Top Citation Building Services Compared: Moz, BrightLocal, Semrush, Whitespark, and more

Top Citation Building Services Compared: Moz, BrightLocal, Semrush, Whitespark, and more

Local citations are a key foundation of local SEO success. The problem is there are just so many providers, so you may well find yourself questioning, ‘Which local citation service is best?’. It’s a query we’ve been asked countless times, so we’ve prepared this comparison of the most popular citation services to help you make an informed decision.

After extensive testing, we’ve rounded up the pros and cons of each and collated pricing information, which is correct as of April 2024.

We wanted this to be an incredibly helpful and informative resource so if you’re hoping to compare BrightLocal costs and countries covered with other services like Moz Local, FatJoe, and beyond, you’re in the right place.

Likewise, if you aren’t that familiar with local citation services, you’ll find all you need to know about the most popular options right here, so you can make an informed choice.

Before we jump into the in-depth comparisons, let’s rewind for just a minute.

What are citations and why are they important?

The mere mention of the word citation might send you straight back to the college library, desperately hunting down references for hours on end. And for that, we apologize! Fortunately, we aren’t talking about those kinds of citations here. In local SEO, citations – or local business listings or local citations as they are sometimes also called – are a key local SEO tactic.

In its simplest form, a local citation is any mention of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) online. Some local citations are more in-depth and will also contain other information that a consumer may find interesting. That could mean your business hours are also covered, or the types of payments you accept are listed. Some may even feature images or videos.

Why they’re important for local SEO comes down to two factors: trust and accuracy. The more identical citations you have, the more accurate your business information appears to be. This builds trust with consumers and search engines and can have a positive impact on your local search visibility.

As you might have guessed, creating multiple identical listings, ensuring all existing listings are consistent, and building enough citations to make a difference in your search visibility can be extremely time-consuming. That’s where local citation-building services like BrightLocal, Loganix, and MozLocal come in.

If you need more of a deep dive into what local citations are, we’ve got a whole learning hub on local citations to help.

Our Methodology

For the purposes of this comparison resource, we’ve focused our attention specifically on services available to local businesses in the USA. Some (but not all) will also be available in other countries. The local citation space is advanced in the US, and the citation-building services tend to be more structured in their approach.

What’s more, the three main data aggregators are all located in the USA. They are Data Axle, Foursquare, and Neustar.

Aggregators play a vital role in local citation building because they push local business data out to other directories and platforms. However, the aggregator model isn’t so prevalent in other countries. There are some smaller aggregators and even some directories that redistribute data to other directories available in places like the UK and Australia.

To create our comparison, we conducted a thorough analysis of each platform. The factors we assessed include:

  • Pricing (both one-off and any recurring fees)
  • Packages on offer
  • The use of aggregators
  • The number of sites citations are submitted to
  • Turnaround time
  • Countries covered
  • The ability to edit existing listings
  • The ability to remove duplicate listings
  •  Reporting and analytics capabilities

To get the most accurate data possible, we campaigns with each provider to get the information we required.

This piece predominantly focuses on citation submission services rather than listing management subscription services. However, we make sure to cover Yext and Semrush, who operate with this significantly more expensive model.

This comparison resource focuses on service providers that offer citation building in the USA. Local search is more evolved and structured in the USA at present, but for each citation-building service covered, we have also indicated the other countries they serve. As a minimum, most will also offer listings building in Canada, Australia, and the UK. A select few will also cover other countries (most notably BrightLocal, Loganix, The Hoth, and Whitespark).

Direct-to-Site Submission Services Compared

As we saw earlier, data aggregators push business data out to many directories and platforms. Direct-to-site submission services, by comparison, go directly to the individual directory rather than via the third-party aggregator. The business information is submitted or updated on a one-to-one basis. A real person can do this manually or, more commonly, via an automated data upload.

To view the whole table, please click and drag left and right.

FeatureBrightLocalLoganixAdvice LocalThe HothWhitesparkMoz LocalFatJoeLocal Citation ServiceSemrushYext
Price$3.20/listing$4/listing$300/yrFrom $149$4-5/listing**From $14/month$2.60/listing$0.25/listing$20/month/location$499/yr
Recurring FeeNoYes$300/yrNoNoFrom $14/monthNoNo$20/month/location$499/yr
Bulk Discount37% = $2/listingFrom $2.67/listing monthlyYes - negotiableYesYes - Depends on $ SpendYes - negotiable$1.04/listingNoNoYes - negotiable
Countries 10 – inc USA, CA, UK, AU33USA, CAAllAll50+UK, US, Australia, CanadaUK, US, Australia, Canada60+50+
No. Sites Submitted To1,000+100 (most expensive package)n/a255 (most expensive package)12040+30035079***84
Create New ListingsCheck
Update Existing ListingsCheck
Claim ListingsCheck
Remove Duplicate ListingsCheck
Data is Permanent Check
Campaign DashboardCheck
Fast TurnaroundCheck
Google Business ProfileCheck

* separate service.

** basic custom package, standard packages start from $399.

*** this is based on the directories available specifically for the US, other countries will vary.

BrightLocal Citation Building Services Review

Brightlocal Logo Green@2x

Perhaps we’re being a little biased, but we’re confident that BrightLocal’s business listing service comes out firmly on top. With a team of 80+ dedicated expert listing agents handling over 60,000 citation submissions every month, our citation-building solution brings together skill, speed, accuracy, and know-how.

We combine citation building and listing management so you can take full control over your business listings. That means building new listings while also staying on top of updates, managing duplications, and correcting errors where necessary.

Unlike some of the other services assessed here, you can choose which sites your business information appears on. The self-select checkbox format means you can pick and choose your preferred citation sources. If you’re unfamiliar with citation building, the lists can be pre-ordered by Domain Authority, making it easier to select the heavy hitters first.

Tools Cta Citations

Get Citations Done Fast... and Own Your Listings Forever

No recurring fees. Complete Control. Super-low cost.

Get Started with Citation Builder Start Your Free Account

What other countries does BrightLocal work in?

The manual submission service is available in 10 countries worldwide, including the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, Germany, and the Netherlands.

5 Facts about BrightLocal

  1. Guarantees 70% of citations will be live within four weeks of submission.
  2. Manual citation building and data aggregator services are available.
  3. Aggregator submissions include free updates for one year.
  4. Option to select exactly which sites you use.
  5. Easy to track progress and manage listings via the user-friendly dashboard.

BrightLocal Pricing for Citations

  • Manual, direct-to-site submissions are priced around $2-3.20 per listing.
  • Data Aggregator submissions cost $100/year for 5, or $25/year per aggregator.

Pros and Cons of BrightLocal

No recurring fees. Pay just once to keep your listing live.Don’t guarantee that all submissions will go live.
Own your listings forever.Listings via aggregators can take 2-3 months to go live*
The best cost-effective option for those looking for both manual and data aggregator submissions.
Ability to select individual aggregators or submit to all.
Google Business Profile included, with the option to claim your listing and submit business information directly.
A dedicated in-house team of citation-building experts to manually build accurate listings.
Option to clean up existing listings to ensure NAP consistency.
Ability to remove duplicate listings which could harm your local search presence.
70% of listings are guaranteed to go live.
Directory lists are regularly updated to ensure high-quality, active sites.
Listings can be monitored so you can see their status, rather than relying on a static report or data feed.
User-friendly dashboard with reporting.

*This is due to the aggregators and how they work, which are out of BrightLocal’s citation-building team’s control. Keep in mind that for any submissions made via the data aggregator, the data loses its managed status after 12 months. You’ll, therefore, need to renew your aggregator submission every 12 months. You can do this directly or via BrightLocal for a small fee.

Loganix Citation Building Services Review


Loganix offers a range of link-building services for agencies and small businesses. Their citation-building services cover both structured and unstructured citations, with business directory listings accompanied by social citations, photo, and video citations. The service focuses on speed and number rather than the quality of citations.

What other countries does Loganix work in?

Loganix has worked with clients in 33 countries, including the USA, and is happy to work with businesses around the world.

5 Facts about Loganix

  1.  Loganix guarantees that 100% of citations will go live (by replacing citations that don’t go live with an alternative).
  2.  They’re happy to work with clients from any country worldwide.
  3.  They offer a separate citation clean-up service that costs extra if you’re worried about inaccurate or duplicate listings.
  4.  Offer a choice of one-off packages or a recurring monthly fee.
  5.  Fast turnaround means a focus on sites that publish quickly rather than quality.

Loganix Pricing for Citations

  • Manual direct-to-site submissions are priced at $79 per month for 20 local business directory submissions with 10 social media citations.
  • One-off prices start from $249 for 60 local business directory submissions with additional social media, photo, and video citations.

Pros and Cons of Loganix

They build a mix of general local citations and industry-specific citations.You won’t see the list of citation sites your business is being submitted to until after the citations are built.
Citations can be targeted to a city and a niche.Citation report is provided via a Google Drive link rather than an interactive dashboard.
They’ll perform a citation audit before building new citations.The citation service is for new citation building only. If you want to update existing citations or remove duplicate listings, you’ll need to pay for a separate service.
Guarantee 100% live citations. If a citation doesn’t go live, it will be replaced with another.Many of the citation sites are of lower value and may not be relevant, such as bookmarking sites.
Choose from a monthly package or one-off service.
Citation building includes a mix of structured and unstructured citations.
Quick turnaround available.
Available to businesses in all countries.
If you don’t have your own video, they will create a video for you before building video citations.
You’ll retain ownership of your listings with login information provided via spreadsheet.
New citations are built in around five days, making for a quick turnaround.

AdviceLocal Citation Building Services Review

Advice Local Logo

AdviceLocal is primarily a white-label platform for local marketers and agencies but also works with local businesses. It was founded in 2009 but has undergone several revamps since then. They provide both local search reporting (e.g. rankings, listings audit, review audit) as well as a blend of data aggregator submissions and direct-to-site submissions.

Packages are custom, so you’ll need to schedule a demo and get a personalized quote before you can get started. It works with around 300,000 local businesses and is based in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.

What other countries does AdviceLocal work in?

USA and Canada only.

5 Facts about AdviceLocal

  1. AdviceLocal takes a hybrid approach, which pairs manual submissions with API.
  2. Listings can be submitted and modified in real time with the Real Time Data Syndication Engine.
  3. AdviceLocal’s network includes four aggregators.
  4. Business location information is submitted to mapping platforms.
  5. Fully white-label service for agencies.

AdviceLocal Pricing for Citations

Custom pricing from $300.

Pros and Cons of AdviceLocal

Includes both direct-to-directory submissions and data aggregators and data accelerators.Listings created via aggregators can take two to three months to go live*.
Access to four data aggregators (Infogroup, Localeze, Factual and Foursquare).You’ll need to schedule a demo and get a custom price package before you can get started.
Includes direct submissions to Google Business along with local business pages on Yelp and Bing.More expensive than some other services.
Mapping app submissions are included.There’s no option to select which directories your business information is submitted to.
Business listing information can be updated in the client dashboard, and then AdviceLocal will perform the updates on live citations.Recurring annual fee.
Retain full ownership and access to citations with all log in information provided.No Google Analytics integration
Live progress report shows the status of all listings.
Some industries (for example, healthcare and legal) can access niche local listing submissions.
White label reports for agencies.

*This is due to how aggregator submissions are made. As with all aggregator submissions, the data will lose its managed status after 12 months. You’ll, therefore, need to renew your aggregator submission annually.

The Hoth Citation Building Services Review

The Hoth

Based in Florida, The Hoth is an SEO company launched in 2010. It works with a wide range of small businesses, providing various SEO services, including local listing management, PPC, guest posting, and SEO copywriting. It also offers several SEO tools that it’s developed in-house, including a backlink checker and keyword generator.

Citation building and listing cleanup are offered as two separate services, so you can’t create new listings and correct inconsistencies within the same package.

What other countries does The Hoth work in?

All countries.

5 Facts about The Hoth

  1.  The Hoth started life as a full-service SEO agency and remains SEO-focused with a broad range of services.
  2. You must order a separate package to update any incorrect listings.
  3. You can choose from a monthly package or a one-off fee.
  4.  They offer a fast turnaround time.
  5. A full citation audit is included to identify any incorrect citations or duplicates before new ones are built.

The Hoth Pricing for Citations

  • The Starter package costs $149 and gives 45 citations in total, including 30 local directory listings.
  • The Large package costs $549 and covers 255 citations, including 90 local directory citations.
  • The monthly package costs $79 and includes 30 citations.

Pros and Cons

A full citation audit is included with each package so you can see where inconsistencies exist.Building new citations and cleaning up existing ones are sold as two separate services.
All countries are covered, so if you have locations outside of the USA you can still use this service.You can only pay via credit card.
There’s a choice of one-off or monthly packages.You’ll need to purchase a package before you can give any business information.
Larger packages also include video, photo, and social media submissions.You can’t choose where your listings are created.
Campaigns are built around your location and business niche.It’s more expensive than some of the other services.
Clear reporting is included.
You’ll receive all log in details for your listings.

Whitespark Citation Building Services Review

Whitespark Logo

Whitespark is a Canadian software builder and local search marketing service provider. It’s an established name in the space and is recognized for its free and paid software tools including Whitespark Citation Finder (also known as the Local Citation Finder), Local Rank Tracker, and Reputation Builder.

Custom listing building is available in almost every country worldwide, but packages that include clean-up and creation are limited to 11 countries.

There are no recurring aggregator fees. They claim existing listings and go through the phone verification process.

What other countries does Whitespark work in?

Citation clean-up and new listing building are available in 15 countries, including the USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. Custom packages for new listing creation only are available worldwide.

 5 Facts about Whitespark

  1. Thanks to their longstanding presence in the industry, they have a broad SEO knowledge base.
  2. Submissions include a mix of aggregator and direct-to-site listings.
  3. There are no recurring charges.
  4. You can choose from citation building only or clean-up and new listing creation (but only in select countries).
  5. They guarantee that 70% of submissions will go live.

Whitespark Pricing for Citations

  • For custom packages, there’s a fixed fee of $20 per location, then a charge of $4 per general citation and $5 per regional or industry citation.
  • Cleanup and building packages start at $399. This covers 35 general listings and 7 industry listings. Additional listings can be added at the same rates as above.
  • The largest package is $999 per location and covers around 100 directory listings. Additional listings can be added at the same rates as above.

Pros and Cons

Choose between new listing creation only or cleanup and build packages.Whitespark doesn’t monitor the status of the citation after it has been submitted, so you won’t know if or when its status changes unless you order a new report.
If you choose a package with cleanup, your business listing profile will be thoroughly audited for errors, duplicates, and gaps.They’re one of the more expensive options.
You’ll receive a mix of general and industry-specific listings.You’ll need to pay before you can specify location information.
Includes direct-to-directory submissions and data aggregators.You can’t choose where your citations are built.
The support team will assist with verifications if required.You won’t see a progress report until the whole campaign is complete.
One-time fee rather than recurring monthly or annual payments.Turnaround time is longer than many other services.
You retain ownership of your listings.You’ll need to pay a $2 fee per listing to make any updates if your business information changes.

Moz Local Citation Building Services Review

Moz Local Logo@2

Founded in 2004, Moz will be a familiar name to anyone who’s ever conducted any kind of SEO activity. It’s known for its local SEO tools and auditing software but also offers citation building. It has three different package options, each offering varying quantities of citation and directory inclusions.

Moz partnered with Uberall in June 2019 and updated its offering.

All plans offer Google and Facebook integration, along with submission to the data aggregator, FourSquare. Only the larger plans include the option to add in other data aggregators, though an additional fee applies.

Moz Local bridges the gap between citation building and listing management. It doesn’t offer as full a service of managing your listings, or building citations as some of the others in this list.

What other countries does Moz Local work in?

The USA, UK, and Canada.

5 Facts about Moz Local

  1. Moz Local primarily offers listing management services with a subscription.
  2. Data is reviewed to ensure it’s correctly formatted before submission.
  3. Duplicate listings are automatically identified and deleted.
  4. Location data is continually synced so that listings remain updated.
  5. Moz partnered with Uberall and essentially resells Uberall’s service to the US.

Moz Local Pricing for Citations

  • The smallest package begins at $14 per month.
  • The largest package costs $33 per month with an additional fee for optional data aggregators.

Pros and Cons

You can manage multiple locations from a single dashboard.Slow updates for main sites – listing changes can take 2-3 months when managed through aggregators*
Location data is instantly updated to ensure listings stay accurate.Only submit to 18 directories directly on the lite plan.
Direct submissions include directories, search engines, apps, and social media sites.Only the two bigger plans offer the option to submit to other major aggregators.
Duplicated listings can be deleted.There’s no one-off price option, just a monthly subscription.
Data is reviewed to ensure it’s in the correct format before being submitted.There’s no real flexibility and choice.
Integrates with Google and Facebook so information can be easily updated.
All plans include review monitoring.
FourSquare data aggregator is included in all plans.

* data aggregators will have this lead time whichever service you choose.

FatJoe Citation Building Services Review


Founded in 2012, FatJoe specializes in white-label link-building and SEO services. They work primarily with agencies, and as a white-label provider, they offer bulk discounts for multiple campaigns and volume businesses.

Their citation-building service is conducted manually, with screenshots to demonstrate the authenticity of submissions. However, it’s worth noting that they don’t offer management services, so any future changes need to be made independently. They also won’t remove outdated listings but will create a new citation with the correct NAP instead. You’re also limited to 300 citations per business address.

What other countries does FatJoe work in?

FatJoe covers the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia.

 5 Facts about FatJoe

  1. They offer an express service with an approximate seven-day turnaround if needed.
  2. A white-label report is included.
  3. You can confirm submissions were made with the included screenshots taken at the point of submission.
  4. You’ll pay a one-off fee rather than a recurring monthly charge.
  5. You can’t choose what listings are built up front, and you’re limited to 300 per business.

FatJoe Pricing for Citations

  • The smallest package available costs $65 for 25 citations.
  • The largest package is $312, with 300 citations included.

Pros and Cons

Fast turnaround times from as little as seven days.Only four countries are covered.
Log in details are provided for your listings.They say that ‘most’ submissions will take place in the country specified, which means some of the citations built may be less relevant.
You can see screenshots of the submissions made on your behalf.Even the largest package is limited to a maximum of 300 citations per business address.
White-label reporting is available.You can’t specify your preferred business categories.
If they detect an old listing with inaccurate information, a new one will be created in its place.You can’t specify where citations are built.
There are no recurring fees to pay.No management service is currently offered – so if updates are required, you’ll need to log in to the business directory and manually update the business information yourself.
They offer a money-back guarantee on your first order.

Local Citation Service Citation Building Services Review

Local Citation Service Logo

Yep, that heading’s quite a mouthful, but that’s what happens when a business optimizes the heck out of their name!

As the name suggests, Local Citation Service only offer citation building. Its team of posters conducts manual listing submissions, based on the business information you provide. They cover four main countries (UK, USA, Canada, and Australia) but invite custom order inquiries from other countries.

While cheap and with faster turnaround times, it’s worth keeping in mind that they don’t allow you to select your citations, they only provide a report after the campaign is completed, and they do use a number of lower quality, auto-approve directories. You also won’t have the benefit of a report dashboard, so you’ll need to manually check the submission status by logging in to each individual directory using the login information provided in the report.

What other countries do Local Citation Service work in?

Local Citation Services currently covers the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. They may be able to accommodate custom orders for other countries.

5 Facts about Local Citation Service

  1. Orders are capped at 350 USA citations, 200 UK citations, 200 Canada citations, 200 Australia citations, or 40 for any other country.
  2. Turnaround times are as fast as two days (for smaller orders).
  3. The service is for new citation building only.
  4. A report is provided via email once submissions are complete.
  5. They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Local Citation Service Pricing for Citations

  • The smallest package costs $10 and includes 15 local citations.
  •  The largest package costs $100 and includes 350 citations.

Pros and Cons

Prices are cheap.You can’t choose which sites are used for your citations. Relevance can be an issue.
Turnaround times are fast.They presently only offer citation building in the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia.
If you already have a listing on a site they have chosen, they’ll add a different site to complete your order.No bulk order discounts are offered.
They provide login information so you can manage your listings.You can only pay via PayPal.
They operate a fixed-fee model, so you won’t have to budget for a recurring subscription.You won’t know which sites they have chosen for your business until the package is completed.
They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.You won’t be notified when a listing goes live, so you’ll need to manually check each site after the report is provided (unless the listing has been created on an auto-approved directory).
They only provide new listing creation. Management, duplication removal, and cleanup aren’t offered.
There’s no dashboard to manage your listings, your report is sent via email.

Bonus Review 1: Yext Citation Building Services

Yext Logo

Yext describes itself as a ‘digital presence platform’. We’re including it as a bonus offering here as while they don’t offer citation building as a service they do offer listings management. This means that you can use Yext as your management tool to ensure your listings are complete and accurate. Simply update your business information in Yext (such as a change to your store opening hours), and it will be pushed out to all your listings instantly.

This does, however, mean they only offer a handful of listings, and then they’ll charge you a large annual fee to keep them.

You’ll also be able to track the performance of your listings and monitor metrics such as how many visitors they bring to your website. This convenience comes at a cost, and you’ll pay a premium for access to Yext. You’ll be ‘renting’ the dashboard to keep your listings current for as long as you continue to subscribe. Another way to think of this is as follows; when you purchase a citation via Yext, it’s only live while you continue to be a subscriber.

What other countries do Yext work in?

  • USA 
  • UK
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • France 
  • Germany 
  • Italy 
  • Portugal 
  • Spain 
  • And 70+ other countries

5 Facts about Yext

  1. Submit directly to 100+ different local directories, mapping services, and mobile apps.
  2. You can quickly update data at any time and also promote special offers.
  3. Provide clear reports and analytics on listing performance.
  4. Charge a recurring, annual fee – not a one-off cost.
  5. Only submits to Foursquare.

Yext Pricing for Citations

  • $499/location per year*
  • Bulk discounts are negotiable down to approximately $250/location/year

*It’s hard to get a definitive price on Yext. They have an advertised price of $500 but most people can secure a discount if they play hard to get and/or have multiple locations.

Pros and Cons

Manage 100+ of your listings through 1 dashboard.It’s expensive and cost is recurring each year.
Take control quickly and make updates when you need.When you stop using Yext the listing data reverts back to pre-Yext state.
Get great standout on directories through ‘Power Listing' features.Many of the 100+ sites submitted to are low value.
Good reporting & listing analytics.Can’t select which sites you submit to – fixed list.
Submit to many powerful directories & map services.Reputation of being very sales focused with high churn rate.
Don't submit to all data aggregators (only Factual and Foursquare).
No free trial to test the systems.
No online chat support.

Bonus Review 2: Semrush Citation Building Services

Semrush Logo

Semrush is better known for its SEO auditing and ranking tracking tools than citation building, but it does have a listings management subscription within its tool kit. Until recently, they actually used Yext for their services, so you’ll have had a similar experience.

It’s a straightforward tool to use. Just enter your business information, and Semrush will check 70 US directories and 40 international directories for listings. You can submit your business information from the dashboard if no listing is found.

Any feedback from Facebook or Google users will also be collected so you can choose whether to action their suggested changes (for example, updates to opening hours). Duplicate listings are also covered – if dupes are detected, you can click to delete. 

Semrush Pricing for Local Citations

  • Semrush has a ‘Basic’ plan that costs $20 per location per month. This allows you to build 70 listings but requires the recurring fee for every location.

Types of Submission: Direct-to-site Vs Data Aggregator Vs API

There are three common ways to build citations.

  1. Direct to site: These citations are built on the directory or citation site directly. Information is submitted to that site specifically (either manually or via an automated service such as an API).
  2. Via data aggregator: Local Data Aggregators curate data about local businesses and sell or distribute that data to third-party directories, mobile apps, and GPS providers. The main data aggregators are Data Axle, Foursquare, Neustar Localeze, Yellow Pages Network, and GPS Network. The benefit of this route is that you can quickly and easily push out your business data to thousands of listing sites.
  3. Through API Submissions: Providers offering APIs will sync your location data across the publishers they have a contract with on a rental model. They’re generally used by large brands that need to change online data incredibly regularly across a very large pool of locations, such as McDonald’s, Hilton, and Arby’s.

Data Aggregator Submission Services Compared

FeatureBrightLocalMoz LocalYextAdvice LocalWhiteSpark
Aggregators Submitted To53233
Total Cost $100/year$198/year$199/year$100/year$99/year
Recurring Fee$100/year (optional)$198/year$199/year$100/year$99/year (optional)
Create New ListingsCheck
Can Order Aggregators
Update Existing ListingsCheck
Remove Duplicate ListingsCheck

Things to Watch Out for When Selecting a Citation Services Provider

For the purposes of this comparison, we’ve focused on the leading providers offering a professional service. However, it goes without saying that there are thousands of other options out there, many of which fall foul of a best practice approach.

Accuracy and consistency matter when building local citations, but so does quality. The higher the quality of the source, the more likely it is to garner trust with search engines and consumers alike. That’s why we’ve left out certain services from this group. While these services may be cheap and offer a fast turnaround, there are also a few red flags to be aware of.

No Dashboard or Tracking Method

For starters, with many services you don’t get a dashboard or account. You can view your pending orders via a link in some cases, but that only shows you the status and dates of the package you purchased. Your completion report is in the form of a spreadsheet attachment but doesn’t show any meaningful metrics, which is yet another reason to pause for thought.

Speed Leads to Poor Quality or Irrelevant Listings

When we tested these services ourselves, we found that the focus was on sites that published new listings instantly–something that raises quality concerns. The report didn’t show domain quality metrics for the sites used, nor did it specify the type of site.

Further analysis showed they were primarily low-value and irrelevant sites, such as bookmarking sites, sites used primarily to publish adverts, or niche sites for specific categories that were not relevant to the business or had incorrect country characteristics.

Complex or Misleading Pricing

Clear and upfront pricing is also a must. We found some service providers were very vague about pricing or had conflicting information on their own websites.

Essential Business Information Not Included

Alarm bells should also ring if your chosen service provider asks for only very basic information as this limits their ability to create detailed listings. For example, one of the services we reviewed only asks for NAP, URL, description, and social media links. They don’t ask for business categories, opening hours, keywords, or payment methods.

Mike Hawkes
About the author
Mike is BrightLocal's Senior Content Marketing Manager. With over nine years of experience in digital marketing, he is responsible for devising and executing our content strategy and delivering a host of local SEO insights to our audience.

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