Using Tools and Services to Build Local Citations
Building citations manually is a huge undertaking. You not only need to seek out the most appropriate sites and submit optimized listings individually, but you also need to check the status of each citation periodically to ensure it remains active and up-to-date.
Adding a specialist tool to your marketing toolkit can free up that time and automate much of the process, removing the potential for human error and inconsistencies. However, not all tools are created equal.
When choosing which local citation management tool to use, you’ll need to consider a few crucial elements. Doing so will enable you to select a solution with the features and functionality you need to take the guesswork out of local listings management.
Needless to say, we’d thoroughly recommend BrightLocal’s Citation Builder service to get your business in all the places it needs to be, and our Citation Tracker to find out where those places are, and to identify and eliminate duplicates!
Does your shortlisted tool allow for a variety of listings to be created? This is an important consideration because a good citation profile includes mentions of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on both general and industry-specific sites.
When deciding which tool to use, it’s well worth finding out how much control you have over site selection. Find out if you can choose industry-specific directory sites and if you can select which directories your business information is submitted to.
Some tools won’t allow user input and will make the site selections on your behalf. You may also need to factor in some manual citation building to build a presence on niche platforms if that’s the case.
Detecting and suppressing duplicate local listings on directory sites is difficult to manage manually, so automating the process of sniffing them out and removing the surplus listings can be advantageous.
Not all management tools will have this feature. However, for those that do, take the time to understand how easy this process is and what level of accuracy you can expect.
Given the foundational role that local citations play in building visibility for your local business, you must have a system for tracking your overall listing profile. Tracking your listings means regularly reviewing each one to ensure that it remains active and the NAP is correct.
When considering a tool, it’s helpful to know what tracking features are available to you, how accurate each tool is, and whether they can be connected to any tracking tools you’re already using.
The cost of local listing tools can vary considerably, but the fee you pay will likely be a deal-breaker when making a final decision. Comparing and contrasting features offered by different tools at different price points can help you get an idea of what a fair price looks like.
To avoid unexpected costs further down the line, always check what the base subscription fee includes and if there’s any additional charges.