Over 97% of people turn to the internet when they want to learn more about a local business. That’s why it’s important for business owners to optimize their SEO strategy. By creating local citations using a local citation builder, businesses make it easy for potential customers to find them online. This is a key component toward improving your local SEO and gaining quality leads.
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What are local citations?
A local citation is an online mention of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). This can help increase your business’s visibility and improve your search engine ranking for keywords. For further help on how to optimize your NAP to improve your local SEO efforts check out our earlier article.
There are several types of local citations. The most common include directory listings and local business listings. Directory listings are usually created when you submit your business information to online directories like Google Business Profile, Yahoo! Local, or Bing Places for Business.
Local business listings are similar to directory listings, but they also often include additional information about your business, including:
- Business hours
- Website URL
- Payment methods
While local citations can be very beneficial for local SEO, listing inconsistent or incorrect business details can actually hurt those efforts. We recommend regularly checking your local citations to make sure all your information is correct. This is especially important for businesses with multiple locations.
How do you create local citations?
One way to create local citations is to do it manually. This means finding local directories and business listings that allow you to submit your business information. However, this can be a time-consuming process and if you’re running a business, it might not be the best use of time.
Use a local citation builder
You can also use a local citation builder to create citations more efficiently. A local citation builder is software that makes it easy to update your business details across several listing sites using automation technology. Once you’ve entered your business details, the local citation builder will send that information to the listing sites you choose.
If any of your business details change, like your address or phone number, you’ll only need to update your local citation builder with the new information. After you save your work, the software will automatically update each business listing site you’ve selected. It’s important to note that each local citation builder connects with different listing sites, so make sure to choose a citation builder that makes sense for your business needs.
The benefits of a local citation builder
Local citation builders can help list your business information on local directories across the internet. They can also help your business track its local SEO performance and identify opportunities to improve visibility in search results. Some local citation builders can perform competitive analysis, which can help your business stay ahead of current trends and better understand what your competitors are doing.
Some other benefits of using a local citation builder include:
- Accurate and up-to-date details – Using a single platform to share your business details helps guarantee all of your business information is correct.
- Saving time – Manually listing your business on local directories can be a slow process. A local citation builder can automate this process and save you precious time.
- Improving local SEO – We talked about this already, but it’s worth mentioning again. Local citations can improve your business’s local SEO ranking. Why? Because local citations signal to search engines that your business is relevant and popular in your area.
- Tracking your progress – Most citation builders can track and measure results. Having detailed reports give you valuable insights into your citation building progress.
- Increasing traffic to your website – Local citations can also help drive traffic to your website. Being easy to locate online turns potential customers into quality leads.
We can’t stress this enough: Whether you choose to manually enter your local citations or work with a local citation builder, make sure to double-check your citations for accuracy. This will guarantee your local citations are up-to-date and in a structured citation format. For more information about how to manage your business listings, check out our earlier post.
Top listing directories
There are a lot of listing directories out there, and the right listing directories for your business will depend on your goals and industry.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular listing directories based on user reviews and ratings.
- Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a listing directory integrated with Google Maps. It helps businesses to manage their listing information and get discovered on the most popular search engine in the world.
- Facebook is the largest social media platform with over two billion monthly users. You can claim your business listing on Facebook to help potential customers find you.
- Bing Places for Business is a listing directory that helps businesses manage their listing information and get discovered by potential customers.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB) focuses on businesses that have been accredited by the BBB. This is a great option for businesses that want to build trust and credibility with customers.
There are also several industry-specific listing directories:
- TripAdvisor is a listing directory focused on travel-related businesses like hotels, restaurants, and attractions. You can read reviews from other travelers to get an idea of what to expect on your next vacation.
- HealthGrades is a listing directory with information on healthcare providers like doctors, dentists, and hospitals. You can read reviews and ratings from other patients before deciding on a provider. Check out our blog post to learn more about why HealthGrades listings are so important.
- Zillow is a listing directory for real estate businesses where users can search for homes, check prices, and even get pre-qualified for a mortgage.
- Autotrader is a directory for businesses that sell vehicles. Shoppers can search for cars, compare prices, and look into financing.
Frequently asked questions about local citation builder
Yes. They both share business details like your name, address, and phone number all over the internet. The terms are interchangeable.
Yes. Most listing services are offered for free. However, some listing sites offer a paid option to boost listing to the top of search results pages.
Structured citations are those that include your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) in a standardized format. Unstructured citations are those that don’t include all three of these elements or don’t have them formatted consistently.
Stay up-to-date with Birdeye Listings
Ninety-four percent of people use online directories to learn more about local businesses – and that’s why information about your business needs to be accurate across the internet. With Birdeye Listings, you’ll be able to create and manage comprehensive, accurate, and eye-catching listings on countless directories. If you’d like to see how your business listings currently appear on directory sites, get your free online listings report today.
Originally published Aug 10, 2022, updated