Listing Management

How To Build Local Citations

What are local citations and how can they help?

Alejandro Lopez de HaroJune 15, 20233 min read
Quick summary
  • Local citations help search engines and users find and contact your business more easily
  • Consistent, accurate citations can help to improve your local SEO
  • Tools like Listings Management can help you manage your citations quickly and easily

What are local citations?

A local citation is any reference to your business online that includes your basic contact information: particularly your business name, website, address, and phone number (NAP). Because this information is often included in online directories, local citations are also referred to as local SEO citations, local listings, or simply, listings. In most cases, your NAP is the minimum info needed to create a listing in a directory. However, on many websites, you can include a lot more, such as:

  • Business descriptions
  • Industries or categories served
  • Social media platforms
  • User ratings and reviews
  • Photos of your business or products

That said, local search citations can be created by anybody, not just the business owner. Additionally, citation sources aren’t limited to directories or data aggregators. Any mention of your business—including a blog post—could be considered a citation if it includes your business name and contact information.
As a result, if not actively managed, your business information can sometimes be inconsistent or outdated between sites. This can cause confusion for potential customers and even impact your SEO.
That’s where local citation building, or listings management, comes in.

How can local citations help with SEO?

When people in your community search for a local business, local citations help Google deliver them the most relevant results in local search. That’s because Google cross-checks business information across a variety of sources before showing it to users. It looks at:

  • Your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business)
  • Google Maps
  • Your website
  • Business directories and other third-party sources
  • User-contributed content
The more consistent your business information is across all these sources, the more trustworthy it appears to be. This can help you increase your local ranking, because Google can display your business in the results with confidence.
  • Business descriptions
  • Industries or categories served
  • Social media platforms
  • User ratings and reviews
  • Photos of your business or products

What is local citation building?

Local citation building is the practice of distributing and maintaining a business’s information across the internet. This is also referred to as listings management.

Building citations involves:

  • Identifying all of your business’s existing citations across the web
  • Claiming your local business listings (where possible) to gain control over them
  • Updating outdated or incorrect information on your site and in citations
  • Adding new information where necessary
  • Removing duplicate or fraudulent business listings
  • Creating new business listings in important online directories
Because this can be time-consuming, many businesses opt to use automated local citation services (like Semrush’s Listings Management tool) to make the job easier.
Check your
local listings for free

How Semrush’s Listing Management tool can help you build local citations

Created in collaboration with Yext, the Listing Management tool can automatically distribute and maintain your business information in the most authoritative directories. That means you can improve your business online presence easily and spend more time focused on what matters: helping your customers.
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Quickly audit your local citations across the Internet

It’s one thing to maintain the listings you’ve created yourself—namely, your Google Business Profile, Facebook page, Yelp page, etc. But what about all those citations you didn’t create?
Luckily, you don’t have to find them all yourself, because Semrush can help. All you have to do is set up your business in the Listing Management tool. Then, we’ll automatically audit your business data in over 70 U.S. business directories and more than 40 international ones.
Then, we’ll tell you:
  • Which directories you’re already listed in
  • Which listings need to be updated
  • Which local and industry-specific directories you’re not currently listed in but should be
Semrush´s Listing tool allows you to quickly audit your company´s local citations across the internet.
Still have questions about local citations building? We’ve got answers!
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