Jackycham

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Hi,

I would like to start helping a few of my clients with Local SEO and I'm just getting stuck on the best way to claim these listings for them. I have made a list of around ~50 directories that I would like to claim for each client in my test group however I am not sure if I should be claiming the listings myself? (I am pretty heavily opposed to getting my clients to do the grunt work of claiming the listings), I am curious to how other people handle this and what best practice would be.

I would like to create a process that I could roll out to over 100 clients so scalability is an issue as well. I have looked up some of these directory claiming services but I think they might be too expensive, $150 per year for each site etc. If there are cheaper options that would be great (i am still doing some research on this myself).

Also it looks like these services aren't too complicated.. get a white listing with these directories and create a feed into them.. has anyone ever thought about doing this themselves or heard of larger agencies doing this themselves?

Thanks for any help you can give me :)
 

Norbert Z.

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It took me a few months for several locations, I am an amateur but the results brought results.
 

Nyagoslav

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Hi Jacky,

As far as citations are concerned, you have 3 general options:
  1. Do it yourself
  2. Outsource
  3. Submit via automated services
Each one of these options will have its pros and cons.

DIY might be a good idea if you are just getting started. Usually in such a situation you are short on cash, and have a lot of time. Claiming and updating listings is not rocket science, but it is an extremely tedious and sometimes annoying activity. The business will already have a number of existing auto-generated listings, so your first step would be to do a thorough research and discover them. This is a good guide to help you get started on this: Advanced Local Citation Audit & Clean Up: Achieve Consistent Data & Higher Rankings. Most business directories don't make it particularly easy for businesses to add/update their listings. I strongly recommend that you first experiment at least a few times with some fictitious business information - don't start directly with your own clients. The chance of doing things wrong is high. While figuring out the ways with each directory, it can easily take you 20+ hours to go through a list of 50 business directories for one of your clients.

Outsourcing to an agency that has a dedicated citation building and/or more advanced citation audit and clean-up service might be suitable if you have multiple clients you are dealing with. As mentioned, DIY citation work is time-consuming, so unless you are willing to start doing this full-time, or to hire someone to do this full-time, doing citation work on your own for more than 10-15 clients per month might not be sustainable. Rates of agencies vary, but for a very basic citation building service the rates are usually in the range of $3-$5 per listing, and in most cases these are one-time rates (i.e. they are not recurring every year).

Using an automated service might be suitable if you have thousands of clients you are dealing with or if you work with enterprise businesses with hundreds of physical locations. (Almost) always these automated submission options come with recurring yearly fees.

I hope this helps!
 
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Hey @Jackycham,

If you do decide to opt for a service to build the citations for you, I'd definitely recommend BrightLocal (full disclaimer, I work there!) Compared to Moz, Yext, Synup, etc. we're a good bit cheaper, and you only have to pay once versus paying $150 or so every year. You can take a look at the pricing comparison page here.

As @Nyagoslav mentions, doing the whole process of identifying and building citations yourself can be time-consuming, but if you are keen to give that a go, then you could get the BrightLocal free trial and use it to identify your client's citation presence, and then attempt to go in and build/add/amend the listings yourself. So that could cut down the time a little bit!

If you want to talk more about those options I've mentioned feel free to pop me a message. But best of luck with your campaign either way! :D
 

dannanelli

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Hi,

I would like to start helping a few of my clients with Local SEO and I'm just getting stuck on the best way to claim these listings for them. I have made a list of around ~50 directories that I would like to claim for each client in my test group however I am not sure if I should be claiming the listings myself? (I am pretty heavily opposed to getting my clients to do the grunt work of claiming the listings), I am curious to how other people handle this and what best practice would be.

I would like to create a process that I could roll out to over 100 clients so scalability is an issue as well. I have looked up some of these directory claiming services but I think they might be too expensive, $150 per year for each site etc. If there are cheaper options that would be great (i am still doing some research on this myself).

Also it looks like these services aren't too complicated.. get a white listing with these directories and create a feed into them.. has anyone ever thought about doing this themselves or heard of larger agencies doing this themselves?

Thanks for any help you can give me :)

Hi Jacky,

Claiming citations manually is a great idea. But if you have over 100 locations then considering outsourcing or using an automated tool is a good idea.

Whitespark has a great citation service. You may only have to use them one time and may only need to use them again if a client changes their business name, location information or website address. They also have volume discounts. Check it out: Citation Audit & Cleanup Service - Fix Your Business Listings - Whitespark

if you already have an SEMrush account you can submit locations to Yext for only $20/mo per location. You can see the details here:The Listing Management tool | SEMrush

There are many ways to manage citations but these are a few off the top of my head. Hope this helps!
 

Jen Currier

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Dani took the words out of my mouth - WhiteSpark will help you manage these for your clients. Pay once and your done, no annual fees. Just be very careful with Yext as its my understanding once the subscription ends, your listing updates are null. Also - Dani has an amazing resource that I've been using for years to manage listings for clients - Citation Cheat Sheet | How to Add, Edit & Remove Citations | Pigzilla

For details regarding Yext and their subscription service, here is an article I often share with others:
 
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I've found that services like BrightLocal and Whitespark are good for some of the basics, but you also want to make sure that you're doing industry and hyper-local (ex. local newspaper & TV station) directory listings too. Sometimes those services include some of those sites, but they typically don't include all of them. Do some Googling for keywords you want to rank for and look at directories in the top 5-10 pages of results.

Key things to optimize:
- NAP/W (name, address, phone, website)
- Categories
- Description
- Logo
- Photos

One other key: don't use the same description on every directory. We've seen value in having a "word bank" of sorts, where we have ~10 descriptions that we use.
 

Eoghan_MFeed

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I know this thread is old but FWIW, 50 directories are not driving meaningful traffic to your client or having a significant impact on your client's Local SEO. It's an outdated approach. Even if a publisher has 1M users, that's 1M users who could search for all types of business categories across many, many markets you may not even be present in.

If you have the time and interest, watch Google Webmaster's SEO myth-busting videos.


From Google directly you'll learn there are over 200 signals Google looks at for ranking. Citations are one of them but as the list of signals is only getting longer, their share of influence declines.

Spending money to manage listings on sites with minimal traffic themselves just so you can have citations is not worth it. You will get a better ROI from having directly managed listings on let's say the top 8 publishers for your vertical and then taking leftover budget and running ads to boost your traffic on the top 1-2 of those.

You should prioritize this directory list and as you're talking about multiple locations look into working with a vendor with the publisher/network partnerships and integrations in place to submit your data and manage it at scale alongside all the other things you'd want to do to help your ranking and in turn drive as much traffic for you from that publisher as possible.

Review management, insights driving your content strategy, doubled up feeds via aggregators, other forms of user engagement management (Photos, Q&A, comments), local store finder and pages for your website + mobile app and paid ad capabilities to 'rescue' low performing locations and help new ones get launched in their local markets all need to be in the playbook to get as much ROI as possible.
 

Jim Froling

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@davidmihm just published his first blog post in a year. Check it out.

In it David stresses that while citations have certainly fallen in value several years ago, it is crazy to spend money on management services like Yext. They just don't move the needle like they once did.
 

Eoghan_MFeed

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@davidmihm just published his first blog post in a year. Check it out.

In it David stresses that while citations have certainly fallen in value several years ago, it is crazy to spend money on management services like Yext. They just don't move the needle like they once did.

I agree with this sentiment but citations hang around because they're very trackable. Our solution offers those generic directory sites + aggregators because some clients are old school, want to cover all bases and have the budget but if it's an ROI optimization discussion, we're talking a small subset of CORE publishers, ways to maximize engagement on those and redirecting budget previously destined for long tail = ads boosting presence on said CORE.
 
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