What are Citations? Local SEO

If you've ever wondered about the link between local SEO and citations, here's a quick overview of what they are and why they're important.


If you've ever wondered about the link between local SEO and citations, here's a quick overview of what they are and why they're important.

A citation is an online reference to your business that lists your name, address, phone number (NAP), or other relevant contact information. When search engines crawl the web for local businesses to return search results with local listings, they look for these types of listings to confirm that the entity exists and has accurate information associated with it. This information helps ensure that searchers who click through from those results find what they're looking for when they arrive at your site—and in turn, increases their likelihood of converting into customers.

Citations are mentions of a business online.

Citations are mentions of a business online. They include a description of the company, its address, phone number, and website. Citations can be found on directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Foursquare; in association with press releases (like when your local chamber of commerce writes up an article about your new storefront opening); on business listing websites like Google My Business; or even just by searching for your company name on Google.

Citations are not links! While they may look like links from afar (they're blue!), citations are part of an entirely different system called the citation graph. Therefore, you'll often hear them referred to as"citation signals" instead of "links."

The types of citations that can affect local SEO.

The first kind of citation is the NAP listing, which is a listing on review sites and directories that include the business name, address, and phone number. This is the most basic form of local SEO citation. If your business has a website or local listing but this information isn’t included in your profile on review sites or directories, then you are at risk of being penalized by Google for not having a proper NAP profile.

The second type of citation is social media profiles with the business’ name (or domain) as well as links back to their websites/locations that include some form of contact information (address/phone number). Social media profiles are great because they allow people to connect through comments and likes!

The third type includes mentions online—but not necessarily reviews about products or services offered by companies—that contain links back to their websites/locations containing some form of contact information(address/phone number).

Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) listings on review sites and directories

●    NAP listings are important for local SEO: Consumers use these listings to find businesses in their area. Having consistent NAP listings across all citations is essential for local search success.

●    NAP details should be accurate and up to date: You don’t want any conflicting information on your citations, or worse yet, incorrect information that could damage your reputation or cause customers to call the wrong business!

●    Includes business website URL in each citation: This can help with click-through rate because users may be more inclined to visit a company’s website after seeing it on a directory site than if there was no link provided at all

NAP listings on social media profiles

There’s a reason why you need to add your business name and address to your social media profiles: it’s because Google uses this data in its algorithm. When you add your phone number, this will also help with local SEO as it allows people to call you directly through Google Maps. The same applies to any other method of communication that is offered on the website (e.g., email).

If all the information is consistent across all platforms, it should be fine for Google purposes when it comes to local SEO efforts. If not, then there might be some problems with getting verified listings which we will discuss below!


If you are looking to increase your local search rankings, you must understand what citations are and how they can affect your site. Citations are essentially mentions of your business online that contain the necessary information for search engines to understand what they are seeing. The types of citations include social media profiles, review sites, and directories with NAP listings. If there is an inconsistency or sparse portfolio, this can damage your rankings or prevent them altogether.

Learn how we do what we do at Mitora Growth Hub.

Perfect for both beginners and experienced professionals, upgrade your skills and achieve your goals with our online courses.

Latest Articles

View All
Content Marketing in 2023: Empowering Brands in the Digital Era
August 3, 2023

Content Marketing in 2023: Empowering Brands in the Digital Era

Content marketing has emerged as a cornerstone of modern marketing strategies, and in 2023, it continues to evolve and redefine how brands connect with their target audiences.

18 Key Video Marketing Statistics and Their Implications for Your Business
July 31, 2023

18 Key Video Marketing Statistics and Their Implications for Your Business

Have you hopped onto the video marketing bandwagon yet? For those who own a small enterprise or work as solopreneurs, an overwhelming body of evidence indicates that online video marketing should claim a hefty portion of your advertising and marketing budget.

The Changing Face of B2B Marketing
July 27, 2023

The Changing Face of B2B Marketing

The B2B arena is undergoing significant transformations. But what specific aspects have transformed? To shed light on this, we initiated a survey involving B2B decision-makers to decode their purchasing and research behaviors.