Local Citation Building Service

The Importance of Local Search Citation Building

Local Search Management Service with Citation BuildingPick up your phone and do the “Ok Google” and search for your business service. Does your Google Local Listing show TOP and FOREMOST in the Google Map results? If you can’t find your company standing right in front of the business, how are your customers going too? This information shown is called Google Places and is provided by citation building. It gets its information from over 100+ other sites called citations, and the main ones called aggregators, to verify it’s correct. Now if these citations and aggregators all have different information, Google drops it’s results for your local listing in favor of those that do.

Let us fix this for you so you can be found my your valued customers. Read our post on Local Listing Accuracy to see how detailed Google requires you to be for results….

The word local gets quite a workout these days. Everywhere you look, people want you to shop, dine, drive, and work local. And thanks to increasingly advanced search engine algorithms and a growing reliance on mobile, your business needs relevant and up-to-date local listings in order to attract and convert the folks who are “living local.”

Are you making it easy for your local audience to find your business, online and off?

A smart local SEO strategy for brick-and-mortar businesses relies on a number of factors, but one you may have overlooked is local listing management. Do sites such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google Plus Business, and Bing Places for Business have the latest contact, location, and service information for your company?

If not, you are be missing out on greater visibility in the local market, better performance in search results, and—worst of all—foot traffic from potential customers who call your neighborhood home.

Local Search Management Made Easy

We get it—you’ve got a business to run, and you’re probably more focused on developing strategy and securing sales than searching out over 500+ directories and ferreting out every possible listing for your business. Our team of local business listing management pros is standing by to help you gain a stronger foothold in the digital and physical markets, whether you’re focused on local traffic, developing new locations, or simply trying to improve your rankings and visibility in Google Local Listing to search engine users.

Citation Building with Local Search Management Service

Attracting global business is good, but when you’re making real-world connections, becoming the neighborhood go-to for your niche is even better. From day one, we make it our mission to transform your business into a local hero through:

  • Thorough review of all your listing information across aggregator sites
  • Careful revision to ensure quality and consistency on all sites feeding the Google Local Listing
  • Syndicated distribution of your updated listing information
  • Monthly reports and updates to ensure your information is always up to date
  • In-depth quarterly audits of your existing local listings

Our mission goes beyond applying our extensive experience to our partnership with your business, however. We bring a collection of state-of-the-art aggregators—including Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup, and Neustar—to as well as 50+ other every local listings in order to make sure your listings are up to date, optimized, and delivered to the sites your customers are searching with Google Local Listing and others.

As a local hero, you’ll have to manage your own cape and outfit, but as with all of our services, we can tailor your local search management to suit your needs. Our collaborative and flexible approach means you won’t be left feeling like a stranger—and neither will your audience.

The Internet has made it easy to connect with potential customers all over the world, but to attract your local audience—and build the relationships that will turn them into customers—you need a plan for truly effective local business listing management.

Whats Included?

Build a STRONG foundation for your customers with Citation Building and local business listings!

We do custom claiming & verification that can include some or all of the following local search destinations.

Why Wait? Contact Us Today and start taking control of your customers online local business listings. Can other local business listing services offer you all of these benefits?

    • Agency Rates with Volume Discounts.
    • Manual Claiming & Account Creation!
    • Uncovering Duplicate Listings That Hurt Rankings and request remove them.
    • Monthly Reports of your listings to show progress.
    • Create accounts as required that may not be active.
    • Claim all listings found online as possible and verify all information is correct.
    • Geo-tag and correct images and sites as required for better rankings
    • And MUCH MUCH More….

The Beginning Process for first 3 months:

Claiming Places page

What we’re doing – First editing your Google Places page to make sure all the info is accurate, and then claiming your page so any edits we made actually stick. This is also when we remove any duplicate Places listings for your business, and it’s when we do any basic optimization, like picking your business categories.
Explanation of timing – It usually takes 7-12 days for Google to send you the postcard with the PIN that allows us to claim your Places page. Sometimes there are hang-ups, so it’s best to get started on this ASAP.

Tuning up website

What we’re doing – Making your site at least somewhat local-search-friendly. Optimize your title tag (with a light touch on the keywords), add a footer or header with your business name / address / phone number to each page of your site, and make sure your homepage (or whatever you use as your Google Places landing page) contains detail on the specific services you’re trying to get visible for. Also, make sure your site isn’t “over-optimized.”

Explanation of timing – What’s on your site has a huge influence on how you’ll rank in Google Places, especially in the ever-more-common “blended” local rankings by Citation Building. Therefore, if there’s even a chance you’re in trouble for keyword spamminess, bad links, etc., you’ll want to start crawling out of the doghouse ASAP. Later on (like in weeks 5 & 9) is a good time to do some general housekeeping (like scanning for and fixing dead links), to see how you can beef up your pages with more service-relevant content, to put out a couple of blog posts, or maybe to do some link-building.

Submitting to data-providers

What we’re doing – Listing your business on ExpressUpdateUSA and LocalEze, or – if you’re already listed there – making sure you’ve claimed those two listings. If possible, also claim your listing at MyBusinessListingManager and make sure it’s accurate. If you’ve got a few extra bucks, consider listing yourself on UBL.org.

Explanation of timing – It generally takes about 2 months for these data-providers to feed your business info to Google Places and to third-party sites (CitySearch, SuperPages, etc.). Because your rankings really depend on how consistent your business info is from site to site, it’s important to deal with these sites at the very beginning.

Gathering citations

What we’re doing – Getting listed on as may directory sites as we can. Start with the most important sites (like all the ones you see when you do a scan) and eventually try to get on some of the sites nobody’s heard of. If possible, also try to list your business on (1) “hyperlocal” sites that are specific to your city/town and on (2) directory sites that are focused on your industry (i.e., your “vertical”). You can find these citation sources with the help of the Local Citation Finder, or by doing it the old-fashioned way.

Explanation of timing – We’ll be dealing with dozens of sites. Not only does it take time on our part to list you on them, but it also often takes weeks for these sites to list your business or process any edits we’ve made. We’ve got to start early. Plus, the more citations we can rack up over time, the better.

Fixing 3rd-party data

What we’re doing – Checking the data-providers and at least some of the citation sources to make sure all your business info is 100% accurate – and fixing any inaccurate info we find. Also check to make sure no duplicate Google Places listings have popped up – and remove any that have.

Explanation of timing – Making sure the citations don’t get messed up is an ongoing task, but there’s no need to check on them every day, because many of them take a while to update. Just check on them every few weeks (at least during the 4-5 weeks).

Getting Google reviews

What you’re doing – Asking customers to write reviews directly on your Google Places page. As you probably know, they’ll need Google / Gmail accounts to do this. I suggest you ask about half your customers to write Google reviews, and ask the other half to write reviews through 3rd-party review sites (see below).

Explanation of timing – If you haven’t claimed your Places page, or if your business has a bunch of duplicate Places pages floating around, it’s possible Google will erase your reviews. It’s best to hold off on requesting reviews until the Places pages aren’t being created, claimed, deleted, and otherwise jockeyed around.

Getting 3rd-party reviews

What you’re doing – Asking customers to write reviews on non­-Google sites. CitySearch, InsiderPages, JudysBook, etc. (and Yelp, but Yelp has rules against requesting reviews). I’ve found that having reviews on a variety of sites helps your Places rankings, and of course it’s a great way to attract the users of those sites.

Explanation of timing – You can start asking for 3rd-party reviews even while your Places page is up in the air. But I suggest focusing on the other steps first – namely, having accurate and plentiful citations, a tuned-up website, and no duplicate Places pages. On the other hand, getting 3rd-party reviews is another ongoing task, which means it’s worth starting fairly early…hence why I say start around week 3.

To have your website listed correctly, please contact us for information and a quote. Our Basic Local Listing Package starts at around $199.00/Mo and can increase depending on the amount of data that needs to be changed and amount of work being required. Understand there are over 100+ sites that have to be updated and informed or correct information.  Now a little more details:

Why use a Local Citation Building Service?

Citations are essentially the backbone of Local Search Marketing. They’re a key component of search engine algorithms, and four of the top ten ranking factors have to do with citations in one form or another. Our Citation Building Service creates citations or listings on some of the most important listings sites on the internet. These sites have a huge amount of name recognition and link density.

Just as *where* your business is listed matters, so does how often it’s listed correctly with it’s NAP (Name, Address, Phone). The more your business is listed, consistently, across the internet on different publishers such as Google, Yahoo, Yelp, etc, the more likely it is that your business will see local search ranking lift. For service-area businesses, who often do not have an official website, having numerous, correct, consistently formatted listings across numerous publishers is  of the utmost importance to your success in being found via a web search online.

Where Do Citations Come From?

While your business’s information can be placed on any number of thousands of places on the internet, there’s a relatively finite number of places that most reputable publishers pull from. The most important and the following are the top three most heavily regarded as a must be listed on, based on the observations and testimonials of local search experts. As a business owner looking for higher search results, you need to know where to focus your efforts so that you most bang for your buck.

Data Aggregators

— Data aggregators (Factual, Neustar Localeze, Acxiom, and Infogroup) collect information about businesses using various methods, including submissions from citation building, and sell that data to various publishers, call centers, direct mailers, and other business enterprises to use. Their information comes from a variety of sources, including business registries and phone records. All but one of these aggregators do not take user level submissions. They pull there information from known reliable sources that have been verified with little error of the information being wrong. AWC Web Design IS one of those sources. We have direct feeds to 4 of the 5 for submission rights and are able to have your company information submitted allow it to be propagated down to other listings services.

The Local Citation Building ecosystem of the Internet

Citation Building
Locally-relevant search engines and directories

— All of our publishing partners as part of our Citation Building Service are locally relevant, and being listed in their directories is huge advantage for your small business when working towards better search rankings locally. These directories are also well-crawled by Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines, and some are even curated! While not every directory is created equal, those of repute will improve your businesses search relevance online on any search engine your customers may be using to find your service or product. It’s important to make sure that any directory or locally-relevant search engine not submitted and maintained by us includes a citation for your business. Moreover, that citation must reflect the same information you’ve provided us to be listed in our list of directories and aggregators if that option is used.

Industry-focused directories

— While we have in our Citation Building Service,  some of the largest verticals on the internet, the industry-specific directories must be considered, also. These directories — Care.com, Angie’s List, Service Magic, Storage Front, et al. — by nature of being category-specific, often carry a lot of domain authority that is paramount also to gaining local search rankings online.. This means that having a consistent, updated citation on these kinds of sites could impact your business very positively.

Identifying Top Citation Sources when Citation Building

Depending on what category your business is in or service you do, some search engines and directories are more relevant than others in the field. That is, some categories see better results from certain publishers than others do. We have the resources to check this using our in house local citation finder and sort through the categories, and place citations in the most business relevant directories your business will gain the most ranking gains from.

For example, FindLaw and Lawyers.com are the two topmost ranked directories for attorneys, with a heavier weight than traditional IYPs like Yellowpages.com and Superpages.com. This means that for any of our clients who are attorneys, being on Yellowpages.com and Superpages.com is not as valuable as being on FindLaw. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be listed on Yelp, Yahoo!, et al, but rather that in addition to the broad base directories, you’ve got to target the heavy-hitting citation sources as well.

Using Manual Citation Building vs. Our Services

We often get asked what the difference between manually submitting your information (either through a publisher directly or through an aggregator) is versus using AWC’s Citation Building Service.  We’re going to break down the three major points that get brought up in these discussions, and the most important things you need to know.

Publishers are Free

One comment we hear is that many of the publishers listed in our network are free to submit to, either as a new business or to offer corrections. Moreover, many of these publishers allow a business to “claim” their listing and exert some measure of control over the page.  The answer to this is: yes, many of the publishers in the Local Citation Service we offer do allow you to submit or claim a listing for free. There are, though, some caveats:

  • Not every directory or publisher will actually accept your listing submissions. — If the publisher’s system flags your business as fake or as spam, your business will not go through. In fact, there are lots of reasons your business may not be accepted by the publisher.
  • It can take weeks or months for your listing to actually go live. — Even if you submit, there’s no sense of exactly when the listing will go live, or when changes you submit will. Sometimes it’s a few days, sometimes it’s a few months.
  • Other sites may try to upsell you before allowing you access to our own business’s content. — It’s no secret that some publishers on the internet will effectively hold reviews or traffic data over a business owner’s head as leverage until they purchase advertising or premium services with the publisher.
  • It’s time-consuming. — Consider having to go to 100+ directories and create accounts, fill in information, submit, and circle back to check for acceptance periodically. It’s tiring just typing that sentence!

By contrast, AWC’s Citation Service can update all of your listings with accurate information on all 70+ of the directories over time. Moreover, all the information associated with the listing is in your control, and we’ll update, and make any changes needed as far as  addressees, Phone numbers, and any other information the listing holds.

Going Upstream Saves Time

Many times, clients and Partners suggest that aggregator submission accomplishes the same things as our services for less work/time/effort. In a perfect world, these voices would be right. Unfortunately for all of us, the world of online data is far messier.

In the data world, there are innumerable sources buying for attention from publishers, data aggregators, and search engine compilers alike. This constant push for attention means that every source — government records, online listings, Yelp and Yahoo citations, website information, call centers — is locked in a ceaseless tournament for information dominance. And this happens for every single element in a business’s listing information: name, address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.

It’s like an infinite March Madness tournament happening behind-the-scenes at every publisher and director, all over the web. And what’s worse, it happens in the aggregators as well. Just like the publishers, the aggregators are collecting data and running it through this massive tournament-style matching process. In this tournament, manual submissions are but one team in the bracket, and there’s a lot of participants seeded much higher.

Beyond that: aggregators only release their data files periodically throughout the year. Thus, relying only on aggregator submissions is imprecise; changes could roll out in six weeks or six months, sooner or in-between or far later. Moreover, when those files are sent to publishers, it could take even longer for your business’s information to update downstream.

Thus, counter-intuitively, it’s better to fix the information later on in the process (i.e.: at the publisher level) rather than earlier (i.e.: at the aggregator) because search engines see the publishers’ displayed information and not the databases maintained by the data aggregators. Put more succinctly: the customers you want to reach don’t know an aggregator from an acronym, but they are aware of what they are shown on Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, or Foursquare.

To that end: you need to fix what the consumer can see, and trust that the tournament will take in this new ranking / weighting (or, in the metaphor, seeding) information into account. With our service, you don’t have to worry about messy, incomplete, and/or inconsistent data from aggregators affecting your business listings. AWC locks down your business information on the publishers, making them impervious to the “March Madness” background tournament. It’s the guarantee we make you when you begin your subscription.

What Happens When I Cancel?

The final most common reaction we hear is about cancellation. Many clients find that, upon canceling Citation Building Service, their listings return to their former state, and all of the good information that was there may be inaccurate, out of date, or otherwise shoddy over time, and some just go away.

This is in part due to the tournament we detailed in the previous sections. Once the Our Citation Building Service lock is removed, those listings are completely subject to each publisher’s policies. Some publishers may retain the information we submitted, but many simply resume the background tournament-style matching process — which may prove to be detrimental to the business’s information.

Many people thus advocate for aggregator or manual submission solutions, as we are not a “one and done” fix. However, the alternative solution to Our — submitting, claiming, and constantly monitoring all listings — is time-consuming, costly, and no more a “one and done” solution than our Citation Building Service is.

Submissions Are Not the Alternative

Given the fundamental differences between you doing manual submissions and our Citation Building Service, expecting manual submissions alone to accomplish what we do in a timely, guaranteed way is not possible.

Aggregators submissions, if they are undertaken, should be done in addition to a Citation Building Service subscription — not in place of one entirely. As the tournament grows increasingly complex each day, with new signals such as social media being added to the mix, the weight of any single submission diminishes.

Ultimately, the question is a pretty simple one: how much is your time worth to you?

Why spend a huge portion of time monitoring, claiming, and manually managing clients’ listings when you could “set it and forget it” instead? You would be able to provide a higher quality of service to your business — a condition very likely to grow your business long-term.

AWC makes creating a broad swath of citations in one fell swoop as easy as signing up and giving us your vital business information. Once you have a broad base of citations that we control directly, instead of halfheartedly hoping the information is correct, building a wider array of citations in industry-specific and locally-relevant verticals is easier than ever. With AWC Web Design, managing, updating, and monitoring are as painless as possible. Let us know how we can help , and what your needs are for a Local Search Citations Service. We are more than happy to answer all your questions.

Our Local Citation Plans

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