Laustin1878

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To this point, I've had luck dealing with clients who don't have a real messy citation profile. A few changes and inconsistencies (2 or 3 different business names, minor address differences across business listing sites) but nothing tragic.

My questions are:
- For those citation profiles with a moderate to high # of inconsistencies, how do you charge the client to fix them? What do you consider a low, moderate and high amount of inconsistencies?
- Do you propose you will fix ALL inconsistencies to the best of your ability? How much time do you typically assign to this? I know this is subjective but trying to gauge it the best I can.
- If you only propose to fix X percentage, how do you determine which business listing sites are more important to fix?

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<meta property="og:image" content="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/CitationsWaveBest.png">
 
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HurricaneK8

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It's hard to say how much time it takes to fix citations as some sites are edit-able by the public and some require some investigation & speaking to the right person/a phone call to the client to get a verification code.

One thing I've found though is it gets alot easier once you're comfortable with the directories and know where to go/have someone you can reach out to for help within the directory employees.

Maybe once you're familiar with all the directories you can code them as easy/medium/hard to fix and go from there for pricing... We just include it in our set up fee when we're quoting a client :)
 

Laustin1878

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Maybe once you're familiar with all the directories you can code them as easy/medium/hard to fix and go from there for pricing... We just include it in our set up fee when we're quoting a client :)
Thank you for the responses.

Do you fix all of the inconsistencies? This is what I'm trying to figure out. Also, without getting into your personal business practices, does your setup fee vary based on the # of corrections?

I have not charged a setup fee as I try to absorb it in a monthly retainer. I've begun entertaining charging more for the first 2-3 months (similar to a setup fee) or adding months on to the agreement.

As for the paid option, I am aware of Bright Locals service and trying to avoid paying anything else out as my expenses are on the higher side right now. Thanks for reminding me though.
 

HurricaneK8

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Do you fix all of the inconsistencies? This is what I'm trying to figure out. Also, without getting into your personal business practices, does your setup fee vary based on the # of corrections?

a) We charge month to month, so as long as there's inconsistancies to fix-- we're actively trying to fix them
b) We haven't charged a different set up fee YET because of inconsistancies (that I know of) but we have told certain clients that they need to commit to 6 months if we're going to take on the project, because theres so many fixes needed it will take at least that long.
Hope that helps :)
 

Laustin1878

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a) We charge month to month, so as long as there's inconsistancies to fix-- we're actively trying to fix them
b) We haven't charged a different set up fee YET because of inconsistancies (that I know of) but we have told certain clients that they need to commit to 6 months if we're going to take on the project, because theres so many fixes needed it will take at least that long.
Hope that helps :)
Very helpful, THANKS a bunch. I am trying to think of worse case scenarios and have a somewhat intelligent response. Like I mentioned, I have not come across anything too horrendous but I'm sure I will come across a client who has messy citations. I didn't know how many to correct within a said budget.
 

Jim Froling

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We no longer charge a setup fee opting instead for a higher monthly retainer at a 6 month minimum. We report monthly on rankings, traffic and issues (citations, spammy links, etc.) resolved and in process.

The monthly report assures clients that we are actively working on their behalf and provides some insight into the scope and depth of their issues. In most cases the client forgets about the six month initial threshold and the billings continue unabated. Once we have everything squeaky clean, we contact the client to tell them we are moving them to a "maintenance" mode at a reduced rate. They continue to get monthly ranking reports, analysis, summary of local search news, updates, etc.

When we volunteer to reduce the client's monthly retainer, they tend to be pretty stoked. And we have a client for life.:)
 

Laustin1878

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Jim, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. Awesome insight too! Your process is a goal of mine which is to bring clients down to a maintenance type agreement at a lower cost after the brunt of the initial work is done.

Do you curate your search news from various internet sites or do you have someone on staff to summarize and write the news for you?

Sounds like a nice approach and a very solid way to keep a client for a while.
 

Jim Froling

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We curate the news from all over. Here, SEL, Local Visibility, G+, etc. etc.

I'm trying to systemize the process from a G+ post, incorporated into blog, incorporated into newsletter, incorporated into monthly reports.

Two problems with this: 1) clients are on various billing cycles so refreshing the content to just what's new since last billing cycle means more manual steps and; 2) I am SO bad at curating and then adding my "fresh" insight and content. It takes time and there is so little of it. Therefore, it takes discipline which I'm not all that great at either.:(
 

Laustin1878

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You are a better man then I am Jim. I tried doing that one time and it was overwhelming..lol it does take a lot of time and the way you are explaining, I imagine its even more involved.

Hopefully you figure it out.
 

Cagro

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I like this approach. There is no way of telling how good or bad things are until you dig in. I strongly support the position "slow and steady wins the race". And once things settle down and you aren't killing yourself to fix stuff, lowering the bill for the customers is a win-win. IMHO
 

Laustin1878

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The vast majority of us understand slow and steady wins the race. It's the folk who sit on the other side of the desk who do not have any idea what slow and steady means...lol

They want their results yesterday. Personally, I focus on long term results and emphasize that as much as possible to prospects. I explain results are not overnight. They rarely grasp it and come back with, so and so told me they can get guarantee my site on page 1 in a month (for $350 a month). I put it back on them and have them ask their knight and shining armor, how are you going to get my site on page 1? Usually quiets them down a bit.
 
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