More threads by Colan Nielsen

Colan Nielsen

LocalU Faculty
Jul 19, 2012
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Does anyone know of a good source for finding city-specific business directories to use in the citation building process?
I don't off-hand Colan but just Tweeted this thread to see if we can get some ideas going or get folks to share some resources.
Hi Mark,

Welcome to the Local Search Community! So glad you caught my question on Twitter and took the time to stop by to weigh in. Really appreciate it!
The suggestions of Mark are very sound. I myself have many lists of websites accepting listings in different industries and different location (and different industry+locations), but as I have spent hundreds of hours to compile those I would not be too willing to share them. I don't even share them in my Citation Building Guide, because most are done for my clients, so if I share them publicly it would mean I'd potentially help my clients' direct and indirect competitors.

Easiest ways to find industry- and location-specific citations:

- Direct competitor analysis - using Whitespark, Bright Local, Sweet IQ, or manually.
- Businesses in the same industry in big cities - same methodology; check for businesses in the largest cities, because those tend to have the largest number of citations.
- Businesses in the same area - usually restaurants, hotels, event halls have the largest numbers of citations; however, many of their citation sources are very specific, so they would most probably not accepted any kind of business. If you have a lawyer client, for example, check for citations of accountants, architects, translators, business consultants, because the citation sources for these are usually also applicable to lawyers, too. If you have a plumber client, you could look at citations of local electricians, painters, HVAC contractors, etc.

Hope this helps :)
Solid advice. Thanks guys!
Is there a solid way to automate citations to these sites (whether manually researched or found through one of the tools)? I want to build more citations, but currently it is a pretty manual process. Outside of Yext, what are some good ways to do that?
I've used Bright Local's "Citation Burst" tool. It's pretty sweet.
Are they manually submitting to sites or is their tool automated?
I took a quick look at their website and I like their offerings. I've also researched a few other sites for this task as well. Most seem to have "citation teams" that manually submit to directories. I guess I'm a little confused at the scale of this. If they're not automating the process but instead using a team of people to do it, then how does it become more cost effective? For some reason I assumed it was a computer process to submit to sites.

I'm not knocking these programs in any way, I think they look good. I'm just trying to wrap my head around how it would be more cost effective to outsource to a program like this instead of bringing in people in house to do this for clients.
Those are all important things to consider :)
We do local citation building. It's significantly different from the one Bright Local offers mostly in that we are the one who determine, based on research, which the best sites for particular business to get listed are. Additionally, Bright Local rely on their own software to find where the business is already listed, and I'd assume the same software is used for their Citation Tracker. However, it usually provides between 30% and 70% of all listings that a business has, depending on how many duplicate and incorrect listings the business has (the more incorrect listings + duplicate, the lesser the percentage reported, because they discover only one listing per directory).
Interesting... but if they're using a manual submission process then shouldn't they catch things like that? So you're saying Bright Local is a little limited in terms of local citation building because of their reliance on predetermined directories rather than in depth research on niche-specific for the client?

@Nyagoslav maybe you can shed some light on a previous question for me. What is the benefit of using a service like yours (which I have included in my research of companies), rather than doing it in-house? A majority of the places I've looked into have stated they use manual submissions from a "citation team," but theoretically couldn't you find the same citations with whitespark and then submit yourself? Is there an automatic element that I'm missing?

Sorry about all the questions, I'm just trying to be as informed as I can before I make a decision on how to focus this part of the business strategy.
I am not fully aware of the flow Bright Local use for their citation submission service, I just make assumptions here. I think their flow is like this:

1) You fill in the business information
2) They use their software to find all listings for the business (and again, they do not find all, although the tool is one of the best available)
3) They also use their software to find relevant citations (most probably based on their database + checking competitors
4) They offer you a list of sites to choose from, as well as the number of listings you want to get submitted
5) They do the job

The directories are not predetermined (at least last time I checked) - you choose which directories to get the business submitted to. And yes, they are a little limited because they seem to use only their software. We use quite a number of tools in our research, as well as doing it manually.

In our process there is no automated part of the submission. Everything is done manually. Regarding benefits of doing it with us, rather than in-house, do you mean in-house in an agency, or in a small business?
As an agency. I do the work for small businesses and I'm floating the options on whether to hire people in house to do it, or use another service for citations.
It depends on how much $ you will be paying your staff to citation build, how many citations they can build in an hour, day, week. Compare this to what citation building services can offer broken down into a citations per hour or something similar.

With that said, there are many other factors to consider.

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