Spend any amount of time researching local SEO and you will hear about
citations and how important they are. What exactly is a citation?
An online citation is simply a listing on a site that gives your company name,
address and phone number (aka. NAP). Citations are essential for local SEO
and help prove that you are indeed local. Google uses these listings as one of
the factors in your ranking and authority.
Local citations do not need to include a link back to your website. It is the
NAP that is most important here. You should check that all information is
correct. If it isn’t, contact the site to get them to correct the information. Even
a slightly different address wording, such as “St.” instead of “Street” can
make a difference. Everything should look exactly as it does on your website.
The idea here is to have proof that your company really is located in these
places. There are people who will use fake addresses on their website in an
attempt to get local listings. This “black hat” method is no longer very
effective, simply because Google checks for citations and is more likely to
rank businesses higher if they have additional proof that they operate locally.