How to Clean or Claim your Citations


How to clean or claim your citations

When you hear of local citations, it simply means your business name, phone number, and address on your website. Just like the content you post on your online platform, local citations are also important for ranking your business or website on Google. Furthermore, nothing can offer validation on major sites like Google Business as an excellent local citation. 

citation audit and cleanup

So, what are the benefits of having correct and consistent citations? Well, it boosts your online presence visibility. It provides a means for businesses with no websites to be visible on the internet Citations from established platforms like Yellow pages and Google will improve the overall online ranking.

What happens if you have a wrong citation? Wrong or inconsistent citation will significantly affect your overall SEO ranking. Citation is easy to overlook, yet it turns out to be an essential aspect of marketing for any growing business or an already established business. So how do you clean or claim your citations and take your business to the next level? Having to clean your citations could come as a result of several reasons. The most common cause is the wrong NAP listing. In addition to this, a duplicate citation will also hurt your business just as much. Today I am going to show you how to clean your citation. Cleaning or claiming your citation in five steps. The process of cleaning your citation is no small feat, but the results are simply phenomenal.

Step 1: Identify all existing variations to your NAP listing

It is the first step towards cleaning your citations. Call it the roots of the problem. Believe it or not, there may be several NAP listing variants affecting your online presence and local ratings. Start by reviewing the citations that you have posted for your business on various media platforms. After that, you can check significant directories platforms like google, yellow pages, and many others. 

citation audit and cleanup

In the next phase, you can use different tools to check the other varying citations of your business on the internet. It is essential to have a reliable frame, for instance, a color-coding system, to help identify all the wrong, duplicate, incomplete and mismatched citations on the internet. Moz local has designed a spreadsheet that enables you to record your correct NAP against other variations easily. The color coding aspect helps you mark the very urgent as serious inconsistencies in different color codes like red. Green is for the correct NAP and yellow for those that require minor alterations. 

Step 2: Find all the Wrong NAP Listing for Your Business

Finding wrong NAP is the second stage in cleaning your citation. The bigger question is perhaps how you got the wrong NAP listings. Wrong NAP listings are a result of several activities. These include:

  • Changing the location of the business in the past
  • Wrong business name, address, or phone number
  • Using a dirty phone number.
  • Wrong NAP information from bloggers and exaggerators
  • Incomplete profile information.
  • You used an 800 for your NAP instead of using a local number.

citation audit and cleanup wrong nap finder

Whichever way it came, the important thing is to clean it and start reaping the benefits of clean, consistent citation. You can easily search for this information on many platforms, namely:

1. Secretary of State’s Filing for Business

Here is an excellent place to start searching for duplicate listings. It is possible through an online system framework that many Secretaries of State have since adopted. It is possible to find variable names that have direct registration links to your business. Make sure to note all the duplicates in a color-coded spreadsheet for ease of follow-up BBB Listing.

2. BBB business listings

You will most definitely have different business names, phone numbers, and address information here. Again all you have to do is copy them according to the different color codes. The correct listing can be in blue or green for easy identification.

3. Business accreditation

Here you will find records of all variables of businesses accredited with your NAP listing details.

Step 3: Track and Record all incorrect NAP listing

Tracking is the most strenuous stage, but it doesn’t have to be. Several valuable tools will help you scan the internet for all the NAP listings for your business. Additionally, it will indicate the correct, the duplicate, and the incorrect citations. These tools include:

Moz local

In addition to offering free listing, this tool automatically deletes duplicate listing. This feature will help you trace and manage your incorrect listing.

Citationbuilderpro – Local Citation Finder

Here all you need to do is key in your correct NAP, and it will crawl the top directories in marking any notable inconsistencies in your listing. Moreover, We have a free version, so you don’t have to worry about the cost!

Follow these steps to add business in local citation finder

1. Go to and click on the free tool here you will find a Local Citation Finder

2. Sign up for free

3. Add your business details in Dashboard

Finding citation in local citation finder tool by citation builder pro

4. Click on the generate report button

generating report in local citation finder tool

5. Here you can see all existing citation reports with inconsistent data

existing citation report local citation finder tool

6. Also, you can view possible citation list in the next tab


Step 4: Notify the directories of the Issues.

This will be done through a concise email. The Moz spreadsheet will guide you in filling the information on the website, business name, address, state, zip, links, live listing issues duplicates, status. I can’t stress why you need to be as accurate as possible when filling out this information. Furthermore, your initial color coding of the NAP listing issues will help you tackle the most urgent issue in significant directories. Minor inconsistencies may then follow in the order of priority. For some directories, you will be given the option to make the changes yourself.

Step 6: Fixing my citations

This last stage will require that you contact the website using the following template.


State the Problem – duplicate listing, wrong NAP

A link for reference- makes it easy to follow up

A link to where your inconsistency appears

Provide a time frame for the modifications


Name & Business Name

This needs to be concise and straight to the point. Additionally, you can request a notification from the website once the issue is fixed. Adding new citations could only worsen the problem. The shortcut here is to do the actual work and give your business the lifeline it needs.

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