What are local citations and why are they important for my business?

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What are local citations?

Local citations are mentions of your business name, address, phone number, website address and other contact information in online directories and other resources. Also referred to as NAPs, local citations can be found in website content on other sites, review websites, social media and online directories such as yellow pages, Yelp, ThomsonLocal and Freeindex. Many new businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs don’t realize that most basic listings are free, and it’s important to get as many citations as possible because these listings confirm that your business is local, listed and legitimate, which causes search engines to rank your business higher in Search Engine Return Pages or SERPs. High rankings are critical because most people choose one of the first listing they see when searching for products and services. Making your site visible and relevant to search engines is called SEO and is important if you want to get free organic search traffic without paying for clicks in pay-per-click campaigns. Search engines offer free searches but earn their profits by selling paid listings known as pay-per-click or PPC advertising.

Why your business must keep NAPs accurate.

It’s important to check your listings in these online directories because many of them compile their listings from other sources, so your business could already be published, but the information might not be correct or complete. Each time something changes in your contact information, you need to update your listings, which many digital marketers forget to do. If you don’t update and supply the correct information, Google and other search engines might find conflicting data, which causes them to downgrade your site in searches. Incorrect information also reflects poorly on your business to customers.

To find out if your business is listed correctly across most major local citations, click here.