One of the key factors that search engines use to determine how to rank local businesses in search results is the: Number, Consistency and Relevance of local citations.
A citation is some place on the web that lists/references a business typically with the name, address and phone (a.k.a. NAP) number; Citations sometimes include the website and/or a link to the site.
Getting high quality citations that accurately and consistently (i.e. NAP always listed the exactly the same way) list your company data is a key item on your search optimization to do list. But which citations are most impactful? The relevance of local citations varies for each location and each industry. There are a few ways to find the most impactful citation sources for your industry and location including:
- DIY: Google your highest-ranked competitors’ in your local market including their name and local phone number in the search term. The resulting listings will tell you what citation sources matter the most to Google for your particular industry/location.
- Paid Version: Companies like Whitespark offer a paid service to create a list of relevant local citations.
7 Best Sources
GetListed recently published the results of a study of the best citation sources for local businesses in 93 cities. The downside of this list versus the results that would be found using the either of two methods above is that they are not industry-targeted. To make it even easier, we looked at the full list and saw that there are 7 sources that are clearly impactful in most locations. At a minimum, they belong on everyone’s list of citations to get right away:
- Yellow Pages
- Yahoo Local