What are local citations?
Any time your business or company name along with your address, phone number and postal code is mentioned on the web, it is considered a citation. It can appear on the local business directories, niche directories or even other websites that send referral traffic.
Should you still submit your business Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) in local directories in 2020?
A few years ago when I wrote this article Google’s algorithm at the time used to place more value in the links acquired from standard citations and listing directories. Over the last 7 years, local search has seen a lot of changes, with voice and mobile changing how people search, and vertical search becoming more important. While the accuracy of your business listing, name, address, phone number (NAP) across all local business and industry-related directories on the web is still important, according to research from Moz local citations are somewhat still a minor ranking factor. Google’s algorithm now places a lot more value on the authority of the websites where you get the referral from rather than in standard citations.
Instead, local businesses should spend a lot more time optimizing their Google My Business, profile which can drive more quality traffic and it is significantly less expensive. If you would like to read further about GMB, you can check my blog post where I explain in more detail how to complete different sections of Google My Business profile
Are citation listings still important in 2020?
The fact is that many customers still use local directories to search for local products and services in their community, so when business information is consistent, it can be a trust signal, plus when you list your business in the relevant directories they still send a certain amount of traffic your way.
Local citation listings are not to be ignored in 2020 as there are still a number of directories that can bring valuable traffic to your site. It is a question of finding the BEST directories for your niche and market, those listings where would make sense to list your business information. The truth is that the best directory listings that survived don’t simply offer a the option to enter a business name and phone number, but an opportunity for your business to describe what you do and for your customers to provide feedback.
Spend your time building citation on directories related to your business niche. Here is a local citation finder tool from Whitespark which helps you determine which are the best citations for your business.
In short, local business owners can still take advantage of niche related local directory listings to get in front of customers located in their community.