What are Local Citations?
A local citations are the online business information like the name, address, and contact details. It is part of SEO to get rank better. Citations will appear in many places like social networks, directories, and search results where people are looking for local businesses.
A local citation is necessary for the local business. It will help people find your business quickly. In addition, it will help you rank higher for local search queries. It is the starting point of expanding your business visibility and authority on the internet.
A few times, people don’t search for your business on google. Instead, they look for directories like yelp or yellow pages. That is also the reason why you should put information about your business. Your business gets listed on every site.
Different Types of Local Citations
There are two different types of local citations:
1. Structured Citations
2. Unstructured Citations
1. Structured Local Citations:
Structured citations are the most common type of local citations on the internet. So this citation lists your business on the directories and third-party websites. This is because the websites are enormous, pre-existing databases of the business that google already trusts; this is where your business listing is done too.
A structured citation will help google understand your services or products and also helps to find the right customer for your business since it is essential to be listed on the most relevant directories for your business is the key.
2. Unstructured Local Citations:
In unstructured citations, the information is not grouped together. Instead, it is the mention of crucial business data on a page. For example, this usually happens when your business is mentioned in an online blog post, news article, etc.
Now, this unstructured citation is essential to local SEO. However, it is not necessary for search engines as structured citations. Three factors influence the importance of unstructured citation. They are:
Website authority, also known as domain authority, is paramount when determining the value of unstructured citations. Let us keep it this way if the website citation appears on high domain authority, and it will be valuable.
And the website with low domain authority will have the less valuable citation. This is because domain authority is a recognized descriptor of the website’s rankability in the eyes of Google.
If you mention your business on websites connected to your local area, then this is likely to be more valuable than businesses mentioned on websites with no local connection. This is important for local SEO and customers.
Appearing on websites related to your niche is helpful from the perspective of SEO. This also helps you to put your business in front of interested people.
Why are Citations Important for Local SEO?
Local citations are influential. After all, it is beneficial for local SEO because it helps google and other search engines trust your business’s authenticity and make them believe that the information you provide is accurate.
When google finds that the information is accurate and similar to other trusted websites, then this trust is passed on to your business. Therefore, the consistency of name, address, and phone number citations is necessary to have the maximum SEO benefit of local citations. It means your name, address, and phone number should be similar on all the websites.
And when we talk about links. Of course, links are essential but local citation does not need to link to your business website to have the advantages of SEO. Google will recognize that your business has mentioned through NAP citations data, which is enough to influence the trust of google towards your business.
What is the Issue with Inaccurate Business Listings?
Having accurate information will help you gain the trust of Google. And if you provide inaccurate information, it will cause problems since this can lead to a decrease in the conviction of google from your business. On the other hand, conflicting information can be misleading, and also this can happen due to minor mistakes too—for example, spelling mistakes or abbreviations.
Let us look at this with an example if you have a business name so and so on some sites and have shortened that for other sites. Google will look at this as two different businesses.
This will lead to less authority for your business. It will also confuse your customers, and you can lose the customers or clients due to this. For example, suppose someone finds your business through a directory, but the contact detail is incorrect. Then they me find it difficult to communicate with you. This will lead to a shift in their focus on your competitors