What is a Citation?
In basic SEO terms, a local citation is any mention of your company on the internet. This might be in a business directory, an industry-specific website, a blog or any other local web site. Local citations, however, may assist you rank in local search results. They are no longer a significant ranking influencer, which is why they’re no longer a big deal to search engines.
What does a Citation do?
Citations assist your Google Local Pack listing (formerly known as a Google+ Local map) rank higher by supplying credible sources of information about your business to Google. Citations confirm that your business is real, legitimate, and honest because they may be confirmed from several sources. To provide trust signals to Google, you must give the same name, address, and phone number (NAP) on numerous websites.
However, a citation still matters for local SEO purposes because they help you build up the citation signal. The citation signal is a measure of how often your business is mentioned online in a way that can be tied back to your website. The more citations you have, the better your citation signal will be. This can raise your chances of ranking in local search results or make you appear more frequently for local searches than your local competitors.
Citations are also a key part of the local search ecosystem because they help searchers find local businesses. When someone does a local search, the results that appear are based on a number of factors, including the citation signal. So, even though citations may not be a direct ranking factor, they’re still an important part of local SEO.
How does a Citation work?
Google considers a number of items while evaluating whether or not to show your business listing to someone who has looked for the products or services you provide. The proximity of your company to the search’s location is one of the factors they consider.
To take advantage of local citations, you’ll need a Google My Business listing active and claimed, as well as optimized.
In traditional organic SEO, links from a trusted relevant website are one of the main ranking factors Google uses. With regards to local SEO, text hyperlinks help rank Google Local Pack listings in the search results.
Getting citations from a site with a high domain authority and high traffic can help improve your ranking in local search. Going for quality links over quantity is the key here.
When it comes to citation building, accuracy is key. You need to make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) is consistent across all platforms. Any discrepancies could result in Google thinking your business is less trustworthy, and therefore lower your ranking in local search results.