Automating Citations for Multi-Location Business

brettmandoes

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
67
Hey guys, interesting problem/solution here.

I started a new position with a large, regional healthcare organization. One of my prime directives is to ensure the listings are accurate. We're in the process of automating all of our GMB listings info for all rooftops (clinics, hospitals, etc.) and providers (doctors, caregivers, surgeons, etc.). There's a database that we feed listing info to GMB via XML through a provider, though I'm wondering if maybe we should just do a direct connection via API when we upgrade our database this year and skip the middleman.

The question is, could we do the same thing with citations and automate our citations? I've never had the chance to do this before (previous clients we did this manually) but I'm interested in automating the entire process. Would we need to setup direct relationships with the main data aggregators or would we go through an intermediary like Bright Local, Yext, etc.? Has anyone done this previously?

Thanks!
 
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Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
385
Hi Brett,

You can definitely create your own direct relationships with the aggregators and many of the sites. It's a lot of administrative, legal, and development time to get it all working. If you have the time and resources, you could go that route. Alternatively, we'd love to work with you to help you get this organized. We're different from other companies in that we don't want to be the middle man. We want to get everything organized and cleaned up for you through direct relationships that you own, eventually you would not need us anymore. We work with other healthcare companies in this capacity. Email me at darren@whitespark.ca if you'd like to discuss.
 

BipperMedia

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
142
Hi Brett! Here lately we've been second guessing the logic and impactfulness of automating citations, whether its for 1 location or many.

I'm learning - based on our own internal research and impact on local productivity metrics across clients (i.e. GMB Insight growth), that citations are not getting indexed when you take an automated approach... and in some cases this is happening at a pretty large scale.

So if you distribute a citation but it does not end up getting indexed by Google, it's the equivalent of no citation at all.

Instead, we are implementing a process that results in a higher % of citations being indexed and we believe we are seeing definitive growth in productivity metrics (as a result of increased presence in search) from these efforts.

I would be interested in sharing some of these insights and strategies with you if you'd like.

You can reach me at: bobby@bippermedia.com / or call directly 706-363-0335
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,830
Hey guys, interesting problem/solution here.

I started a new position with a large, regional healthcare organization. One of my prime directives is to ensure the listings are accurate. We're in the process of automating all of our GMB listings info for all rooftops (clinics, hospitals, etc.) and providers (doctors, caregivers, surgeons, etc.). There's a database that we feed listing info to GMB via XML through a provider, though I'm wondering if maybe we should just do a direct connection via API when we upgrade our database this year and skip the middleman.

The question is, could we do the same thing with citations and automate our citations? I've never had the chance to do this before (previous clients we did this manually) but I'm interested in automating the entire process. Would we need to setup direct relationships with the main data aggregators or would we go through an intermediary like Bright Local, Yext, etc.? Has anyone done this previously?

Thanks!
What you're really talking about I think is pretty much building out a Yext type service. I would probably take all those man hours, save that money, and leverage other services instead. Depending on how many locations you have would depend on the route you take. How many locations do you guys have plus how many doctors?

Hi Brett! Here lately we've been second guessing the logic and impactfulness of automating citations, whether its for 1 location or many.

I'm learning - based on our own internal research and impact on local productivity metrics across clients (i.e. GMB Insight growth), that citations are not getting indexed when you take an automated approach... and in some cases this is happening at a pretty large scale.

So if you distribute a citation but it does not end up getting indexed by Google, it's the equivalent of no citation at all.

Instead, we are implementing a process that results in a higher % of citations being indexed and we believe we are seeing definitive growth in productivity metrics (as a result of increased presence in search) from these efforts.

I would be interested in sharing some of these insights and strategies with you if you'd like.

You can reach me at: bobby@bippermedia.com / or call directly 706-363-0335
Just a heads up, whether the process is automated or manual, it won't make a difference in index rate. Google can't tell the difference between an automated citation and a manual citation.

We've been indexing our client's listings forever with our business listing service and it seems like no one else is doing it. Which is crazy to me. What's the point of building a citation if you don't get it indexed? It's wasted. Which is the sentiment you expressed and I definitely agree. Keep it up.
 

brettmandoes

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
67
What you're really talking about I think is pretty much building out a Yext type service. I would probably take all those man hours, save that money, and leverage other services instead. Depending on how many locations you have would depend on the route you take. How many locations do you guys have plus how many doctors?
Thanks Josh, this is a great question. Without getting into specifics, we have roughly 350 locations and approximately 2,000 providers. I'm not interested in building a network as expansive as Yext. The main data aggregators, potentially social media profiles and niche sites are my targets. I'm open to keeping a middleman in the mix if they provide value beyond "we're automating" because that's something we can do internally without the additional ongoing fees.

And coming from the agency side where I did this for a number of years (and I evaluated roughly 10-15 citation services in that time) precious few offered much in the way of ongoing value.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
82
@brettmandoes from our experience I agree with a lot of the comments above. Building a direct relationship with aggregators & sites works if you have scale and regular usage as their best rates are linked to volume and annual commitments. So working with a middleman who can leverage their bulk pricing and integration is usually cheaper and easier in the long run.

I also appreciate the concern/frustration with ongoing fees that don't deliver ongoing value.

I'd be happy to jump on a call to discuss your needs and see if we can tailor a solution that meets your needs and budget - ping me at myles@brightlocal.com


@JoshuaMackens we've built a custom solution that auto-indexes all citations we build/clean-up. We're about to release a free public version of this tool to help customers who handle their citations get their indexed faster. If you're interested in sharing ideas on how you & we do this we might both find it helpful - let me know (email is above)
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,830
Thanks Josh, this is a great question. Without getting into specifics, we have roughly 350 locations and approximately 2,000 providers. I'm not interested in building a network as expansive as Yext. The main data aggregators, potentially social media profiles and niche sites are my targets. I'm open to keeping a middleman in the mix if they provide value beyond "we're automating" because that's something we can do internally without the additional ongoing fees.

And coming from the agency side where I did this for a number of years (and I evaluated roughly 10-15 citation services in that time) precious few offered much in the way of ongoing value.
Niche sites as in healthgrades, vitals, etc.?
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,830
@brettmandoes from our experience I agree with a lot of the comments above. Building a direct relationship with aggregators & sites works if you have scale and regular usage as their best rates are linked to volume and annual commitments. So working with a middleman who can leverage their bulk pricing and integration is usually cheaper and easier in the long run.

I also appreciate the concern/frustration with ongoing fees that don't deliver ongoing value.

I'd be happy to jump on a call to discuss your needs and see if we can tailor a solution that meets your needs and budget - ping me at myles@brightlocal.com


@JoshuaMackens we've built a custom solution that auto-indexes all citations we build/clean-up. We're about to release a free public version of this tool to help customers who handle their citations get their indexed faster. If you're interested in sharing ideas on how you & we do this we might both find it helpful - let me know (email is above)
Excited about the public tool! I don't mind sharing what we do, we just use the URL inspection tool in GSC on an internal site.

When will the public tool be live?
 

brettmandoes

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
67
Niche sites as in healthgrades, vitals, etc.?
Among others, yes. Doctors.com actually already does what I'm talking about doing, but again, that's adding a middleman.

@brettmandoes from our experience I agree with a lot of the comments above. Building a direct relationship with aggregators & sites works if you have scale and regular usage as their best rates are linked to volume and annual commitments. So working with a middleman who can leverage their bulk pricing and integration is usually cheaper and easier in the long run.
I appreciate the feedback and insight. When you say "cheaper and easier in the long run" are you referring to hard costs or are you factoring in soft costs like employee time/hours?
 

Susan

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2014
Messages
57
Hi Brett,

You can definitely create your own direct relationships with the aggregators and many of the sites. It's a lot of administrative, legal, and development time to get it all working. If you have the time and resources, you could go that route. Alternatively, we'd love to work with you to help you get this organized. We're different from other companies in that we don't want to be the middle man. We want to get everything organized and cleaned up for you through direct relationships that you own, eventually you would not need us anymore. We work with other healthcare companies in this capacity. Email me at darren@whitespark.ca if you'd like to discuss.
Ditto what Darren said. I can also vouch for Whitespark's work. Definitely recommend that route. Feel free to message me if you have any specific questions about my experience with their team! Susan@cgpl.com Good Luck Brett.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
82
I appreciate the feedback and insight. When you say "cheaper and easier in the long run" are you referring to hard costs or are you factoring in soft costs like employee time/hours?
Both because you benefit from bulk pricing achieved by services that work at scale, and because you don't need to invest the man hours to build the relationships and integrations.
 

keyserholiday

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
164
The question is what are your requirements and needs. If you have locations that don’t require the need to update hours every few months, then Whitespark will do the trick. If you need to make changes to hours and telephone numbers then, I recommend Yext. I am managing 1200+ locations and Yext works for the price. I moved my clients away from Mozlocal as it wasn’t updating for us. Their is more to Yext than citations, like review monitoring and analytics. I use Yext’s analytics for my client’s monthly performance reviews. I recommend scheduling calls or demos with each platform.
 

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