How To Build Local Citations

What are local citations and how can they help?

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As a result, if not actively managed, your business information can sometimes be inconsistent or outdated between sites.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.

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.

Automatically distribute up-to-date business info to the best directories

Once you’ve identified all those opportunities, the Listing Management tool can help you take advantage of them.
First, make sure all the business information you need to distribute is correct within Semrush. You can do this by setting up a location within the tool.
If you have more than one business location, you can set up separate locations for each one you want to manage within the tool.
Listing Management will automatically distribute your business details to citation websites you’re eligible for. Once the tool has distributed your information to citation sites, it will monitor each citation to make sure your listing remains correct.
Semrush´s Listing Management tool will automatically place your business details in the most relevant citation websites.

Help customers find you more easily by eliminating misinformation

Identify opportunities? Check. Create new business citations in top directories? Double check. But what about misinformation that’s already out there?
Listing Management doesn’t just find and create citations. It also maintains them. All you have to do is keep your business data up to date within the tool, and we’ll make sure all your citations match it.
We’ll even help you find and suppress outdated, inaccurate, or malicious duplicate listings. This way, you don’t have to worry about your customers being led astray by bad information.
Update your information quickly with Semrush´s Listing Management tool.

Improve your listings by incorporating user suggestions

Maintaining your citations is an ongoing process. Sometimes, your customers might help by suggesting changes they believe are more accurate. With the Listing Management tool, you can review these suggestions and quickly approve or reject them.
All you have to do is navigate to the User Suggestions tab, and we’ll show you all your open suggestions by directory, location, and date. Then, click “approve” if the suggestion is more accurate than what’s already there. It’s as simple as that!
Review customer suggestions quickly with Semrush´s Listing Management tool.
Still have questions about local citations building? We’ve got answers!
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