Understanding Local Citation Competition

  • What They Are: Local citations are online mentions of your business’s Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) on local directories, business listings, and other websites.
  • Why They Matter: Consistent local citations increase your authority in search engines’ eyes and boost your visibility in local search results.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Identify Your Top Competitors:
    • Search for your primary keywords along with your location (e.g., “plumber in [city]”).
    • Make a list of the businesses that consistently rank well in both organic and “map pack” results.
  2. Analyze Competitors’ Backlinks:
    • Use a tool like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Moz to analyze the backlinks pointing to your competitors’ websites.
    • Filter these to focus on local directories, niche-specific sites relevant to your industry, regional blogs, or even local news sites.
  3. Link Intersect to the Rescue:
    • Tools like Ahrefs’ Link Intersect let you compare multiple competitors’ backlink profiles simultaneously.
    • This quickly shows you websites where multiple competitors are listed, indicating high-value citation opportunities.
  4. Prioritize and Claim:
    • Quality over Quantity: Prioritize well-known, reputable directories and those highly relevant to your location and industry.
    • NAP Accuracy: Ensure your business information is listed completely and identically to how it appears on your website and Google Business Profile.

Additional Tips

  • Consider Local Sponsorships: Check websites of local events, charities, or community organizations. Sponsorship often gets you a backlink.
  • Chamber of Commerce & Industry Groups: Memberships often include listings on these well-respected sites.
  • “Best Of” Lists: Local publications might have “Best [Industry] in [City]” lists. Reach out and see how to be included.

Important Note: Local citation building is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor your competitors and the local landscape for new opportunities to expand your online presence.