Everyone has their own opinion of local citations and the best way to implement a good local citation strategy and without doubt the landscape has changed a number of times in the past year or two. As Google continues to roll out updates designed to weed out those trying to short-cut their way to ranking locally , especially in Google Maps the writing is on the wall for certain methods of building out local citations .
Quality over Quantity.
Previously, (until mid-2016) we found best results were achieved by flooding a property with as many local citations as we could find. In theory this still works however there are two reasons why this strategy alone does not make sense any longer. Firstly, certain citations (and critically, some of the most important) are only available from the data aggregation companies. Secondly, if your client relocates, changes name or phone number the work involved in getting them all updated to be identical should not be underestimated. Of course the benefit of manual submissions is there is no ongoing annual fee charged by the aggregators.
There are 2 companies we recommend. Both offer a bunch of other features but this article focuses purely on citations. They both submit to the four major data aggregators .
Moz offers to submit to the 4 aggregators plus 9 sites (in reality it’s 8 since most everyone will already have Google). The others are Apple Maps , Bing , City Search . SuperPages , Best Of The Web , Insider Pages , HotFrog and Foursquare . The price is currently $84 (per year).
Bright Local offers the 4 aggregators for a total of $55 (per year). Additional citations are billed at $2 each (with pre-purchased credits) or $3 each on a pay-as-you-go basis. Assuming Google is already obtained, to match the service offered by Moz would raise the price by 8(citations) x $3 = $24. Still $5 less than the Moz offering. Here is the kicker with Bright Local, they offer a very comprehensive citation building program that allows you to select 100+ extra citations all from within your control panel. This makes the process of adding citations to your listings easy.
Local Citation Services is an option if you prefer to stay away from the data aggregation companies and go for sheer quantity. The service is responsive and you receive a full report with login information to each citation including the current status of each citation . We have used them many times with great success however in our opinion they should be an addition to the aggregation services .
…But my market is not local…
There is debate in the community over the benefit of local citations when it comes to marketing businesses that are not confined to any one geographic area. Whilst in theory local citations are irrelevant we believe there is plenty of benefit in using them not least because it increases the number and diversity of links on the profile.