What is Local Business Citation & How To Improve It


If you’re wondering, “What does business citation mean”, this quick read will answer that for you.

And further, if you have asked yourself, “How to build local citations’?”,  we’re about to give you a complete low-down on that, too.

So, stick around for master tips, tricks, and insights into the complex topic of SEO citations.

What is Local Citation?

In simple words, a local citation is when a website other than yours talks about your business. Local business citations can do two things:

  1. Help potential customers find your business online.
  2. Help search engines such as Google recognise your business as legitimate.

In their most basic form, local citations are NAP citations. 

And what is the meaning of NAP citations?

N – Name

A – Address

P – Phone Number

For it to be called a local business citation, a mention of your business should include, at the very least, these three things – your business name, the address of your brick-and-mortar store/organisation, and a phone number. 

Here’s an example of a local citation:

Alt Tag: Local Citation Example

In the above local citation example, the searcher sees a list of pizza places displayed by another website, Zomato. When you go in, you’ll find more information about each pizza place – their NAP citation, name, address, and phone number – will be found at the very front.

Why do we say your local citations should include “at the very least” the three things mentioned above? Because more information – like links, reviews, images, etc. – can be included.

While search engines and people alike appreciate more information in local citations, those types of local business citations might take you some more time to build.

For now, let’s begin with the basics, shall we?

Why Your Local SEO Campaign Needs Citation?

Get better visibility:

Local business citations give you better visibility, even with simple NAP citations.

Local citations are considered a major ranking factor in local SEO. So, when picking websites/online directories for your local business citations, it is pertinent to follow certain protocols to ensure that you do not do more harm than good.

For this reason, if you don’t feel confident that you can handle such a major SEO task yourself, you can work with trusted business citation management agencies to take care of your local citations services

Boost your website rankings:

When a website trusted by both, search engines and the people, gives a local citation to your business, a level of that trust is immediately reflected in your business as well.

It’s like your best friend telling you about a restaurant. Your best friend trusts the place, so there is an automatic, slight level of trust you to generate for the place, even if you’ve never heard of it before.

Something like that happens when a trusted online directory that is relevant to your industry, mentions your business.


Gain the trust of search engines:

Another very important factor that makes local citations so important is that it helps search engines like Google find out about the existence of your business and understand that it is legitimate and trustworthy.

When search engines see the same NAP citations, that is, the same address and phone number next to your business name, across different websites, they gain confidence in the legitimacy of your business.


Rank your business on the first page:

How could local citation sites help rank your business on the very first page?

Local citation sites are the ones that have excellent rankings themselves. And that’s because they are not only optimised well, they almost always answer the searcher’s query.

How’s that?

When you search for, say, pizza places, a website like Zomato has information and local citations of all nearby pizza places. That helps Zomato bring you the most relevant results.

With local SEO citations, these websites can, as in the example above, can help your website majorly.

Because it works in their favour – by helping you, they get to help themselves by staying relevant and giving searchers what they’re looking for.

Local Citations

Now that you’ve understood just how important local SEO citations are for your business, we bet you’re dying to know how you can get some of that juice yourself. 

How to build local citations?

We’re here to help you find out.

Study your competition:

Take one competitor’s name and put it into any search engine. Make note of all the different websites and online directories the competitor is showing upon.

Then you approach those same websites and directories and request to have a local citation listed. That way, you will have to put the name of your business in front of an already studied and prepared audience. This is the potential traffic to your website that is looking for exactly what you offer.

Use industry-relevant directories:

In case you do not know who your competitors are, or you cannot find them online, or you want to choose your own path, we’ve got you covered.

The first step to answer your question of “how to build local citations” now is – find out which are your industry-specific online directories.

Almost every business has some of these. So, you approach them and request your business to have a local citation listed. They might charge a small fee for that, but for the relevant customers you will attract, it will seem nominal.

Optimise your Google My Business citation:

You’d be surprised how many searchers would be converted to buyers, and loyal ones, at that, with just your GMB page.

Providing updated NAP citations using even just your Google My Business citation, will help Google access your information more easily and display it for relevant queries.

Giving them as much information as possible from your end ensures data credibility.

Your GMB page is a local business citation gold mine and you should go ahead and make full use of that.


Local Citations Services:

Why not hire professionals to take care of all of this complex local citations business for you?

You get to focus on growing your business, and masters of SEO citations get to present your hard work to your target market!

Skilled and experienced professionals come in with expertise on local business citations and how to build local citations.

People skilled in the local citations category, help bring your business front and centre and attract your target audience’s attention. That means, more and more relevant traffic is brought to your website.

Benefits of Local Business Citation?

Cost-effective marketing:

Local business citations are a form of digital marketing – They get your business, well, more business.

Actions like optimisation of the NAP citations, Google My Business citations, listing with the local citations services, etc., are all going to eventually lead potential customers directly to you and your business.

Most of these customers display a high buying intent – which is obvious. Not many people just skimming the internet would go through the trouble of searching for the information that your NAP citations would offer.

Instead of employing other techniques like performance marketing or paying for other, highly-priced forms of ad marketing, get the same benefits at a much lower cost with local business citations.

Most types of local citations are free! From optimising your Google My Business citation to registering with a few free online local citations directories, enjoy the fruits of professional digital marketing at little to no cost!

Get direct help with local SEO:

Local business citations get your business in the limelight for local searches.

“Google, help me out. Show cafes near me”

Your cafe, having all SEO citations with the help of local citation management, shows up in the top 3 search results in the local map pack. The searcher visits your cafe.

What was your role in this sale? You worked on your local citations and listed them on free online directories?

We’d say you got a pretty good deal there!

Easily eclipse your competition:

As we mentioned before, when you have local citations listed on directories that people trust and use to find nearby services/products, chances are, they’ll see your business for sure.

And if you offer something they’re looking for, you’ve got yourself sure-shot business.

That kind of marketing is the stuff of dreams! With cut-throat competition to rank your business, not just on the first page, but among the top five search results, use this local citation’s zoom-zoom lane to surpass all of that!

And there you have it! A quick low-down on local business citations. We hope you give your SEO work a little love. Do you have any SEO insights for newbies? Anything you wish you’d have known when you started?

Do let them know in the comments section below. 

SEO is a tricky game to play. With lots of constantly changing factors to consider, it might seem either fun and interesting or long and exhausting, depending on what profession you’re in! 

As a business owner, it is neither your headache nor a part of your skillset, to be able to keep up with the ever-changing rules of SEO.

So, why not leave it up to the professionals? Get in touch with [agency name] for business citation management. We’ll perfect your local citations and take care of the other parts of your website SEO for you!