8 Benefits of Local Citations in SEO

Some people exaggerate the benefits of local citations, and some say it’s pointless to build them. I can confidently say, and I have seen this by working with many local businesses in Toronto, that if your business is new and you haven’t yet created local citations, then after properly building them, there will be at least a 50% improvement in your local business’s online sales.

Based on my extensive experience in local SEO, upcoming changes in search engine algorithms and ranking factors might only partially reduce the influence of local citations but not entirely.

But with one condition: build citations properly and avoid keyword stuffing and other things Google prohibits in its guidelines.

So, let’s see what those 8 benefits of local citations are for your business.

benefits of local citations in seo

1. Brand Awareness

97% of consumers learn more about local businesses online than any other source. (Source: SEO Tribunal)

For example, most people use Yelp to find local businesses near them. So, listing your business on Yelp can attract potential customers. Local citations play a crucial role in increasing your business’s brand awareness. You create customers who remain with your business for years through brand awareness.

However, brand awareness or word-of-mouth has a downside, too. If you have done something in local citations that makes customers feel your business is fake, then that customer will also tell their close friends not to take any services or products from your company.

So, remember the benefit of brand awareness while creating local citations.

2. Trust and Credibility

Listing your business on multiple directories is called an aggressive marketing tactic, and to some extent, it’s true. I’ll explain why this isn’t an aggressive marketing tactic and why creating local citations enhances your business’s trustworthiness and credibility.

Thousands of people now misuse Google My Business (GMB), but how?

These people create fake GMB listings and stuff their business titles with keywords. For example, an SEO agency named “AYZ” writes in its title as AYZ SEO Agency in Toronto, which affects the sales of businesses that are operating correctly.

However, those who engage in these prohibited acts need more time to create local citations for their businesses because they aren’t genuine businesses and aim to harm others. For this reason, creating local citations isn’t an aggressive marketing tactic, and it can make your business appear more trustworthy and credible compared to other local businesses.

3. Authority

Google holds 91.62% of the global search engine market share. (Source: Statcounter)

Local citations increase a business’s customer trust and legitimacy, but some think this is different. Today, I want to explain why your belief is incorrect.

Creating local citations isn’t just copying and pasting your business’s name, address, and phone number. There are options on all those listing sites considered trusted by Google to post regularly, write about your business updates and share prices of your services and products.

However, all this takes time, and local business owners need more time to do it all. Therefore, any business that does this will be considered trusted by Google and its customers, and Google will continue to increase the authority of your business.

Building local citations doesn’t increase a business’s authority. I never disagree with this point, but creating local citations does indeed provide a noticeable increase in your business’s authority to some extent.

4. Low Cost Marketing

Building local citations is any small local business’s most cost-effective marketing strategy. If your business is tiny and you have limited marketing resources, why should you spend money on local citations when there’s no benefit guarantee?

Indeed, your stance and thoughts are almost correct, but if you genuinely have limited resources, prioritizing your spending on local citations should be your priority. Other strategies like link building, content creation, content marketing, or Google ads can be expensive for any small business. While building citations for local customers in Toronto, I found that almost 70% of the listing sites where you build citations don’t charge any fee.

I’m not saying to invest all your money in local citations, but a certain percentage of your marketing budget should be assigned to them. Many affordable services are available, and creating hundreds of local citations is useless. So, for small businesses, this is the most cost-effective marketing strategy.

Local citations provide your business with free backlinks, which play a crucial role in helping customers reach your website. You’ll find most of these links nofollow. These links allow a customer who has found your business through a search to click the link and learn more about your business.

Some people consider linking the homepage from citation sites while building citations a manipulation. If a citation site offers the option to add your website’s link, you should do it, but it’s not appropriate to add links in the description where you talk about your business.

There’s a belief that citation and link building are similar, with no significant difference. For this, you can read my post on citations vs link building, where I explain in detail what distinguishes the two.

6. Chances to Get More Customer Reviews

Google considers reviews from other trusted websites like Yelp, Facebook, Yellow Pages, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If you have correctly listed your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on these websites, you may receive many reviews, particularly those valued by Google.

You might wonder why Google values reviews from these websites. To answer this question, you should add a fake review for any business on Yelp. Your fake evaluation will never be added because Yelp’s review verification process is excellent. Therefore, Yelp is considered even more trustworthy when choosing local businesses than Google in the USA and Canada.

73% of consumers trust businesses more after reading positive reviews. (Source: Xpand Digital)

7. Referral Traffic

Although the impact of referral website traffic from local citations isn’t particularly significant, referral traffic from local citation sites doesn’t guarantee high-quality leads for your business.

At least your referral traffic is local and serious about your business. Therefore, we consider this a benefit, regardless of its minor impact. And who doesn’t like getting something for free?

8. Network and Partnerships

Local citations offer you networking opportunities. You can form partnerships with local businesses that are relevant to yours.

To give you the most straightforward example, I know a key fob duplication expert who has partnerships with businesses like locksmiths that don’t offer key fob duplication. This guy places his goods in their storefronts and says if any customer comes in asking for key fob duplication service, to do the job for them. This guy has expanded his business across many cities by offering a share of the profits.

Key Takeaways

  • Local citations help increase brand awareness, generate trust and credibility, and build your business’s authority in Google’s eyes.
  • Local citations require a low marketing budget and provide free backlinks, reviews, and referral traffic. They also offer networking and partnership opportunities, which can increase profits.
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