Getting found online has everything to do with your visibility. You work with Local SEO, social media, PPC campaigns, and link building in the hopes that your company will appear enough places across the web to reach a large audience. One major component that sometimes gets put on the back burner, however, is local citations.

For those who are unfamiliar, a local citation is simply a mention of your business on another website. For example, if you were to list your business in an online yellow pages, this would be considered a local citation. Google likes to see many local citations because it proves that you are a real business and are trying to get found online. The only question, however, deals with the types of local citations that are best for your market. Sure it’s all about quality, but how can you really determine what local citation source is really quality?

Questions to Ask When Trying to Find the Best Local Citation Sources

It is important to find the right local citation sources because there are so many spam websites out there, and you don’t want to fall into the trap. You do not want to find a site that is full of nothing but links that were bought or sold. Google will eventually penalize these types of sites, and you don’t want to be affiliated with those sites when it happens.

Below are a few questions you should ask to make sure you’re earning local citations from quality, beneficial sources:

  • Are my competitors or others in my industry using this source?

If you find that many of your competitors are using a certain source, chances are that is a quality source that provides results. You will want to check other factors, but this is a good start. Just go to the website and check to see by typing in the competitor’s company name.

  • Is the domain and PageRank of the website trustworthy?

You can usually tell if a website is reliable based on the PageRank as well as the history of the domain. You can download the PR plugin to your browser or check out local citation trackers to determine if the source has a good history with Google.

  • Is the site being mentioned in articles about local citation sources across the web?

This has everything to do with popularity. If you type into Google “top local citation sources,” you will surely get many different articles trying to give you advice. Take a look at a few and see if the source you’re considering is mentioned.

  • How much information is needed if you were to include your business?

The more information that is needed about your business, the better the source. This means that the source wants to include as much unique information as possible, which will help improve not only the quality and relevancy of the listings, but it will help Google when it comes time to crawl the site.

You also want to make sure that you are focusing on local citations that are, in fact, local. Make sure you don’t find yourself in a UK yellow pages if your site is based in America. It might sound obvious, but some companies try to include listings on everything imaginable. The name of the game here, however, is relevance.

A Few Quality Local Citation Sources

There are many different local citation sources that you can get involved with, but below are a few of the most popular:

  • Yelp
  • City Search
  • Insider Pages
  • FourSquare

Do you know of any quality local citation sources that have worked well for your company? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.