A local citation is any mention of your business on the web; it is any combination of your company name, phone number, address, zip or postal code, and website address. Citations in SEO are a key factor in improving your local search results. (WhiteSpark)
These listings are referred to as:
- NAP (Name Address Phone Number)
- NAPW (Name Address Phone Number Website)
- UNAP (URL Name Address Phone Number)
Citations can be found on online directories, but also on other websites (like blogs).
Some of the most important online directories include:
- Google My Business
But hyper local directories can also provide very powerful citations, especially if they are specific to the niche that you are in.
So Why Are These Citations Important?
Google uses citations and other mentions of a company (and its website) to determine the company’s online authority. And higher authority leads to higher rankings.
In order to maximize the benefits of these citations you need to make sure that all these citations are identical to the company’s Google My Business listing. Because if citations are different, Google may not know for sure if all these mentions are indeed for the same company.
Here is a short video explaining more about citations, and which common mistakes you should avoid:
Citations are an important part of the mix when you want to rank high for locally relevant keyword phrases. But there are a lot of other factors in play as well, like on-page SEO, incoming and outgoing links, social mentions, images, videos and more.
Before you can create or adjust citations, you should claim these listings. Once claimed, you should aim to complete the online profiles as much as possible – even the non-required fields. All of the information will provide Google and other search engines all-important context, which will help you rank better for a myriad of phrases.
As NAP vs. NAPW indicates, not all citations need a website mentioned. A mere (consistent) mention of a company’s NAP will also be a powerful signal to the search engines that your company is worth mentioning.
So do you know where your company is mentioned? Which citations are out there for your company? We can do a citations audit for you (contact us), and fix the ones that are inconsistent.
Want to do a quick analysis yourself? Try out this form:
What’s Your Local Score?
Enter any business name and zip code and see how optimized it is for local search.