What are Google Map Citations? (The Beginner’s Guide)

Google Map Citations include your local business data, such as your Name, Address, and Phone Number. You list your Google Business Profile information on relevant websites; others might occasionally mention it.

Imagine the Google Snack Pack, also known as the Local Pack, as a treasure trove of local businesses. The more Google Map Citations your company has, the more likely it will be discovered in this pack, boosting your visibility and potential customer reach.

what are google map citations

What are Google Local Citations?

The meaning of all these terms is the same:

  • Google Local Citations
  • Google Map Citations
  • GMB Citations
  • Local Citations
  • Local SEO Citations

However, the primary purpose is to accurately mention your business (NAP) name, address, and phone number.

Add or select the correct data on local listing websites or directories. It helps customers choose your business with confidence. Citations establish trust and credibility for your business and show customers it’s a genuine local business.

Showing your GMB (Google My Business) Profile data correctly or incorrectly matters in rankings.

TIP: See the list of Canadian citation sites for different business industries to learn about Google Map Citations. It will help you in knowing what a Google Map Citation is.

What is the Impact of Google Map Citations on Local SEO?

Google Map citations significantly influence Local SEO. They improve search rankings and map visibility, establishing trust. Accurate citations ensure customers find and choose your business quickly in local searches.

1. Better Local Search Rankings

Google Map Citations help your business appear higher in local search results. It means people nearby find you more easily.

2. Improved Map Visibility

Having more citations can boost your visibility on Google Maps. It means you are more likely to appear at the top of search results when people look for your services.

However, I recommend listing your local business on only a few quality websites.

3. Enhanced Trust and Accuracy

Citations build trust by verifying your business information. Accurate details across platforms mean customers trust and find you more easily.

What are the Benefits of Google Map Citations?

These are the four main benefits of Google Map Citations:

  • Reach and Visibility
  • Rankings
  • Trust
  • Free

Why Accurate Google Map Citations Matter for Local SEO?

why accurate google map citations matter for local seo
According to Google, 46% of their searches are local. If you don’t provide accurate information about your business, potential customers may be unsure about choosing you. It can harm your business and erode trust in both you and Google.

Whitespark Survey 2020: For Local Pack rankings at Google, only 7% of SEOs focus on citation building, and most ignore citation consistency. (Source: Whitespark)

What are the Key Components of a Google Map Citation?

There are three main components of a Google Map Citation, and these are:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number

What are the Types of Google Map Citations?

what are the types of google map citations

Structured and unstructured citations are the two main types of Google Maps citations.

(Source: https://jetrank.com/google-maps-citations/)

1. Structured Citations

Structured Citations, or NAP Citations, include your business name, address, phone number, and a backlink (optional). You typically find these on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Places, the Better Business Bureau, Facebook Business Pages, Hotfrog, and more.

Most citation sites charge fees, but some don’t. So keep this in mind when thinking about building Structured Citations for your local business.

2. Unstructured Citations

Unstructured citations appear when someone mentions your business name, address, or phone number. They don’t follow a specific format like Structured Citations. Anyone who knows about your business can create them intentionally or unintentionally on blog posts, forum posts, and social media.

These are less useful than Structured Citations because anyone can mention your business information incorrectly, so you have to track it using a citation management tool like BrightLocal.

What are Common Mistakes of Citation Building to Avoid?

Most people must correct their business name, address, or phone number. It looks simple, but it’s not because, as a beginner, you can make these mistakes, and you’ll be worried later on.

Let’s take a look at what types of mistakes you can avoid when building citations for your local business:

1. Name

These are six common mistakes that most people make with their business name when building citations:

1. Misspellings: Like “Starbukcs” instead of “Starbucks.”
2. Omissions: Skipping words, e.g., “The Coffee House” becomes “Coffee House.”
3. Additions: Adding extra words or letters, e.g., “Sam’s Coffees Shop” instead of “Sam’s Coffee Shop.”
4. Wrong Order: Flipping words, e.g., “House Coffee The” instead of “The Coffee House.”
5. Abbreviations: Shortening names incorrectly, e.g., “McD’s” instead of “McDonald’s.”
6. Punctuation Errors: Missing or extra punctuation, e.g., “Joe’s Cafe” vs. “Joes Cafe.”

2. Address

These are seven types of mistakes you can make with your business address:

1. Misspellings: Wrong street names, like “Elm Strete” instead of “Elm Street.”
2. Wrong Numbers: Incorrect building numbers, e.g., “123” instead of “321.”
3. Omitted Details: Skipping parts like suite numbers, e.g., “101 Main St” instead of “101 Main St, Suite 200.”
4. Wrong Order: Flipping address components, e.g., “Main St, 101” instead of “101 Main St.”
5. Abbreviations: Inconsistent use of abbreviations, like “St.” vs. “Street.”
6. ZIP Code Errors: Incorrect or missing ZIP codes, e.g., “90210” instead of “90212.”
7. City/State Mistakes: Confusing city and state names, e.g., “Austin, Nevada” instead of “Austin, Texas.”

3. Phone Number

When listing business phone numbers, six common errors may include:

1. Wrong Numbers: Typing incorrect digits, like “123-456-7890” instead of “123-456-7809.”
2. Missing Digits: Omitting numbers, e.g., “123-456-789” instead of “123-456-7890.”
3. Extra Digits: Adding extra numbers, like “123-456-78901.”
4. Wrong Order: Mixing up the sequence, e.g., “123-457-6890” instead of “123-456-7890.”
5. Formatting Errors: Inconsistent formatting, like “(123)456-7890” vs. “123-456-7890.”
6. Country/Area Codes: Missing or incorrect country or area codes, e.g., “+1 123-456-7890” vs. “+44 123-456-7890.”

What Factors Involved When Building Google Map Citations?

When creating Google Map Citations, selecting the right type is essential, maintaining consistency in your business details, and prioritizing high-quality citation sources is crucial. These factors significantly impact how well your business ranks in local searches.

1. Type of Citation

If you’re new to building citations for your business, start with Structured Citations. These provide Google with accurate information about your business, which can help improve your rankings in Local Pack searches.

2. Consistency

When working on Structured Citations, it’s essential to display your business’s Name, Address, and Phone Number precisely as they are. A spreadsheet is helpful because you can easily copy and paste your business information when creating citations to ensure consistency.

3. Quality

Citation building is similar to link building but serves a different purpose. It involves listing your business information on relevant and authoritative websites. Quantity is unimportant in this process, so it’s best to focus your efforts wisely.

How Can You Build Google Map Citations?

Follow these easy-to-understand three steps for building Google Map Citations for your business and enjoy Google rankings.

1. Creating a Business Info Spreadsheet

Make a spreadsheet to save your business name, address, phone number, website URL, business email address with a password, and URLs of your business social media accounts. It will help you build citations accurately.

2. Get Listed on Free General Citation Sites

This blog post lists 60 general Canadian citation sites where anyone can list their business for free. You must sign up on these websites; some will send a verification code to your email account or phone number.

Verify by code if required, and they will publish your business listing within a few hours.

3. Get Listed on Niche Specific Websites

Niche-specific or industrial citations are websites where businesses in specific industries or specialized fields are listed. For example, only a Canadian locksmith business can be listed on a locksmith citation site for Canada.

We can only cover a few niche-specific businesses, but we’re working hard to provide lists for as many local business types as possible.

What Steps Needed to Fix Google Map Citations Errors?

what steps needed to fix google map citations errors
If you build citations yourself or by your team, it’s easy to make corrections. Using any Local SEO tool, you can do the job by following these steps.

1. Audit Your Citations

Start by auditing your existing citations across various directories and platforms. Tools like Moz Local, SEMrush, or Whitespark give you audit reports to make corrections.

2. Request for Deleting or Correcting Errors

Each platform has its process for handling incorrect listings. Follow their specific guidelines to request deletion or correction. It often involves filling out a form or contacting customer support.

3. Monitor and Follow Up

Remember to record your deletion requests, including any communication or reference numbers. Follow up if you are still waiting to hear back or if the listing needs to be fixed.

4. Consider Professional Help

If you find the process overwhelming, consider professional help to solve the issue.

Can Competitors Harm Your Business with False Citations?

Your competitors can build duplicate and false Google Map Citations of your business by adding incorrect names, addresses, or phone numbers. They can also choose spammy websites to list your business info.

You can’t entirely stop it, but you can lower its chances. You can use a tool like BrightLocal to show duplicates and errors in your business citations. It’s a complicated process, so I’ll never recommend working on it as a beginner. After establishing your local business, you can focus on it, but it’s hard. Hire professionals if you need to solve this issue.

How to Handle False Citations Made by Competitors?

It’s complicated because someone else makes Google Maps citations for your business. If any of your competitors are building false citations to harm your business reputation, you should hire a professional who can do the job perfectly.

Hire NoxRank

NoxRank provides instructions for local SEO citation building. You can hire NoxRank for citation-building services if you have a marketing budget. Discuss your project with us, and we’ll start working on it immediately.

Key Takeaways

  • Google Map Citations, also known as local citations, significantly impact local SEO by improving search rankings, map visibility, and trust for your business.
  • If you create Google Map citations, Google and your customers will think you’re a genuine local business, which will help you win their trust.
  • There are structured and unstructured citations. Structured citations include your business information on specific websites, while unstructured citations occur when your business is mentioned anywhere online.
  • When building citations for your local business, it’s essential to avoid common mistakes such as misspellings, omissions, and wrong address details to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness.
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