The Importance of Accurate and Consistent Local Citation for Local SEO Success

By Tinuiti Team

To maximize local search engine results, businesses need to create consistent local citations across all top listing sites with complete and accurate business information. Doing so can give your business listings more credibility and higher placement in local search engine results.

While doing these tasks is not difficult, it takes a commitment and attention to detail to ensure optimal local search. Here are a few of the key steps that reinforce the importance of accurate and consistent local citation for local SEO success.

Local Citations Defined

Local citations are business listings that include the business name, address and phone number, at a minimum. They appear in local business directories, apps, and social media platforms. Popular sites include Acxiom, Google My Business, Infogroup, Localeze/Neustar, social media platforms like Facebook, and review sites like Yelp.

Other platforms include websites that provide local lists based on geography or industry, such as local chambers of commerce or trade associations. Less structured platforms include listings on blogs, government databases, maps and news sites.

Search engines use these business listings to help searchers find local businesses and contact information, location and directions, and other important business information. For local businesses, accurate and consistent citations on top listing sites can determine whether or not a business lands in a search engine’s local search results.

Guidelines for Accuracy

Accuracy is the critical ingredient in NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) guidelines. Each listing should use the same name, address, and phone number across online business listings, and should not be location-specific (e.g. “Harry’s Haircuts” should be listed as such for both listings locations in Smithtown and Jonesville, not “Harry’s Haircuts Smithtown”). There should only be one listing per location and older and outdated information should be removed or corrected.

Citations may also include other information, depending on the platform. This data may include website address, business category, description, directions, email addresses, hours, images, reviews, taglines, and more.

What to Do to Optimize Citations

At Elite SEM, we help businesses achieve their goals, from maximizing page views to attracting more customers. Want to learn more about the potential of SEO? Check out this insightful case study.  

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