Why local citations matter for local businesses

Aug 31, 2016

Local citations are crucial for helping people find local businesses in search engines such as Google and Bing. Not only do citations tell people that a company’s website is genuine, but they also help search engines understand what a business does, and what people might search for when trying to find one in a particular area.

But first of all there is one important question to answer:

What is a citation?

In its most basic level, a citation is a mention of a business, either with or without a link. As you might guess, a local citation is a mention of a local business.

They come in many forms such as:

  • Company name
  • Company name followed by a phone number
  • Company name followed by phone number and address
  • Company name followed by a phone number, address, and website link

This can go on for a long time, but for a full citation, it is important that all the details in the last bullet point is included. Otherwise, it will only be a partial citation, which isn’t quite as good.

But why does this matter for local businesses?

As mentioned in the above, local citations are crucial for local searches.

So if someone performed a Google search using “plumber Barnsley”, a plumber or plumbing company with local citations shall be found quicker and easier than those without.

It is thought that to some extent, the business with the greatest amount of local citations in credible, well-established and relevant websites, will rank better than those without.

Citations also help for smaller niches such as plumbing for example, as some competitors (who might be well established offline), might not have websites yet.

So how do you get citations for a local business?

As stated before, it is important that these business references are found only on relevant and well established websites.

Having a plumbing citation on a dog walking website will not do.

It can be quite easy however, as online business listings count as citations.

You can get credible citations from listing sites such as:

  • Yelp
  • Foursquare
  • Thomson Local
  • 118 Information
  • Bing Places
  • Yell
  • Cylex
  • Local Mole

Otherwise, if you happen to belong to a particular industry, it’s worth looking up industry related magazines to check whether they have an indexing directory for companies in their field. The same can be said for local directories.

For Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Business Directory is a great place to get your business listed.

Most directories are free and we would not encourage payment for any listing, though it is worth noting that it sometimes takes a matter of weeks for business listings to get published. If you want to know anything more about local citations, contact us on 01226 720769.

Posted in SEO on Aug 31, 2016

Back to Blog