If you’ve just hit ‘submit’ on your first Citation Builder campaign in BrightLocal, congratulations! We bet you’re excited to see how this will improve your online visibility and rankings, right? You’re probably also wondering how long will it take to see the results and how you can check which listings have gone live. 

In short, what happens next?

In this overview, we’ll explain each stage of the process. It contains five phases and takes, on average, six to seven weeks to complete. 

“Why so long?” we hear you cry!

Although we aim to have all of your existing citations updated or any new ones created within seven days, we can’t control how quickly the citation sites make these listings live. Some citation sites will put listings live immediately, while some sites will take longer (a few days or up to a few weeks depending on their processes and workload). 

Citation directories

What are the five phases of a Citation Builder campaign?

  1. Purchase date – Day 0
  2. Preliminary Data Checks – Days 1-2 
  3. Submission completion – Days 3-7
  4. Quality Assurance – Day 14
  5. Live Listings Review – Days 35 and 49

Let’s take a deeper look into the four phases that your campaign goes through after purchase and what they involve.

Phase 1: Preliminary Data Checks (Days 1-2)

During this phase we verify the business information (i.e, name, address, and phone number) that you submitted as part of your campaign. 

Our experts will check the information you submitted against your website and your Google My Business (GMB) listing to see if it matches. If there are inconsistencies, they’ll email you to verify which information is correct, just to make sure we’re publishing accurate data about your business. 

If the inconsistencies are significant, we’ll put the campaign on hold while we wait for your reply. If they are less significant, we’ll wait 24 hours (sometimes 48 hrs) for a response before proceeding.

Knowledge Panel

Phase 2: Submission (Day 3-7)

Once we’re happy that the data is consistent, we then enter the Submission phase. During this phase, we update the existing citations or create new ones from the list of sites that you selected – we do this within seven days of campaign purchase.

The only thing that can slow this down is the speed at which you respond to any emails regarding inconsistencies in data (see Phase 1 above).

Citations Email

One BrightLocal citations agent will handle all of the submissions for your campaign and will email you once they are complete. We find that this works very well in terms of delivering certain nuances around a campaign, and ensures you are in good hands.

Phase 3: Quality Assurance (Day 14)

The next phase is our first round of Quality Assurance. This typically happens around Day 14.

During this phase, one of our Senior Submission Managers will go through your campaign and individually check each citation that we have either updated or created for you. 

This means that another set of eyes will be checking the submissions to make sure that there are no consistency issues, and that any potential issues, if found, are quickly corrected. Issues don’t occur often but this is nonetheless an important backup step to ensure that the data we publish for you is 100% consistent.

At this point we also check and complete all of the email verification links on your behalf, so that you don’t need to.

Phase 4: Live Listing Review (Days 35 and 49)

As we mentioned earlier, some citation sites will put listings live immediately, while some sites will take longer (a few days or up to a few weeks, depending on their processes and workload). Because of this, the Live Listing Review phase happens two weeks after we initially submit the data, and then again two weeks later. This happens twice because some sites will make listings live within two weeks after the submission, and other sites may take four weeks or more.

At any time during this process you can see if Google has indexed a listing using this simple search query:

“your business name” “your zipcode/postal code” site:citationsite.com

Here’s an example:

Google search example

Finally, we’ll email you to let you know when your campaign is finished and your report is ready to view. In the report, you’ll be able to see all of the live links and all of the updated citations that we’ve built for you.

Citation Tracker screenshot

Your next steps

Making sense of your report and what all of the information means is the next crucial step in your mission to improve your Local SEO. If you’d like to learn about how to understand your Citation Builder report, click here.