For local businesses, citation building is an important tool in your SEO toolbox, but it’s one that frequently gets overlooked. Citation building can help improve your search ranking in local searches, an asset for companies who get their business locally.

But what is citation building?

Simply put, citation building is a process of accruing mentions of your business across the web on websites and local directories. Having such citations on relevant or reputable websites will boost your credibility with Google and increase your search ranking. All of this comes together to expand your digital footprint.

Trust the process.

Citation building is similar to link building in that it takes a sustained effort to build up quality citations. And, like link building, the connections one makes in networking and partnering with other sites in the process is just as valuable as the citation itself.

Be consistent and correct.

When developing citations, double-check that all have consistent, correct information. Individuals updating their websites with your information may get the name of your business, your phone number or your address wrong, which will lead to incorrect—and thus, wasted—citations. You won’t be the source of all of your citations, but you can still monitor them and make sure everything’s correct and up-to-date.

Plenty of options.

There are a lot of different options when it comes to citation building. When you do it by hand, it’s a good idea to keep track of all the directories you are and would like to be listed on so you can check and correct any misinformation and submit your business’s information to new directories. Directories such as the Yellow Pages or Yelp are good places to start, and you can check with your local chamber of commerce, as many of them host directories of their own.

There are countless directories a business can work with in trying to build a solid network of citations, which is why it’s such a daunting process but also such a huge asset in boosting search rankings. By putting your business out there, you’re giving it a better chance for success. Leadhub is a big fan of BrightLocal to help with citation management. And, if you’re a big company with multiple locations, Yext may be a good option for you (as much as we hate to admit it). Good luck!