What Are Citations in SEO? A Beginner’s Guide

Every day search engines like Google receive billions of searches.

Search traffic is considered to be the most buyer intent medium and effective way to attract ideal customers.

In this digital era besides large enterprises every local business desires to steer quality search traffic over its online presence to gain more profits.

Small businesses and sellers prefer local search traffic because it’s cost-effective and easy to execute compared to other SEO techniques.

There are various methods to boost local organic traffic, and citations are one of them.

In this article, I will guide you through what are citations in SEO, its benefits, and how to use them effectively to generate more profit.

Let’s dive in.

What are Local Search Citations?

local business listing
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Local citations are termed as mentions of your business on any web platform.

Local citations include your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) and other relevant information about your business such as website address, business hours, and customer reviews.

Citations don’t include NAP termed as a partial citation.

Citations are an essential part of local SEO strategy, especially for small businesses.

Local citations improve localized search results which attract potential customers.

Local citations can be found in directory listings, websites, social media platforms, and apps.

Local citations are also known as local search citations, local SEO citations, and local listings.

According to Nectafy, 88% of users who search for any local businesses, will call or visit the business within 24 hours.

Benefits of Local SEO Citations

If you are still confused about whether to invest your efforts to grow your business by leveraging local citations, learn the ultimate benefits of local SEO citations.

1. Boost Local Ranking

Citations are termed as an essential part of Local SEO.

After submitting your NAP and other important business information on various directories, you can rank higher than your competitors to yield more traffic to your website.

Whenever an individual searches related to your business or service, Google will showcase your business profile higher in the local search results.

2. Referral Traffic

Sometimes eminent directory submission platforms like Yelp and Yellow Page invariably rank higher in SERP(search engine result page).

Often people visit trustworthy directories directly to find their objective instead of local search engines.

Getting listed on those directories increases the opportunity to attract more potential leads and buyers.

3. Build Legitimacy Of Business

Local citation helps increase the legitimacy of your business in the eyes of customers and search engines.

If your potential customers discover your exact business details on several directories, automatically it helps to build trust in your service or products.

Also when search engines like Google find the same details in several directories, that will help to build trust and help to increase local search ranking.

4. Qualified Traffic

Submitting your business website in directories will drive intent-based highly quality traffic to your website.

As we know citations can help you to boost local ranking, and users visiting your website through local searches can increase the conversion rate enormously.

5. Low Cost

If implemented strategically local SEO can be a cost-effective weapon compared to other marketing mediums such as media buying, content marketing, and social media marketing.

As a small business owner, you don’t require any technical knowledge or hire employees to achieve a significant amount of regional traffic.

Where To Get Local Citations for Your Business?

There are various ways to citations to build a strong online presence among your potential local customers.

1. Search Engines

With billions of searches every day, search engines are the spine of Internet marketing.

All types of data are available inside the search engine from various sources.

With a 91% market share in the overall search industry search engine giant Google dominates the local search market.

Listing your business in Google Business Profile ( Formerly known as Google My Business) helps to showcase your service, offers, and events easily in front of probable customers.

You can also NAP your business on other search engines like Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Startpage to attract more eyeballs.

2. Directories

yelp listing
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Business prefers building local citations in directories because even search engines showcase trustworthy directories higher in the search results, and provide quality referral traffic to enlisted businesses.

Also, directories do not allow duplicate or false listing, which leads people to search directly inside directories.

Below is the list of some of the trusted directories, that offer both paid and free listing.

  • Yelp
  • Yellowpages
  • Nextdoor
  • Facebook
  • BrownBook
  • ShowMe Local
  • Superpages
  • Uber
  • Instagram

3. Data Aggregators

Primary data aggregators play a vital role in local SEO citation.

Primary data aggregators also known as large databases enlist, and share information about local businesses with search engines and directories.

Some of the well-known data aggregators are :

  • MX
  • Foursquare
  • Finicity
  • Neustar Localeze

4. Specific Citation

Listing your business profile on distinct site directories benefits local SEO ranking.

Such as cleaning service providers and contractors can be listed on homeadvisor.com, doctors can list themselves on doctor.webmd.com and healthgrades.com, and attorneys can be listed on findlaw.com.

5. Unstructured Citation

Mentioning local businesses in blogs, social platforms, and news articles instead of directory platforms is known as unstructured citations.

As a business owner, you can build unstructured citations by publishing articles about your business on websites, running social media campaigns, and publishing ads in local newspapers and TV channels.

Unstructured citations help to create awareness and introduce your business in front of new people.

Best Practices for Local SEO Citations in 2024

Below are the working practices to rank higher in local search in 2024.

1. Claim And Optimize Google Business Profile

To increase the opportunity of ranking higher in the local search results, claiming a Google Business Profile(GBP) and optimizing it properly is termed the first step in local SEO citation.

This free tool from Google helps to convey the substantial online existence of your business in local searches and maps.

To claim your Google Business Profile you have to visit the official website and provide essential information about your business such as business name, category, description, address, contact number, and business hours.

Uploading high-quality images and videos will attract more potential customers to your GBP profile.

2. Customer Review

Positive customer reviews are termed as a good indication of local search algorithms.

As a business owner, you should encourage your customers to leave their reviews and feedback on your local search profile and other online platforms.

Also, you must be careful about negative reviews, which can harm your local rankings.

You should always try to reply to customer reviews whether it’s positive or negative, providing the positive signal to the search algorithm.

3. Generate Local Content

You can generate content using local keywords to improve local SEO rankings.

By using free tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends you can take ideas related to your business or service about the most searched and trending phrases around your locality.

Usually, local keywords are easy to rank, which provides an advantage over your competitors in building trust and awareness.

4. Build Local Citations

Building location citations plays an impactful role in local SEO strategy.

Building citations in sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages and other niche-based directories like Tripadvisor related to your business will promote your profile higher than your competitors.

Submitting identical business details accurately in every local directory enriches trust and credibility in search results.

5. Analysis and Monitoring

Continuous monitoring of local search traffic and data is an essential part of successful local SEO techniques to attract more loyal customers.

Updating local business profiles using text-based content, images, and videos attracts additional organic traffic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a list of frequently asked questions.

Q1. What Are Local Citation Backlinks?

Local citations work similarly to backlinks to improve ranking, but mechanically it is different from backlinks. Due to functional similarity, citations are termed local citation backlinks.

Q2. Do Citations Improve SEO?

Yes, citations are an essential part of the local SEO ranking factor.

Q3. How To Find Local Citation Sites?

GBP, online directories, and social networks like Facebook are local citation sites. You can perform a Google search to find more citation platforms.

Q4. What Are Google Local Citations?

Details about business name, address, and phone number (NAP) with other essential details in GBP tools are known as Google Local Citations.

Must Read: Why Affiliate Marketing is a Great Option as a Career in 2024?


That’s it for now.

I hope you have a proper overview of What Are Citations in SEO, its advantages, and how to utilize it appropriately to generate quality traffic.

In my opinion, if implemented properly this cost-effective method of local citations can fetch a significant number of local public inside your business, especially for small business owners.

Now it’s up to you to share this article with those local entrepreneurs struggling to generate considerable profit margins from their business.

Also if you have any queries or suggestions, please write them below in the comment section.

Hope we will meet you soon, till then take care and keep growing.

Thank You.

Hello friends, my name is Sambhu Maity, and I am the founder of DigitalSambhu. Here I share various tips and tricks related to Digital Marketing, Android, Blogging, Social Media, SEO, and various passive income techniques so that beginners can learn everything quickly. If you want to know more details, then definitely click on the "About Us" page.

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