We often get asked; which is better a few high quality citations or lots of citations, particularly as many local citation sites seem to be of low value?

Our answer is “it depends on whether you are building citation for a new premises or a business that has been at the same address for years.

Here’s why:

  1. Your NAP details may already be listed in multiple local listing sites (local citations), but if you are an established business are they correct?
  2. low value’ local citation site can actually perform very well in local search and are good for new businesses.

1. Your NAP details may be listed already

Due to the way that the local directory ecosystem works, your branch address data will eventually find its way onto multiple listing sites anyway.  In other words your business Name, Address and Phone number (NAP data) will appear on a significant number of listing sites whether you like it or not.  For this reason, it is essential that you control and manage what NAP data is distributed and where.

As a rule of thumb, it is easy to create CLEAN local citations for a business opening new premises.  However, a business that has been at the same address for years may have changed its name and telephone number resulting in different NAP listings appearing across multiple directories for the same address.

In other words, if you are opening new premises you are starting with a fresh listing and can therefore be relatively confident that subsequent distribution of your NAP data will be fairly consistent.  An established business does not have this luxury; it has a legacy of multiple NAP listings, some of which could be incorrect or contain conflicting information.

2. Low value local listing sites can perform well in local search.

Local listing sites are inherently ‘local’ and as such can perform well in particular searches over other sites.  This can be true even if the site itself has a low domain authority and page rank.

From a conventional SEO perspective, some local citation sites may be dismissed as being low value, but in actual fact, they perform very well in local search.  A local sector listing site is very ‘niche’ and as such can get very little traffic, yet may outperform other sites for local search terms in a given area.

You’ve just got to find them and ensure your NAP is correct on them.

There are many local or sector specific listing sites which perform well in local search, but are actually using very out-dated NAP information and which do not receive regular ‘updated’ date files through conventional directory distribution channels.  You need to find these listings and fix them.

In Summary:

The answer to the question “quality or quantity of local citations?” is dependent on whether you are building citations for a business opening new premises, or a business that has been at the same address for years”.

  • If you are opening new business premises, you can focus on quality with fewer local citations.
  • If you are a business that has been at the same address for years you need to check for quantity and ensure that the NAP is clean; then you can worry about quality.

Your NAP is out there! – Do you know where it is, and is it correct?

If you need to get a new premises to appear in local search or need to clean up a legacy of old ones, please call us and find out how we can help.