As they are essential for your business’ local search ranking, you should place an effort and find city-specific citation sources. They can help confirm that your business exists and help increase your business visibility in a local business ecosystem. In essence, they are any mention of your business online. A specific combination of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). If done right, anyone in your city who is looking for a specific service or product will be able to easily find you. Helping your customers to find you is, after all, the ultimate goal that benefits both.
Find city-specific citation sources
Before you start looking for city-specific citation sources, you need to know that there are two types of citations:
- Structured Citation – mentions of your business with clear NAP, usually found on business listing sites.
- Unstructured Citations – less formal mentions of your business on newspaper sites, blogs, social media, etc. (usually link to the website).
For citations, consistency is one of the most important aspects. That’s why you need to make sure your name, address, and phone number are the same everywhere. Since dealing with citations requires a lot of effort, be ready to invest a significant amount of time. Or hire a professional citation building team to do it for you.
Now that we cleared some basics, it’s time to see how you can find city-specific citations. In general, you have several ways to accomplish this.
1. Manual searches to find city-specific citation sources
This is the basic way to find top city-specific citation sources in your area. First, you need to open a search engine like google.com to manually browse through the queries. Then, type in the name of the city, for example, Dallas. Then add the “business listing” phrase. Based on your city, this will give you plenty of results. For example, if we take Dallas again, here are several queries you can use:
- Dallas business listing
- Dallas business directory
- … list of businesses
- … services listing
The good thing with this is that you can also use this method to find industry-specific citation sources the same way. Additionally, don’t forget to include local newspapers, blogs, magazines, and similar sites in your searches.
2. Tools and platforms to find sources
There are many tools, websites, and platforms out there, that can help you simplify the entire procedure. Their major advantage is that they have everything in one place. Which usually includes sorting options so you can find the top listings with ease.
Google My Business
Obviously, the first thing you will notice if you use Google to search is Google My Business (GMB). This is one of the major platforms for listings and every business owner should use it. Besides the regular NAP data, GMB gives you plenty of additional options. You have the opportunity to describe your business, enter working hours, share posts and events, and many more. In a way, when completely optimized, it can look like a simplified professional version of your website. With the most important data, contact, and other core information about your business included inside.
Whitespark local citation finder tool
You can use this and other similar tools to discover where your competition is listing their businesses. First, it can help you find a good local competitor within your city and see what he is doing. Just type the specific city and the niche of your business. When you gather enough information, start listing your business there as well. This tool is also good to track and monitor your listings across the web and see if they benefit you in the long-term.
Lists of listings
There are websites that already did the hard work and made lists of major listings for many cities in the U.S. And those that offer you a place to list locally. To name a few:
- Brightlocal.com has posted an excellent citation resource about local citation sites for the top cities. This listing contains each site’s name, it’s domain authority, pricing, and links.
- Moz.com is a website where you can also find citations by city. Currently, their list contains 93 different cities in the U.S. with top citation sources for each.
- Georanker.com has a local citation tool on their website. You can simply select the country and the city, and it will give you results.
General core citation sources
Some would say that these are not traditional sources to be included in city-specific citation sources, but they could be wrong. Here are some major directories where every business owner should submit:
- Apple maps
- Yahoo! Local
And you can also find the place to list your business if you look right within your city for:
- Chamber of commerce websites for your city
- Website of your local business association.
- Government websites
- Community hubs that offer a place to be listed based on your business location.
Social media channels
Social media like Facebook can be also a great place to find the right spot to list your business. The best way to get the attention of your local customers is to add a city attribute. Also, you will probably be able to find groups in close connection to your city and provide info about your business there. Overall, social media channels are also a got place to promote your business, not only to list it.
Overall, a strong citation profile is one of the essential ways to optimize your local SEO. You need to find city-specific citation sources if you want to stand out above your competition. Once you achieve the necessary number of listings, get rid of all the duplicates and incorrect information, you can move on. Unless you change your core business information like the address, you will only need to occasionally check your listings. Meanwhile, you will have enough time to deal with other crucial strategies like promotion, link building, content, etc.