How Local Citations Boost Local SEO

What are local Citations and how do they help Local SEO?

If you want to attract new local leads, increase conversions, and gain new clients, Local SEO Citation Building can significantly increase the number of visitors to your website, and amplify your local search marketing efforts.

This article aims to explain the concept of local citation building, highlight its importance, and show you how to implement a strategy to enhance your local SEO efforts.

Let’s explore the power of local citations and their role in increasing visibility for your brand.

Understanding the Concept of Local Citations

In a nutshell, Local citations, are mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other digital platforms such as directories (e.g.,, Thompson Local, Trustpilot etc.).

As well as using well-known directories, you should consider leveraging review platforms, social media channels, and becoming a member of your community’s Chamber of Commerce or local business groups to ensure your website’s visibility.

After compiling the list of suitable directories, it is important to ensure that your local business information remains both consistent and current to maintain accuracy and uniformity.

There are a wide range of options available for local SEO citation building, and we explore just a few of them below.

Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile (GBP) is the most important platform for creating citations. It is advisable to provide comprehensive details on your profile, including business opening hours, customer reviews, and a geographical map.

When you search for any company by name, large or small, you will always see their Google Business Profile on the right-hand side of the page.  Depending on the type of business, you will also see reviews, services, a link to the website and other useful features.  All of this information is part of your Google Business Profile.

If you have ever done a Google search for a business “near me”, you will see that the first thing that comes up is what we call the map Pack.  A list of 2-3 businesses with a map and contact details.  This is powered by entries from Google Business profiles, and always comes up before any other search results.

Going back to the “near me” search, below the Google results, you are likely to have seen results from feature pretty highly, and it is very important local directory for building citations.

Similar to Google Business Profile, it is vital that you create or verify your Yell listing by providing comprehensive information such as your business name, address, phone number, product descriptions, customer reviews, and operating hours.

Bing Places

Bing Places for Business is Bing’s equivalent to Google Business Profile (GBP). Although Google remains the most popular search engine, given the substantial daily traffic on Bing, the efforts put into claiming, completing your listing, and enhancing your Bing profile for better search visibility can yield significant benefits.

Why Local Citations Matter

According to Google, 76% of individuals who perform a local search using their smartphone will visit or use a physical business within a day, with 28% of these searchers resulting in a sale.

Creating citations is a vital part of local SEO, allowing businesses to enhance their visibility, boost their credibility, and enhance trustworthiness.  Maintaining a reliable and consistent online presence is crucial as it increases the confidence of local search users but also presents your website as reliable and trustworthy.

As a further bonus, your website will gather useful backlinks from many of the leading directory websites such as and Yahoo places, which Google and other search engines see as authoritative. These backlinks help to enhance your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Exploring the Concept of Local Citation Building

Instead of searching for online blogs or other authoritative websites to build backlinks, emphasise adding links to local, national and industry-specific listing directories.

As with other link-building strategies, it is essential to keep adding your website link to new directories, and maintain existing directory listings. By actively engaging in local SEO link building, you enhance your visibility to local searchers and establish credibility with search engine algorithms.

As previously mentioned, a combination of platforms such as social networking sites, professional directories, specific directories, and your community’s Chamber of Commerce can be utilised to establish local citations.

Platforms for Enhancing Local Citations

There are various local citation tools that can simplify your citation building strategy Below, we present three tools focused on local citations to enhance your local SEO strategy.


BrightLocal offers a comprehensive local software solution that includes a complimentary citation-building tool (although you have to pay a small fee for the citations that you require).

Listings can be uploaded to more than 100 listing websites and specialist platforms through BrightLocal. Additionally, they offer a citation audit and the capability to rectify inaccurate citations and eliminate redundant listings.

The pricing starts at $3 per listing, and there is an option to take a free seven-day trial.


Whitespark helps you to find local citations, identify fresh citation prospects, monitor existing citations, and explore new citation platforms.

It also allows a comprehensive analysis of competitor citations which helps you to develop strategies to monitor all their online listings effectively.

A free trial offers an insight into the software’s features and provides insights on a single location along with three searches per day. The one-off fees start at $20 and subscription plans commence at $33 per month, billed on an annual basis.

Enhance Your Online Presence with Semrush’s Local Tools

Semrush is an industry leader in the SEO software market, and as part of their wide range of tools, they offer a citation builder.  To kickstart the process, you can initiate a complimentary citation evaluation. Simply start a scan, and carefully review the report to identify your current citations, and see highlights of the citation opportunities available that you haven’t claimed.  You can then use the management tool to list your information on other prominent directories.

The complimentary local citation scanning tool allows for the analysis of up to five locations per day and premium subscription plans start at $20 per month.

Winning Methods for Creating Local Citations

By implementing effective strategies, you can optimise your local citation building efforts to enhance your SEO performance.

Before you start citation building:

Start the process by assessing platforms: Review your online accounts to identify any missing details or discrepancies. Utilise Moz’s complimentary tool for local listings to detect and address potential problems.

Make sure your business appears on the most important platforms like Google My Business, Yell, Bing Places, and Facebook, as these platforms get the most traffic, and are considered authoritative by Search Engines

Claim your profiles: If you haven’t yet registered with prominent local directories, ensure that you secure your local listing. The registration process varies for every platform, but you can streamline this task using tools like Moz, BrightLocal, or Whitespark.

The more places your business is listed, the easier it becomes for users to find your business.  Ensure that you include comprehensive information about your business. In addition to your name, address, and phone number (NAP), make sure to add your website link, operating hours, and a detailed overview of your services. Enhance your profile with images, contact information and news.

Make sure you use both short and long-tail keywords: To attract a local audience effectively and increase the likelihood of generating leads, it is crucial to integrate keywords that are location-specific.  For example, refining your search terms from “Oven Repairs Surrey” to “Oven Repairs Guildford” can significantly increase your visibility in your chosen area.  The key here is to server your local area.  Trying to optimise for a wider area than you actually cover is a mistake, and it can be detrimental to your efforts

Make sure that you monitor your competitors: If your rivals have a presence on a particular platform, then you should have a listing there too. However, it is crucial to ensure that the platform is appropriate for your industry and has a solid reputation. For instance, if you operate a local cafe, it is essential to have listings on platforms like TripAdvisor, OpenTable, but a listing on the local contractors website won’t help you at all.

It is sensible to highlight different aspects of your business: Incorporate relevant keywords in headings, articles, and descriptions of products. Develop customer reviews, insert your website link, and routinely verify the consistency and accuracy of your Name, Address, Phone number (NAP) information on all local profiles.

If you follow these guidelines you will develop a strong local citation portfolio that draws in local customers and outranks your competition.

Local Citation FAQs

What is Citation Building

Local citation building involves the creation of profiles on external directories and websites. Ensuring a consistent and precise profile across several platforms can boost your business’s visibility, draw in additional local customers, and boost credibility among users conducting local searches.

Why Citation Building Matters in Local SEO

Citation building enhances your presence on search engines, boosts your credibility with search engines,  and helps to improve your local rankings, which in turn enhances your overall SEO performance.

What is the benefit of citation building on the online presence and local search rankings of a company?

More online references to your business and your website will enhance its visibility, and importantly instil trust both with the major search engines, and in turn with users.

Featuring on prominent platforms increases the chances of appearing in local Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) and boosts website traffic.

How do structured and unstructured citations in local SEO differ from each other?

Unstructured references apply to citations within blog articles, internet discussions, and other mediums, but they lack comprehensive information and do not encompass all your business particulars.

In contrast, structured references are prevalent in established directories like Google Business Profile and Yell, featuring a uniform format that helps search engines to understand them. They commonly include NAP details, maps, images, and specific promotions.

Key Guidelines for Building Citations

Make sure that all the information you provide to citation websites and directories is accurate and make sure the information is consistent across all directories and platforms.

You should also make sure that your details are kept up to date if you change location, contact numbers or opening hours.

Enhance your descriptions by including high-quality images and optimise your content with a blend of regular and long-tail keywords.

Remember, it’s not necessary to be present on every directory. The most effective approach for citation building involves establishing a business profile on reputable and relevant niche websites.

Why is maintaining consistency in NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) crucial when creating citations?

According to the BrightLocal SEO Ranking Factors Survey, maintaining consistency in your business information is crucial for establishing trust with potential customers and improving your visibility on search engines. Outdated or inaccurate citations can have a detrimental impact on your search visibility while inconsistencies in your business name, address, and phone number (NAP details) can also affect your visibility in voice search results.


The creation of Citations is a vital part of Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) that can be leveraged to enhance the local visibility and prominence of your website.

Citation building helps to create prominence, bolster credibility, and improve local SEO.

While there are hundreds of directories available, it’s not necessary to be present on all of them. Prioritising quality over quantity is important.  Identify reputable websites and directories that you are confident in and also make sure you include specialised directories that focus on your industry, that reinforce your business type or that prospective clients may visit to find specialists in your area.

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