Gabriel Both

SEO Manager

Gabriel Both at Hike SEO

In this informative video, we will delve into the world of local citations – what they are, why they are crucial for your SEO strategy, how to create them, and where to secure them. We’ll also explore the distinction between backlinks and citations and provide a comprehensive guide to getting the most out of your local citations. You can watch the video or read the text summary below:

What Are Local Citations?

Local citations are online mentions of a business’s essential information, often referred to as NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), along with additional details, on various websites, directories, or platforms. For example, Yelp is a popular directory platform where businesses, including restaurants, can be listed for potential customers to discover.

Why Are Local Citations Important for Local SEO?

  1. Increased Presence on Key Platforms: Not all users rely solely on search engines like Google; many prefer directories or specialized websites such as Yelp and Yellow Pages.
  2. Improved Local Rankings: Local citations boost your business’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), especially when listed on reputable sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Foursquare.
  3. Building Trust: Consistent information across multiple reputable websites helps search engines confirm your business’s legitimacy and trustworthiness, fostering trust with potential customers.
  4. Capitalizing on First Page Results: Listing your business on dominant directory platforms can help it appear on the first page of search results, even without a high-ranking website.
  5. Referral Traffic: Local citations drive referral traffic, expanding your online presence and SEO strategy.

Information Required for Local Citations

  • Business Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Website URL
  • Opening Hours
  • Business Description
  • Industry Category
  • Directions/Map
  • Photos
  • Links to Social Media Profiles
  • Email Addresses

Two Types of Local Citations

  1. Structured Citations: Standardized mentions of business information typically found on business listing sites, online directories, and social media platforms. These provide a uniform and organized way for search engines to verify business details.
  2. Unstructured Citations: Informal mentions of a business’s identifying information on websites not designed for business listings, such as blogs, news sites, forums, or apps. Their value depends on their relevance, authority, and location.

Other Types of Citations

  • Search engines (e.g., Google, Bing)
  • Primary data aggregators (e.g., Foursquare, Data Axle, Neustar Localeze)
  • Owned properties (e.g., company websites)
  • Major directories and platforms (e.g., Facebook, Yelp)
  • Geo and industry-specific platforms (e.g., Chamber of Commerce, professional associations)

Backlinks vs. Citations

  • Backlinks are hyperlinks that point back to your website from another site and contain anchor text for context.
  • Local citations are mentions of your business’s NAP and may or may not contain links.

Where to Secure Local Citations

  • Research directories and platforms relevant to your location and industry.
  • In the UK, consider platforms like,,, and more.
  • In the USA, explore aggregators like Express Update by Infogroup, Neustar Localeze, and Factual, as well as platforms like Foursquare, Better Business Bureau, MapQuest, and Yellow Pages.

The Importance of Consistency

Consistency in your business information is key to building trust with both users and search engines. Inaccurate or inconsistent information can erode trust and harm your online reputation.

  • Maintain uniform NAP details across all listings.
  • Update information promptly if it changes.
  • Consistency in citations fosters trust and credibility.

Tracking Citation Performance

Use UTM tags to track referral traffic accurately in Google Analytics. This helps you understand where your traffic is coming from and which citations are driving the most visits to your website.

  • For single-location businesses, use UTM tags with the source as “citation” and the medium as “referral.”
  • For multiple locations, create dedicated location pages and include location-based UTM tags to track each location’s performance.

Local citations play a crucial role in enhancing your business’s online visibility and SEO strategy. Consistency and accuracy in your business information across various platforms are vital for building trust with search engines and potential customers. By securing local citations in relevant directories and tracking their performance, you can establish a robust online presence and drive more organic traffic to your business.

So, whether you’re a small business owner, a beginner in SEO, or an agency supporting small businesses, harness the power of local citations to boost your business’s exposure and success. Start your journey with Hike SEO, a fantastic platform designed to simplify the citation process and enhance your local SEO efforts.

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