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Five Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Citation Builder

Last time we were here we shared the Special GBP Edition: Google Business Profile Features You Can’t Get Elsewhere. Today, we’re focusing 100% on business listings and more specifically, the questions to ask when hiring a local citation builder.

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Hiring a local citation builder is one of the quickest ways to build authority, credibility and trust with search engines. But with numerous listing management services promising to distribute business data far and wide, how can you know who to trust? Unfortunately, making the wrong choice could lead to bad data, incorrect listings – and significantly reduced local visibility. With so much on the line, we have compiled the top five questions to ask a citation builder.

5 Essential Questions to Ask a Citation Builder

Professional citation-building companies typically offer various local presence management services. Here are the questions you can ask to identify well-rounded specialists that can deliver long-term search visibility.

1. How Much Do You Charge to Build Citations?

Understanding the costs of a citation-building campaign allows an agency to budget appropriately. In practice, determining the best value for your money is often a bit difficult, as listing management companies operate different business models. From individual submission costs to monthly or yearly subscriptions, you will need to look closely at what’s being offered.

And while the fees are important, try to put the overall pricing into context. For example, how many quality citations can the company deliver, and do they distribute data to relevant directories?

Crucially, pay attention to whether they offer paid inclusion or paid insertion. At Advice Local, we provide paid insertion, which means links remain intact after the business is no longer a customer. Other providers use paid inclusion, with data remaining intact only as long as you stay subscribed.

With paid insertion, the data will remain intact even after you’re no longer contracting with us for business listing management. However, over time it can be (and usually is) overwritten by other sources that might be delivering bad data. This is exactly why it is extremely important to maintain an active listing management campaign for local businesses.

2. How Do You Identify What Listings to Use?

An indication of a quality citation builder can be seen in the types of platforms included in its distribution network. Plenty of low-quality directories and platforms will accept listings, but they often do more harm than good. In contrast, using a time-tested, proven network of diverse platforms increases a business’ trust and authority with users and search engines.

Advice Local created the Data Amplifier Network with this idea in mind. The network contains only the very best platforms, covering search providers, navigation systems, mobile apps, premier directories, mapping platforms and much more. Syndication across these leading sites ensures a business gets found through the channels its customers are most likely to use.

In addition, Advice Local’s network is made up of directories that are trusted by other data sources. This means that when a business’ data is distributed through our network, it can reach many more data sources than those listed in our network.

3. How Do You Submit the Business’ Information to the Directory?

Business information is submitted manually or through automation, with both solutions having pros and cons. As demonstrated by our citation services compared graphic, leading citation builders take different approaches to data submission.

Submitting listings by hand is a time-consuming process that requires a business to wait for results. In comparison, automated submissions are much quicker – but they require dependable technology to ensure accurate business information.

At Advice Local we take a hybrid approach, using both manual submission and a robust automated process with bulk imports and/or via API. This method is highly effective, as citations are delivered in real time, allowing agencies to show their clients up-to-the-minute progress. And we retain the flexibility to submit by hand for those less accessible platforms.

Since we distribute the data in real time, your client can see their visibility increase almost instantly. Plus, we continually monitor the data we distribute, and if it becomes inaccurate for some reason (such as another data source overriding it), we will correct it automatically.

Here at Advice Local we include many additional features, such as a Voice Search Readiness Test. This will help you understand if your clients are voice-search ready. We know the data sources that voice assistants trust, and we ensure your clients are listed in these sources.

4. Do They Provide Additional Services as Part of Their Listing Management Service?

Agencies and local marketers have come to expect more from citation builders and listing management services. For example, access to white-label features helps agencies communicate with clients and deliver superior results.

Advice Local provides a white-label lead generation widget for local marketers and agencies to place on their website. We have a landing page that can be branded with the agency’s logo and colors. We also offer automated reporting that can be set up to email monthly to the agency’s client, also with agency branding.

Advice Local empowers partners with additional services that enhance citations to maximize visibility. We have Enhanced Google Business Profile tools that are not available elsewhere. For example, the Google Authority Score (GAS) demonstrates the effectiveness of a Google Business Profile (GBP) using metrics like Brand Influence, Engagement Visibility and Influence Velocity. Advice Local partners can use this information to build greater authority and an increased chance of improved local presence.

We offer GBP Sync features to maintain the accuracy of the Google Business Profile, and we have a GBP auto-rejection feature for public edits.

Advice Local includes Bing Places in our network at no additional cost. We make public edits to Yelp for free, and also include distributing to the data aggregators. Most other listing management companies charge additional fees for these services.

In addition, we provide a premium listing on Judy’s Book, which is enabled with voice profile technology. Not only do businesses get free access to the high-quality voice-enabled directory, they also receive 1,000 monthly ad impressions on competitor listings at no extra cost.

5. Will You Help Me Claim any Existing Listings?

Taking control of a listing ensures the business can maintain consistent data and as the owner, make necessary changes. For the listings that are claimed through Advice Local, both the login and password are provided in the partner dashboard. For the directories in our network that are not claimed listings, we can still maintain the accuracy of the data through other methods.

Best Choice Local Citation Builder for Agencies and Brand Partners

Advice Local is a premier listing management and citation-building company for agencies and digital marketing partners. We offer a range of local presence management services, delivering fast, hassle-free improvements to search visibility. To find out more, call (214) 310-1356 or request a demo today.