What are local citations and how can they help?
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: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.
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: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.
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.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.