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What are citations?

What are citations?


Importance of citations in local SEO
Definition of citations
Ideal citation format
Effectiveness of citations in local SEO
Best practices for building citations
How Important Are Citations In Local SEO?


Citation building enhances the visibility of your business to prospective clients while portraying it as a credible and trustworthy organization. Overlooking this vital process may have detrimental effects on your local SEO potential. It is crucial to understand the significance of citation building and its impact on local search optimisation.


 Citation building, or the practice of having your business information listed on various websites, can significantly improve your Google rankings in local search results. According to a study by BrightLocal, citations are one of the top local search ranking factors, influencing 10.82% of local search rankings.

Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) establishes your physical presence in a specific geographical region, which is essential for appearing in local search results. A 2017 study by Moz revealed that NAP consistency accounted for 8.41% of local search ranking factors.


Adhering to best practices for citation building in local SEO focuses on quality as much as quantity. A 2020 study by Whitespark found that having accurate and consistent citations across authoritative and relevant websites is more beneficial than simply having a large number of citations. [Source: https://whitespark.ca/blog/citation-study/]

Search results have become increasingly reliant on the user’s physical location due to the prioritization of mobile users. According to Statista, in 2021, approximately 56.5% of global web traffic originated from mobile devices, highlighting the importance of optimizing for local search. [Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/277125/share-of-website-traffic-coming-from-mobile-devices/]

Business owners recognize the critical nature of maintaining updated online contact information. Attracting potential customers becomes challenging when they cannot easily reach you, and the absence of a clearly listed address and phone number may raise doubts about your business’s legitimacy. Ensuring your contact details are easily accessible and accurate is essential not only for client trust but also for the optimization of local search rankings.

In summary, citation building is a vital aspect of local SEO, as it not only makes it easier for potential customers to find your business but also presents it as a reliable and trustworthy company. By ensuring that your NAP information is consistent

and accurate across various websites, you can significantly enhance your Google rankings in local search results. Prioritizing quality over quantity and targeting authoritative and relevant websites for citation building is crucial for optimizing your local SEO efforts. With the growing prevalence of mobile users, search results are now more dependent on the user’s physical location, emphasizing the importance of citation building and local search optimization for businesses.

To maximize your local SEO potential, it is essential to invest time and effort in citation building, ensuring your business information is updated, accurate, and consistent across various online platforms. This will not only help attract potential customers but also contribute to establishing a strong, trustworthy reputation for your business in the digital landscape.


You might be wondering what are business citations? Well they are most definitely worth building, because they can help to improve your company’s seo, and they are relatively easy to build, if you build them in the right way. What we mean by this is that the NAP information must be always consistent.

What does NAP information mean? Well quite simply put, nap just stands for name of your company, the address of your company and your company phone number.

It’s also really important, that you have your NAP information, written on your company website. You might want this on the contact us page, but we would recommend also putting it in the footer, this is so that it is displayed on every single page and blog post on your website. This way you will be making sure that the NAP information is on your website.

Again, nap simply stands for name of your business, the address of your business on the phone number of your business.

We would most definitely recommend not using a mobile phone number, within companies NAP information, instead we would recommend using a local phone number instead. So for example, we think it’s better to use a landline number, for example in Cardiff landline numbers start with O2 920, this is better to use than a mobile phone number.

The reason for this is if you use a local phone number, such as a Cardiff 02920 or a Cardiff O2 921 number, then this shows that you have a phone number for the Cardiff area.

Obviously a mobile phone number, doesn’t say which city your company is based.

Citations play a crucial role in local SEO, as they provide valuable information about your business to search engines like Google. They help search engines understand the relevance, prominence, and authority of your business, which ultimately improves your local search rankings. According to BrightLocal, businesses in the top 10 local search results have an average of 81 citations.

What are citations?

Citations are online mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). They can appear on various websites, directories, social media platforms, or local business listings. Citations are a fundamental aspect of local SEO, as they enable search engines to validate the existence, credibility, and location of a business. A study by Moz revealed that citation signals account for 10.82% of ranking factors in local search.

How should citations look?

The ideal citation format should be consistent and accurate, as it helps search engines associate the correct information with your business. An example of a proper citation format is:

Maintaining consistency across all citations is essential, as it allows search engines to identify and recognize your business. A consistent NAP format ensures that your business receives proper credit for its online mentions, which contributes to your local SEO efforts. According to a study by Synup, 86% of business owners believe that maintaining accurate and consistent citations is vital for their local search rankings.

How effective are citations in boosting local SEO?

Citations are highly effective in improving local SEO, as they provide search engines with crucial information about your business. High-quality citations from authoritative websites can significantly boost your local search rankings. A study conducted by Local SEO Guide found a strong correlation between a higher number of citations and improved local search rankings (source: https://www.localseoguide.com/guides/local-search-ranking-factors/).

However, it’s important to note that not all citations are created equal. Quality and relevance matter more than quantity. Focusing on obtaining citations from industry-specific or local directories will be more beneficial than acquiring a large number of low-quality citations.

What’s the best way to build citations?

To effectively build citations and improve your local SEO, follow these best practices:

Ensure NAP consistency: Make sure your business’s name, address, and phone number are consistent across all online platforms. This helps search engines recognize and validate your business, improving your local search rankings.
Focus on quality: Prioritize obtaining citations from authoritative, industry-specific, or local directories, as they carry more weight in search engine algorithms.

Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing: This is a crucial step for local SEO, as it allows your business to appear in Google Maps, local search results, and the Google Local Pack.

Monitor and manage your citations: Regularly check your citations for accuracy and update them as needed. There are several online tools, such as Moz Local, Yext, and BrightLocal, which can help you manage your citations.

Engage with customers and request reviews: Positive customer reviews can improve your online reputation and increase the trustworthiness of your business. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, or Facebook.

Leverage social media platforms: Create and maintain profiles on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These platforms can serve as additional citation sources, while also providing opportunities for customer engagement and brand exposure.

Participate in local events and sponsorships: Engaging in local community events or sponsoring local organizations can lead to valuable citation opportunities on event websites or news articles.

Collaborate with other local businesses: Partner with other businesses in your area to create joint promotions or co-host events. This can lead to valuable citation opportunities and increase your local visibility.

Create valuable content: Develop high-quality, informative content that showcases your expertise and knowledge in your industry. This can help you gain citations from reputable sources, such as industry blogs or news outlets.

Monitor your competitors’ citations: Analyze your competitors’ citation sources to identify potential opportunities for your own business. Tools like Whitespark and BrightLocal can help you uncover your competitors’ citation sources.


Citations are an essential component of local SEO, as they provide search engines with valuable information about your business. Ensuring your citations are consistent, accurate, and from high-quality sources can significantly improve your local search rankings.

By focusing on building quality citations and following best practices, you can enhance your local SEO efforts and increase your business’s visibility in local search results. As you implement these strategies, don’t forget to monitor and manage your citations, engage with customers, and leverage social media to maximize your local SEO success.