Jul 032012
 

Probably the biggest relief in the daily life of a local SEO, who inevitably needs to go the citation building road, is the presence of a number of great tools. And what is even nicer is that most of them are available for free (or at least have free versions). I outline my 5 favourites together with a brief description of how each of them could be incorporated in the local citation building process.

GetListed.org Your LocalDashboard

Specifics: It immediately shows inconsistent business information across the following local directories and business data providers: Google+ Local, Bing Business Portal, Express Update, LocalEze, Yelp, foursquare, Yahoo! Local, Superpages, YP.com, Citysearch, HotFrog, Best of the Web. Information includes: name, address, phone number, and website accuracy, claim status of the listing, categories associated with the listing, photos associated with the listing. The tool has Canadian and British versions in beta, which cover respectfully Yelp.ca, YellowPages.ca, Brownbook, HotFrog.ca and Yelp.co.uk, Brownbook, HotFrog.co.uk.

Usage: Easy to make sure that the business information is consistent across the directories, covered by the tool.

Country Coverage: USA, Canada, UK

Price: Free

Additional Reading: How to Squeeze Maximum Google Places Love from GetListed.org Scans (by Phil Rozek), Manage Local Citation Sources Using GetListed.org (by Travis Loncar)

Yext Local Search Scorecard

Specifics: It does similar job to GetListed.org, but covers a wider range of websites, including (some of them duplicate with ones from GetListed.org and they are bolded): Yahoo! Local, foursquare, Yelp, WhitePages, MapQuest, Superpages, Citysearch, Yellowbook, Local.com, Patch, MerchantCircle, EZLocal, GetFave, LocalDatabase, ShowMeLocal, Topix, ZipLocal, CitySquares, LocalPages, MojoPages, Yellowise, YellowMoxie, Tupalo, Best of the Web, Yellowbot, Cliqsearch, Chamber of Commerce, USCity.net. Information includes:  name, address, and phone number accuracy, categories, website, description, photos, and special offer presence/absence.

Usage: Use it as an addition to what GetListed.org provides. Some of the websites this tool covers do not allow for direct free listing, unless you submit it via Yext.

Country Coverage: USA

Price: Free

Additional Reading: Yext & Local SEO (by Mike Blumenthal), Yext – A Good Way to Make Your NAP Consistent (by me)

Whitespark Local Citation Finder

Specifics: Discovers all citations for the top local competitors and orders them based on the number of occurrences per local business directory. It can also search for specific business’s citations based on their name and phone number.

Usage: Find local-specific and industry-specific directories based on where similar businesses are listed. Discover old and incorrect citations for your business.

Country Coverage: USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and 37 other countries (including Bulgaria!)

Price: Free version + monthly packages of $20, $30, $40, and $100

Additional Reading: Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder Review (by Eric Covino), Local SEO Tools: Whitespark Local Citation Finder (by me)

Bright Local Citation Tracker

Specifics: Similar to the Local Citation Finder, but it allows you to track new citations over time. Additionally, it shows you the most important citations based on their “Citation Value”, which is a factor Bright Local calculates based on the number of occurrences of the particular business directory across their whole database of local citation sources.

Usage: Same as Local Citation Finder, but the citations they show frequently differ, so using both is important when doing research on old business citations.

Country Coverage: USA, Canada, UK, Australia

Price: Free trial version + monthly packages of $19.99, $34.99, and $64.99

Additional Reading: CitationTracker Video

 

SweetIQ (GetMeListed.net)

Specifics: Its functionality is similar to the ones of the above two tools. It provides a list of present and potential citations based on your local competition.

Usage: We’ve discovered that the tool seems to return the largest amount of results compared to the other tools. Unfortunately, the results, especially for the old citations, are not very ordered, so it is relatively more time-taking to browse through the raw data.

Country Coverage: USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland, India

Price: Currently in free beta

Additional Reading: Get Me Listed Tutorial Video

*Note: Our Citation Building Guide features more information, tips, and tactics on how to use those tools for your local citation building strategy.

  16 Responses to “Local Citation Building Tools”

Comments (16)
  1. These list of Citation Building tools is exactly what I need. I thought Whitespark so far has the best advantage because of wide sources, but maybe I should try GetMeListed.net and see how will it perform.

    • Mark, as I mentioned in the article, interestingly the citations that Whitespark, Bright Local, and Get Me Listed return differ slightly. Some of the most notable sites I’ve noticed Whitespark frequently omits are Insiderpages and Kudzu. I am unsure why, but Bright Local gets them almost 100% of the time, for instance.

    • Mark and Nyagoslav,
      I work for Sweet IQ (formerly Get Me Listed). Sweet IQ is the new version of Get Me Listed. It is an improved location-based marketing platform with three modules: Presence, Visibility and Engagement.

      We are currently migrating all the Get Me Listed users to sweet IQ, so I suggest you to go to Sweet IQ website instead of Get Me Listed:
      Sweet IQ website

      The features are explained on the home page video.

      Thank you for this post! I just wanted to redirect people to the right place.

  2. Great info as usual Nyagoslav. We’re currently using the Citation Tracker tool from BrightLocal which works quite nicely. We’ve also been looking at PlacesScout which generally uncovers quite a few more citation targets and also has quite an interesting ranking tool.

    Shame that GetListed is so limited here in the UK and that Yext is non-existent, both very powerful tools and would really like to put them to good use.

    • Nick, I agree that citation building is a bit more difficult for businesses outside the US, but at least almost all tools are available in the UK. I’ve had to do it for some German clients, and it is very, very tough.

  3. Thanks for including us Nyagoslav. That’s interesting that our tool misses insiderpages and Kudzu citations frequently. That’s the first I’ve heard of this. As our tool generally finds citations that are indexed in Google, perhaps Google doesn’t keep very much of those two sites in its index.

    We know that there are citations that get missed by the tool, and we’re working on some new features to improve this.

    • Hey Darren! Thanks for stopping by. I actually discovered something interesting. Google IS indexing these pages, but it does not display them when you search for the phone number, in whatever format you search for the phone number. At the same time, if you use the site search feature, they do display them. Example:

      - if you search for: 123-456-7890, Google won’t display results from the sites I mentioned almost never
      - if you search for: site:insiderpages.com 123-456-7890, Google will display results if there is a listing with this phone number

      • Interesting conversation, gents.

        I’ve noticed one factor that *may* have something to do with this: when you go to InsiderPages or Kudzu and search for a business by name in the search bar, you won’t see the phone number displayed in the listing that pops up. You actually have to click through to the listing in order to see the phone number of that business.

        This isn’t the case with sites that consistently pop up in Local Citation Finder scans (which is the vast majority): Yelp, YP, YellowBot, DexKnows, etc will always show you a business’s phone number after you type it into the search boxes, rather than only showing it to you after you click through to its listing.

        So there seems to be *maybe* some correlation between how deep you need to drill to see the phone number and whether or not LCF scans will pick up the citation source.

        As far as I can tell, the only site that might blow this theory is CitySearch. LCF consistently picks up CitySearch as a citation source, but you do have to drill down to a specific business’s listing in order to see its phone number.

  4. I found your site via Inbound.org and am really enjoying it. I think i’m going to scan through the entire site. No conversions, but…

    Thank you,
    Greg Smith

    • Gregory, thanks for the comment. I also checked your website and I was wondering how comes you seem to have exactly the same “badges” as me, specifically I am interested in the “Google Places Top Contributor” one, as well as the “Local Search Ranking Factors Contributor” one. I am pretty sure I haven’t seen you in both lists of contributors, probably something I missed?

  5. Optimizing website for local or hyper local region, the website should be presented on location specific local directory. Google Places is available most in top level countries. The Bing’s local business portal can be used only in USA, and the best part of Bing is that it extract review of your site from other local sites.

  6. Excellent resources, however another option would recommend is a simple site brand search and see what Top 50 search results show up as well.

    Have used this for my clients and found some good sources for enhanced listing citations.

  7. Thank you Nyagoslav! As usual your insights are invaluable.

  8. Hi Nyagoslav,

    Great information! I was reading Mike Blumenthal’s blog post on Yext that you link us to and In his blog post, dated March 1, 2012, states Yext cost $495. per year. In this article above, you have the Price for Yext as Free. I wish it were! Although, I don’t know if I would feel comfortable referring clients to Yext after reading Mike’s assessment.

    I feel that manually claiming or adding your business to the data aggregators such as Localeze and ExpressUpdateUSA, along with directory listings and organizations, is the best way to go. It may be time consuming, but ensures that all the information is correct and any content that can be added is added to the listing.

    Using tools like Getlisted.org and we like Bright Local’s Citation Tracker (they have a 30 day free trial), helps identify which directory listings you should claim or add your business to are very helpful. You also have a excellent list of the top 50 for USA on your website and Phil Rozek has some free citation resources.

    My point is, if you are a local business, you can do it yourself. If you are too busy, train someone within your business to do it or hire someone that is a pro and understands the process of claiming or adding your citations.

    Your website is a wealth of information and I would recommend your business to our clients if you are manually claiming or adding citations.

    Thanks!
    Susan

    • Thanks for your detailed comment, Susan!

      Yext’s core service – PowerListings, is indeed not free. In this article I refer just to the Local Search Scorecard tool, which is similar to GetListed.org’s dashboard. It is completely free (at least for now) and it could be helpful in the citation research process. I have also written a review on Yext, which offers a similar viewpoint to yours.

      Thanks again for the kind words!

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