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Citations the Ultimate Beginner Guide

Citations are one of the biggest key factors to Local SEO. When managed right and set up correctly, citations can be really easy to manage and can lead to improved local rankings. However when set out wrong citations can be a mess to clean up and put correctly.

What are Citations?

Citations are an online reference to a business that features the business’ name, address, and phone number (this is also commonly known as NAP)

Typically, when an SEO refers to citations, they are talking about a group of individual business listings on various sites. Citations commonly take place on online business directories however other forms do exist.

Citation Types

There are numerous types of citation websites out there and many SEOs argue about which are more valuable than others. However the SEO community agree there 4 are the must haves!

  • Google My Business

  • Bing Maps

  • Facebook

  • Yelp

There are lots of great places to potentially list your business, however they might not be the right one for you. Making sure the site is relevant to your business is massively important and this is why citation categories exist.

While some citations have a higher domain authority than other, the category relevancy is more important than the domain authority. That’s why getting listed in these industry categories is critical.

Why are citations important?

Citations are considered a ranking factor for local SEO. Having your business listed on trusted online directories sends signals to Google that improve their degree of certainty that your business exists.

Your consistency and accuracy throughout your listings can affect how google perceives your online presence.

This is why it’s important to pick your citations wisely.

How to optimize my citations?

Managing citations is more than just putting your business out there. To really optimize your online presence, there are a few factors to keep in mind.

Consistency (NAP)

Consistency refers to having consistent name, address, and phone numbers across all listings. There have been several independent studies that have shown that having a consistent NAP listing may be a factor to local SEO.


Business descriptions can help improve local rankings by adding in your top keywords. It can also help search engines better understand your business.


Adding photos of your business may help improve customer conversion rates and may help you rank in image searches, if optimized properly.


Getting and displaying great reviews not only helps you earn new customers but can also improve your rankings.


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