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What are Local Citations? |

Local citations are simply any mention of your business on the web. This usually consists of NAP data (name, address, and phone number) or it can be any combination of your company name, phone number, address, zip or postal code, and website address.

Citations are important because they play a major factor in improving your local search results in search engines.

David Mihm in 2008 coined the term ‘citation’ and goes into great detail about their necessity in local search in Local vs Traditional SEO: Why Citation Is the New Link.

In this article, I will address these questions:

  1. How are Local Citations Shown in Search Results?
  2. Do my Local Citations need to include NAP+W Data?
  3. What Types of Citations Are There?
  4. Why Are Citations Important for Local Search Rankings?
  5. How Do I Create Local Citations on GMB and Bing?

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How are Local Citations Shown in Search Results?

They can come in various forms- as suggested above- such as:

  • Company name.
  • Company name & phone number.
  • Name, phone number, & address.
  • Business name, phone number, address, & website.
  • Company name, & website.
  • Company phone number.
  • And other combinations too

Citations should be consistent throughout their appearance online. This is where NAP data comes in handy. Although each and every mention of your business doesn’t have to include NAP data every time, it is useful to incorporate this every time you can. 

If this is not possible, partial citations can also be used. These are simply referrals to your business that don’t include all aspects of the NAP data. For example, just the name of your business, or the address/phone number, or a combination of any of the three.

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Do my Local Citations need to include NAP+W Data?

NAP+W refers to Name, Address, Phone Number + Website. Adding a website link in your citations can add additional value to your citations. This is because it provides an extra data point that can help search engines connect the individual citation with your business. 

Again, as suggested above, it’s always beneficial to use NAP Data in your citations. 

Top Tip: Although including NAP+W data in your citations is valuable, you don’t always have to link back to your website. Google can identify your local citation through NAP data alone which gives your citation value in itself.

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What Types of Citations Are There?

Citations can typically be divided into two categories: structured and unstructured.

Structured Citations

Structured Citations refer to your business information (NAP data) on a listing directory. These are places such as Yelp, Google My Business (GMB), Bing Places, and many others too. 

Unstructured Citations

Unstructured Citations are simply business information (again, NAP data) that is featured on any other website apart from business listing directories. These are usually blogs, magazine/newspaper articles etc.

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Why Are Citations Important for Local Search Rankings?

There are a number of reasons why citations are so important to your business. These include trust/ verification and prominence.

Trust & Verification

Search engines have to verify that your business actually exists. Citations work to create credible sources that signal to them that you have a legitimate business.

This means that your business is more authoritative, trustworthy which enables search engines, like Google and Bing, to rank your business in local search results.


A Local Search Ranking Factors survey suggests that:

‘local search experts rated citation-related factors as making up approximately 13.31% of the Top 50 factors’

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How Do I Create Local Citations on GMB and Bing?

Below are two blog posts that will walk you through how to create your GMB and Bing local citations step-by-step.

How to Add or Claim a Bing Places for Business Listing |
How to set up Google My Business (GMB) |

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us below!

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Published by admin on January 12, 2021