11 Sep 2009

10 Good Links Citations You Can Get Right Now

September 11, 2009Local Search

Do you own a local business? Do you want to get top rankings for your business when potential customers do a local search for your business?   If you answered yes to either question, you need links citations for your website.  And you’re in luck, because here are 10 great links citations you can get for your website right now.  And don’t worry; if you’re not sure why citations are so vital for local search marketing, I’m going to share that with you too.

What is a Link Citation?

A citation is any reference to your local business, including business name, address, telephone number or other relevant information that may or may not contain an actual link to your website.  That’s right–it doesn’t matter if there’s an actual link to your website or not–just the mention of your business within a local search frame of reference is enough to make it relevant for Google and other search engines to count it as a point toward helping you improve your local search marketing results.  In other words, citations help you get ranked for local search results.

Why You Want Links Citations for Your Website

In his article, Why Citation is the New Link,  David Mihm gives a complete picture of why citations are super relevant to your local business.  It boils down to this: If you want to rank in Google’s local search results, you need to do more than just claim your Google local business account.  And just building more links to your website isn’t necessarily going to help either.  What you need are citations.  From the big names in local directories to small niche directories, you want to add your business information to as many as you can find (or afford).

Where to Get Links Citations

There are many places to get relevant citations for your website to help it rank in the Google 10 pack for local search results.  Here are 10 citations you can get right now.

  1. Best of the Web Local
  2. Insider Pages
  3. Super Pages
  4. City Search
  5. Hot Frog
  6. Yellow Pages
  7. Local.com
  8. Yelp
  9. Match Point
  10. Zoom Info

Where to Get More Links Citations

First, look for niche directories where you can list your business.  For example, if you are a florist, you might look at places like this local flower shop directory.  Some get expensive with monthly recurring fees, so start with free ones and if you’re on a budget, choose paid local directories wisely.

Just like you might search your competitors’ backlinks to find linking opportunities, you can search your competitors’ citations to find citation opportunities for your local business.  How do you do this?  Go to http://maps.google.com and search for your competitors by name or category.  Then click on the individual business listing and click on the “Web Pages” tab.  There you’ll see all their citations (see picture below).  Then, go get ’em!


And if you’re really intent on getting a few links to your website, here are 10 great links you can get in the next 50 minutes. But just remember, they’re not the same as citations…


  • Vertical Measures Sep 11, 2009

    This is a great post. Thanks Ralph for your insight on links…I mean citations. :)

  • SEO Rabbit Sep 12, 2009

    I would add Yahoo Local on that list.

    It is one of the most trusted citations that you can get, sweet and free. :)

    Just my two cents…

  • Ryan @ Linkbuildr Sep 12, 2009

    Superb article Ralph! This one is going out to all my clients.

  • SEO Doctor Sep 14, 2009

    I’m spending more and more time doing local SEO and its definately become more refined. Still here in the UK I’m not seeing many users clicking on the local 10 box.

  • Eugene Sep 14, 2009

    #9 – Yellow Pages – Be prepared to get pestered by persistent sales agents asking you to upgrade your listing.

  • NetInspired Web Design Sep 14, 2009

    Thanks for the article – it’s kind of a ‘head in palm moment’ since it’s such an obvious and easy way to aid local search engine listings.

    We’ve always advised our web design clients to get their business names and websites into local directories for a simple source of direct traffic. Hopefully as a consequence, they are helping themselves achieve good rankings for local searches.

  • Ryan Underdown Sep 14, 2009

    I’ve read the articles referenced, but the correlation is overstated. There is a simple way to check… run local searches and compare the number of citations on listings. While citation seems to play a factor – matching category text in your listing (and probably description) to the exact search term seems to play a much stronger role. Don’t take my word for it – test it yourself.

  • Brian Fanslau Sep 14, 2009

    You have some very very cool tips. I would also add that when making your business show up locally it helps to get involved in the offline communities for business they are quite a good use of your time. 1-2 hours of meeting =30-50 leads normally and that is pretty good for only 2 hours of time and it is local activity that will help you be known locally and compliment your online local presence.

  • arniek Sep 14, 2009

    Brian – would love to know how to get 30 to 50 leads from any in-person meeting. If you can provide examples and details, please do :-)

  • Ralphm Sep 14, 2009

    @SEO Rabbit – You’re right. The only reason I didn’t include Yahoo local is because it was on my list of seven steps to ensure your business is included in local search results.

    Ryan @ Linkbuildr – Thanks!

    @Ryan Underdown- thanks for the tip. I’ll test that for sure.

    @Brian Fanslau – I totally agree. Participating offline can actually improve your online results through leads, links and citations. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Noah @ WealthNet Partners Sep 14, 2009

    Ralph, this post rocked. Citations is a very interesting concept, and one I’ve not yet seen til now. I REALLY love your method of finding other people’s citations; thats friggin brilliant. Gonna go give this a shot and see what sort of results stem from it. :)

  • eBoost SEO Sep 14, 2009

    Great tips here. Optimizing local results is a critical activity for all local businesses and most don’t know how to do it.

    To add to the offline activities conversation… I’ve seen many local stores putting up “Yelp” stickers, displaying their Twitter and Facebook URLs, among other things in an effort to leverage their customers’ brand evangelism online.

    I’ve signed up on a few of my favorite restaurant’s Twitter pages and gotten some great exclusive deals out of it! Works out for everyone.

    Thanks for the great tips!

  • SEO Rabbit Sep 14, 2009


    That makes sense…

    What about Merchantcircle ? It is fairly trusted for a fairly wide array of industries.

  • David Corman Sep 14, 2009

    Anyone know of local directories for non-U.S. companies? Most commonly cited local directories require a U.S. address. Are there similar sites for other regions/countries?

  • Ralphm Sep 16, 2009

    @Noah – Thanks! I appreciate that feedback and I’m glad you like the post.

    @eboost SEO – Those are great offline ideas to promote a business online. Thanks for sharing!

    @SEo Rabbit – Merchant Circle is great! I listed that on my other local SEO post along with Yahoo local and others local must haves.

    @David Corman – Well, I thought that was a great idea for an article and it was –> Citations in Continental Europe

  • Ralphm Sep 15, 2009

    @Noah – Thanks! I appreciate that feedback and I’m glad you like the post.

    @eboost SEO – Those are great offline ideas to promote a business online. Thanks for sharing!

    @SEo Rabbit – Merchant Circle is great! I listed that on my other local SEO post along with Yahoo local and others local must haves.

    @David Corman – Well, I thought that was a great idea for an article and it was –> Citations in Continental Europe

  • Jacob Stoops Sep 16, 2009

    Citations are a great way to enhance your rankings within a local search result! Good tips!

  • BobL Sep 17, 2009

    Great ideas for buildling traffic. Its a great idea to follow up citations with requests for links. I’ve seen it often times in industry publications where they’ll mention a company but not link. A quick email to the webmaster or writer can often times earn you that golden link.

  • Marcus Miglio Mar 22, 2010

    In my search for the all-important link, these so-called citations were always put on the back burner (although I did manage to submit my sites into HotFrog.) Thanks for the great information; I plan to take action accordingly.

  • Cosmo Aug 16, 2010

    First of all, great post.

    Secondly, I am currently contacting these 10 you have listed above to find out if they offer listings for Canadian businesses. I am going to build a list of good Citations for Canadians because all the buzz out there about local listings and citations for Google Places, etc.. is usually for US based businesses.

    Do you know of any that would most definitely work for Canadian businesses?

  • Mfiske Sep 14, 2010

    I tried Universal Business Listings, which for $30 is supposed to submit you to many local directories. Six months later, i have a grand total of one citation listed on my Google Places page. Anyone have success with this?

  • Joseph McClelland Dec 21, 2010

    Nice article. I like the site, but you do have to scroll past a lot of junk sites. But overall, great site and post.