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  1. #1
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    Question Best Service for Citation Building

    I know that Yext is now advertising all over LSF, but I'm hoping to get some unbiased opinions...

    Which citation building services is best for Local SEO?

    I used to use Brightlocal... recently started using LocalSiteSubmit (b/c I could submit to data aggs)... and now I'm wondering if I should give Yext a try.

    In the past, I've told clients that there's no reason to pay an annual fee for listing mgmt. I believed that once the listing was created/verified, you should be good as long as your NAP stays the same.

    What has worked best for you?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Best Service for Citation Building

    Hi Ben, I moved your post from Local SEO Tools to the dedicated Citations forum.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  4. #3
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    Re: Best Service for Citation Building

    Sorry about that. Thank you.

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    Re: Best Service for Citation Building

    Hi Ben,

    I can't give you an unbiased response, but I would certainly say that if you're already submitted to the data aggregators, I don't see any additional benefit you'd get from Yext. Unless, your clients see value from being able to send out promotional messages to the sites. Like, a pizza chain that wants to promote a weekly special.
    Darren Shaw | Whitespark Founder
    http://www.whitespark.ca | @DarrenShaw_ | Google+

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    Re: Best Service for Citation Building

    Ben,

    What Darren said. It’s also not a choice between using Yext OR going the scenic route: You will have to do manual work to one degree or another, no matter what.

    Besides the point Darren mentioned, the reasons to consider Yext are:

    1. It’s a way to fix or create *some* important listings quickly.

    2. Some of the links from some of the listings may be of minor benefit.

    3. The above can make some clients feel warm and fuzzy.

    I can’t say I’m unbiased, either, but if you want help with the heavy lifting I’d suggest Whitespark.

  7. #6
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    Re: Best Service for Citation Building

    Allow me to hop in and continue the admittedly biased reviews.

    Ben, it's a great question and I think, despite having competing businesses or points of view, both Darren and Phil are providing genuine responses.

    I currently am responsible for the Partnerships group at Yext that has roughly 4,000 firms just like yours utilizing our platform. To echo some of the sentiments from Darren and Phil, and I'm sure many others here, the reality is that every single one of those partners use our service differently, and to Phil's excellent point, it's never the only thing they do.

    Each agency is different and where they choose to spend their expertise and time is different. For control of data, speed, depth, and the ability to lock data from changing back to errors from the past - Yext is excellent. There are lots of other solutions the platform provides, but for your questions on citations, this is high-level and usually agreed to in the industry (or at the least, agreed to by over 500,000 active business locations using the platform today.)

    That said, there are many ways to build an online presence and they each have merit. I would say that the vast majority of agencies and partners that utilize Yext do so as part of a balanced approach to their clients' needs. Since Yext covers about 60 online directories, that may or may not be ideal for every customer. I know that both Darren and Phil's solutions and backgrounds really focus on many niche, vertical, and industry sources of citations which are incredibly valuable too. That's why most partners use Yext for a significant portion of the work and then take all that time that they saved to add more specific value added services to the customer. This could be in the form of vertical citations, but it could just as easily be by providing SEM, SEO, or other solutions in a holistic approach.

    Hopefully that makes sense, and again, great respect for Phil and Darren and their answers should echo my own in that this comes down to a lot of different questions about your business model, the needs of your customers, and the ultimate value proposition to the market you are conveying.

    On your statement:
    "In the past, I've told clients that there's no reason to pay an annual fee for listing mgmt. I believed that once the listing was created/verified, you should be good as long as your NAP stays the same. "

    This is a well documented and discussed topic here and is not correct. Phil, Darren, myself, and countless others here on the Forum have been documenting and discussing how frustrating it is to keep the NAP and other data correct over time. Having run the data operations for one of the largest data aggregators in the industry, I can tell you unequivocally that no data is permanently in place and you should absolutely continue to check your customers data as it will change. This isn't to say that there won't be cases that a business that has never moved, changed names, or even relocated in 15 years isn't in good shape, but from a data perspective, there are just too many things that can and will go wrong.

    Linda has a ton of great threads and forums on "data changes again AAARRRGGHH!" sort of posts from the whole community and I highly recommend you take a look at those.

    Lastly, if you want to take a look at Yext, please feel free to email me at Christian@yext.com and I'd be happy to discuss or arrange.

    Thanks!


    Christian Ward
    EVP, Partnerships @Yext
    @wardchristianj
    Last edited by wardchristianj; 12-04-2015 at 09:26 AM.

  8. #7
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    Re: Best Service for Citation Building

    Ben I'll give you a 100% unbiased opinion... it depends what you need in a citation building service.

    Annoying answer, but it's the truth. Basically all these services are unique in their own ways, so they can serve a very specific purpose to helping you and your clients. I like solutions like Darren's product for some things, and I like Yext for others. I'll give a few examples, then maybe you can explain your need a little more...

    Scenario 1:
    You run a small operation and don't have time for citation building or don't have the staff (but know it's important to do). You want to make sure you manually claim each location, since that's what you promised your client you would do. At the end of the day you need to show them a report of what sites were claimed, and provide the login to each. I would use Whitespark or BrightLocal to take care of that since that's what they do.

    Scenario 2:
    You've already claimed all the major listings and the aggregates (or the client has), so now you need to hit some niche/local directories to gain an advantage. This case I would go with Whitespark again because Yext won't have partnerships with super niche/local sites, so you'll need someone to do manual work here.

    Scenario 3:
    Your client has done nothing yet. They're new to the game and need a leg up. You need to work on the aggregates, the major local sites, and niche. In this case I would do a cost analysis and do a combo between Yext and Whitespark. Use Yext to immediately gain control over the major sites, use Whitespark to manually update niche sites, and use them as a package.

    Scenario 4:
    You don't have the budget for Yext or buying Whitespark's citation service, but know you need to do the work. Use Scrapebox to look for similar query strings that Whitespark's citation finder would look for, and pull all the data into excel. Then use DA/PA to sort (you'd need Moz's OSE) and filter to know where to start. Use Darren's post on the top citation sites by country and create another tab in your workbook. Separate out the root domains from the full URL, do a VLOOKUP and cross reference your lists. Next do the analysis to find where you're missing and where you're set.

    If scenario 4 sounds like a lot of work then use Whitespark's citation finder and pay $20/mo or whatever it is to speed up that process for you. You can also use the Yext Local Business scan tool to find what major sites are claimed/missing

    Basically there isn't an easy answer to this. It all depends on needs, resources, and goals. I could find a dozen different combinations and solutions using all kinds of tools, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter what you use as long as you deliver what you promised.

    So what did you promise your client you'd do?
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  9. #8
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    Re: Best Service for Citation Building

    I'm not unbiased either but here's my opinion:

    Yext is an awesome service, it does a lot of cool things, but for what it does, it's too expensive. $500 every year just to keep 50 local search directories locked down I think is too much. Especially when you can submit to all of those 50 yourself, for free, except 5-6. You can submit to all the others directly or indirectly with InfoUSA and Google being the biggest partners.

    I say 50 local search directories because they submit to 62 total platforms with around 12 of them being map apps which won't help your ranking on Google, at least yet. And even when Google can crawl apps, I'm not sure how much your NAP being on a map app will help.

    Yext would be beneficial though if you have really, really major data issues. Just look up your business on yellowbot.com or expressdupate.com and see how bad your situation is. If it's not bad at all, then do it yourself. If it is bad, you can consider using Yext. But you're still going to have to clean up all the bad data on sites they don't submit to.

    The bottom line is Yext is a really cool platform and service but there are some cons, namely cost, not owning your own listings, and them being terminated if you stop paying them which means you're effectively locked into a contract.

    By doing it yourself or using another service to do it for you, you're incurring a one time cost, you're keeping your listings, and they are permanent.

    Good luck!
    Tutelary Marketing, Owner
    Local Listing Ninja - Business Listing Service
    Local Listing Ninja Reviews - Check Out Our 100+ 5 Star Reviews!

  10. #9
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    Re: Best Service for Citation Building

    Thanks everyone for the time and effort put into responding. It sounds like I should give Whitespark a try sometime.

    We have a majority of small businesses and most don't have large marketing budgets so I've always leaned towards the method of one-time claiming AND/OR fixing, and then manually monitoring in the future.

    As most of you have probably experienced, these kind of clients typically don't know what a citation is and they don't care to see a report. They just want to "be on the maps" or to make the phone phone ring.

    What is your recommendation for a brand new small business (examples: roofer, mover, auto repair, etc) that has done nothing yet?
    Eric mentioned using Yext and Whitespark. You recommend the Yext service with the annual fee? I agree that $500/year is quite a bit for what they provide (I understand they have an agency program, too). Therefore, I'm not quite sold on Yext.

    What I've done in recent past:
    • Created/claimed/verified Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, and other big directories manually.
    • Used LocalSiteSubmit to submit to top 50 directories and Acxiom, Localeze, Infogroup

    For businesses with listing inconsistencies, what do you recommend?
    This is an area that has caused headache from time to time, and I don't mind spending a little money to fix old/incorrect listings. Someone recently mentioned to me that Yext is a good option for this because it's great at suppressing old data. Any experience with that?

    I also assume that Whitespark can do a pretty in depth citation audit and cleanup.

    Thanks again!

  11. #10
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    Re: Best Service for Citation Building

    Quote Originally Posted by BWrightTLM View Post
    Thanks everyone for the time and effort put into responding. It sounds like I should give Whitespark a try sometime.

    We have a majority of small businesses and most don't have large marketing budgets so I've always leaned towards the method of one-time claiming AND/OR fixing, and then manually monitoring in the future.

    As most of you have probably experienced, these kind of clients typically don't know what a citation is and they don't care to see a report. They just want to "be on the maps" or to make the phone phone ring.

    What is your recommendation for a brand new small business (examples: roofer, mover, auto repair, etc) that has done nothing yet?
    Eric mentioned using Yext and Whitespark. You recommend the Yext service with the annual fee? I agree that $500/year is quite a bit for what they provide (I understand they have an agency program, too). Therefore, I'm not quite sold on Yext.

    What I've done in recent past:
    • Created/claimed/verified Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, and other big directories manually.
    • Used LocalSiteSubmit to submit to top 50 directories and Acxiom, Localeze, Infogroup

    For businesses with listing inconsistencies, what do you recommend?
    This is an area that has caused headache from time to time, and I don't mind spending a little money to fix old/incorrect listings. Someone recently mentioned to me that Yext is a good option for this because it's great at suppressing old data. Any experience with that?

    I also assume that Whitespark can do a pretty in depth citation audit and cleanup.

    Thanks again!
    For businesses just starting out and everything is clean, what you did is good honestly. Or, if you want to outsource it, you could do it through Whitespark or BrightLocal. I also have a similar service if you would like to know more, PM me. I'm not exactly clear on Linda's rules for self promotion (note: Linda, if saying I have a service like that is a violation, just remove this post, thanks!)

    For businesses with rough data, before using something like Yext I would consider looking at where your bad data is located and see if Yext even submits to those local search directories. If they don't, then there's no sense in it. If your bad data is just mainly on those sites that they submit to coincidentally somehow, then it may be worth it. Otherwise, I would just do a manual clean up. If even 30% of your bad data is on sites Yext doesn't submit to, I would just do a manual clean + nailing down the bad data aggregators with something like Moz Local. Or pay WhiteSpark to do it if they still do citation clean ups. Maybe BL does that as well.

    As a parting thought, look into SweetIQ. I don't know too much about them but they claimed in some promotional material they sent me that they submit to close to 150 different sites (and even the ones Yext submits to I believe) on an annual fee and do not terminate your listings. They seem to be a more economical version of Yext, if what they say is true. And, again, I can't verify that any of it is true, that's just what they claim. I'll try to send a rep over here to answer some questions.
    Tutelary Marketing, Owner
    Local Listing Ninja - Business Listing Service
    Local Listing Ninja Reviews - Check Out Our 100+ 5 Star Reviews!

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