find. By showing your business name, address and phone number in both the header and footer, this will make sure your NAP information appears on every page of your website. It’s also important to place your NAP info on your contact page.

Insert NAP in your website’s schema markup

To get the best results for any given search, add a local business Schema markup to your website. This allows search engines to understand your NAP info better. That way, user-friendly rich snippets can appear in local search results. The Google Structured Data Markup Helper can create schema markup for your local business.

Why is it important to have consistent and accurate NAP across the web

You need to make sure the information about your business is accurate and consistent across credible sources. Don’t assume that search engines and customers are going to find the right NAP info if there are different names, addresses, and wrong phone numbers.

Inconsistent_Name,_Address,_Phone_Number

Businesses with accurate and consistent listings across directories are rewarded by search engines with a more favorable position in search results. If your business listings are inconsistent you may be losing business or making it difficult for customers to even get in touch.

If people looking for your business get the wrong address or phone number for the local area they are searching, they may give up finding you and go elsewhere. A survey by BrightLocal found that “80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online.”

Some other statistics from their survey of consumers showed:

  • 24% said they will call a local business before visiting it.
  • 40% stop looking for a local business if they can’t find it because the address was wrong.
  • 68% would stop using a local business if they found incorrect information in online directories.

How does NAP help your website rankings and Local SEO?

Google and other search engines use data they have gathered about your business to determine your ranking. A large number of accurate citations on high-quality websites encourages Google to trust the data it holds about your local business. The more places you show up, the more popular you look. And rankings are a big popularity contest basically, so it gives you a boost in the rankings. 

If your competitors have fewer local citations in business directories than your business does, this can give you a competitive advantage.

Compete with larger businesses

With local SEO, small to medium-sized businesses is able to compete with larger, more established companies in a local area. To level the playing field a properly implemented campaign of Local Citations will help optimize for local searches. With that, search engines will put your site ahead for specific and geo-targeted queries.

PrimeView Directory Publishing Service

Let PrimeView build high quality, consistent local citations for your business!

Building citations is a time-consuming process – it’s important to invest the time to do it right. PrimeView can take this important marketing task off your hands so you can focus on managing your business. By creating and updating your citations, it helps to boost your local authority in Google. We find the right listing sites for your niche and only ones that will improve your organic search results.

To make it easier for customers to find and reach your business on the Internet. We can provide these citation services:

  • Manual citation clean-up (fix NAP errors)
  • Build new, accurate local citations for your particular niche, location, or category
  • Distribute data via Local Data Aggregators
  • Create Google My Business + Bing local listings
  • Remove duplicate citations
  • Update your hours, offers, photos profile information and featured messages
  • Find unclaimed listings

Contact us today and let’s improve your Local SEO, boost your website rankings, and get you found online with our Local Citation Directory Publishing Service!