What’s the Importance of Citations in SEO?

Citations are an essential aspect of SEO for local businesses. They improve visibility, trust, and credibility while helping verify the business’s authenticity. This blog post explains the importance of citations and their impact on higher rankings and competitive edge.

Before learning about the importance of citations, I want to briefly tell you what citations are.

what's the importance of citations in seo

What’s a Citation in SEO?

If your business’s name, address, or phone number is mentioned anywhere online, it’s called a citation. The process of making citations is called citation building.

Building citations for your business is a practical and effective way to improve your local search ranking. It involves using social networks like Facebook, business directories such as Yelp, and websites that are either local or related to your business category.

When search engines like Google look for evidence to rank local businesses or websites, they also see citations. However, listing your business on relevant sites, not just any site, is important. To do this, you should find citation sites related to your business category. If you’re a local Canadian business, you can find these sites here. Remember, site relevancy matters when it comes to citations.

Some SEOs think that having citations no longer helps businesses rank in local search results. However, by building citations for many local businesses in Toronto, I have seen that they help them gain positions in search results. You surely now understand what citations are. Let’s find out the importance of citations in SEO.

1. Citations Improve Discovering Your Business

For people exploring local businesses in their area to fulfill a need, citations help reach your business to those customers. Citations not only help improve ranking but also enable you to get those customers who genuinely need your services or products.

Imagine if you’re a restaurant and your business isn’t registered on OpenTable, a local directory people use to find nearby restaurants. This small mistake could cause you to lose local customers who might have visited your restaurant.

2. Citations Build Trust and Credibility

Building citations is considered to make your business trusted and credible. Google considers citations a vote. It doesn’t mean you must gather as many votes as possible. It matters whether the business giving the vote is relevant and who exactly they’re.

When it comes to citation building, relevancy is important. Let me give you an example. When I was new to SEO, I helped a local business by registering it on nearly 50 directory sites. It led to a 20% increase in local ranking. Later, we partnered with 5 websites that offered services similar to ours. These websites mentioned our name on their sites, and our ranking increased by over 50%.

3. Google and Customer Verification

When you build citations for your local business, both Google and customers can verify whether your business is genuine. But why and how is this possible?

Working with local businesses in Toronto for years, I have seen that creating Google business profiles incorrectly and stuffing keywords in the profile’s title, description, services, and product sections is common for some people. However, these people hesitate to build citations because it requires much effort and because their businesses aren’t genuine, they don’t build citations.

When a genuine local business builds citations and continuously gives updates about their business on these citation sites, this is a primary reason why Google and customers can distinguish between a real and a fake business.

We also get links from local directories and citation sites when building citations. Although these links are primarily nofollow, they strengthen our link profile because they come from local websites.

With the help of these links, customers searching for local businesses in their area to meet their specific needs can reach your business’s website.

Our intent during citation building is never to acquire links. Learn more about this in the blog post, where I discuss the differences between citations and link building.

5. Citations Help in Higher Rankings

In one of my blog posts, I shared my experience that local businesses that have yet to work on citation building see at least a 50% improvement in their sales when they start doing so.

The impact of citations has decreased, but it still helps local rankings.

Along with citation building, your intent should also be to create helpful content so that people naturally mention your business, as a different website has mentioned our business name in this post.

our business name mentioned by localseojet

6. Competitive Edge

Building citations on good websites and performing better than competitors is beneficial for you. It gives you a competitive edge.
More than 65% of local businesses don’t invest in citations. The main reasons are the lack of a marketing budget and the lack of trust in SEOs. These local businesses can temporarily save money by not investing in citation building, but in the long term, they’ll face significant losses.

Would you trust a local business that hasn’t built any citations and has no website links to it? Someone might trust it, but I certainly won’t.

I have never said that you need to build hundreds of citations; for your small business, it would be better to build 55 to 100 citations. You may read this post about how many citations do I need?

Key Takeaways

  • Citations are an essential aspect of SEO for local businesses, improving visibility, trust, and credibility.
  • Building relevant citations can help customers discover your business and verify its authenticity, positively impacting your link profile and higher rankings.
  • Investing in citation building gives you a competitive edge as more than 65% of local businesses do not invest in it, which could result in significant losses in the long run.
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