2020 Local SEO's Citation Builder's Checklist
 by Kristi Hagen

The 2020 Local SEO's Citation Builder's Checklist — by Carrie Hill

local search ranking factor pie chart 2019 One of the five most influential ranking factors for a local business is citations. Whenever a local business is mentioned online, with or without a link, THAT's a citation! And whenever a local business gets a citation, that's another drop in your higher rankings bucket!

As you can see from the pie chart, citations are currently influencing the rankings in the Local Pack as much as Reviews and On-page content. That's why they're worth getting. Here's the best way to go about doing that while maximizing the efficiency of your citations.

What's a Mention?

An online mention of a local business – a citation — can come in any one, or any combination, of the following four identifiers associated with the business.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Link to website

Usually it'll be a combination of these four identifiers like business name, address & phone or maybe the name of the company and a link to the Web site. But, at least theoretically, if the mention was only, say, the business name (or even just the phone number) then that would still constitute a mention. And the reason for that brings us to the most important fact that you must know about citations, which is...

Citations work best when your NAP is consistently IDENTICAL

Always remember that search results are produced by an algorithm which depends on data that is typically pulled from multiple sources. It's within that multiplexity of big-data sources that your NAP — your business's Name, Address, & PhoneMUST be IDENTICAL if you are to expect to gain maximum advantage from your citations.

In other words, the full advantage of a citation is diluted if the address is listed two different ways or if there are multiple phone numbers or alternate...