I'm struggling with what software or tool to use to show results


rhowe

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Sep 10, 2018
Messages
6
Curious to see what others are doing/using to track local rankings/results from directory cleanups? I use Yext for submission and cleanup and have used SEMrush in the past for keyword tracking, but it doesn't track things that happen outside the city and also doesn't paint a helpful picture for clients to see if the directory submissions/fixes made an impact. Yext does to an extent, but I'm looking for something that will say you went up "x" for this keyword in the map pack because of the changes we made. That's the biggest thing I care about showing, otherwise most of my engagements I feel like the clients are lost on what worked and I don't want that anymore! Also, I'm a startup, so I am trying to keep software costs low and only splurge on what will really help.
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
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Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,057
Hi @rhowe It can be challenging to show the results of citation building because it takes time for things to work there way through the eco-system and I am sure you have other things going on in the meantime that can also influence the rankings. Of course there is correlation but showing that "These 30 citations caused xyz to happen.." is not easy.

As long as you establish goals with the client and are tracking the right things you should be able to demonstrate progress overall. One of my favorite tools as of late is The Local Falcon rank tracker. Taking a before and after ranking report can tell a good story.

Call tracking is also critical. If you can show that phone calls are trending up and the client is growing their sales than everything else is just icing on the cake.

Hope that helps!
 

JoyHawkins

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Jul 18, 2012
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Just to clarify on what Colan mentioned, we definitely strongly encourage all our clients to use call tracking so we can measure success but we don't cover this cost ourselves. I have the business set up a call tracking account that we have access to. I think it's important to do it that way so that the client has full control over their phone numbers and also because it's impossible to predict the costs since I'm not familiar with their call volume.
 

rhowe

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Sep 10, 2018
Messages
6
Great, thanks for the tips! @JoyHawkins - do you have recommendation for call tracking for SMB's? I have heard of DialogTech.
 

rhowe

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Sep 10, 2018
Messages
6
Hi @rhowe It can be challenging to show the results of citation building because it takes time for things to work there way through the eco-system and I am sure you have other things going on in the meantime that can also influence the rankings. Of course there is correlation but showing that "These 30 citations caused xyz to happen.." is not easy.

As long as you establish goals with the client and are tracking the right things you should be able to demonstrate progress overall. One of my favorite tools as of late is The Local Falcon rank tracker. Taking a before and after ranking report can tell a good story.

Call tracking is also critical. If you can show that phone calls are trending up and the client is growing their sales than everything else is just icing on the cake.

Hope that helps!
Thank you for the tips! I have considered incorporating Local Falcon for all my engagements moving forward...it seems like it would be really useful.
 

adammaxum

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Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
57
rank reporting for local businesses = brightlocal.com

call tracking = callrail.com

your bigger issue is that you believe cleaning up and creating citations should have an impact on rankings, but if you're relying just on creating citations via yext to improve rankings you have to re-think your SEO approach...especially if you're in a bigger city or competitive niche.
 

rhowe

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Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
6
rank reporting for local businesses = brightlocal.com

call tracking = callrail.com

your bigger issue is that you believe cleaning up and creating citations should have an impact on rankings, but if you're relying just on creating citations via yext to improve rankings you have to re-think your SEO approach...especially if you're in a bigger city or competitive niche.
I will check out those tools, thanks!

Re: SEO strategy. I know that citation cleanup won't be enough..I just want some way to show that it isn't for naught..because this is where I typically start because its table stakes.
 

adammaxum

Forum Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
57
@rhowe - it's difficult to pinpoint exact increases on just citation campaigns. My advice would be to convey the work (time spent and the data/logins)...rather than specific results related to traffic or keyword increases unless this is part of a bigger SEO campaign. You can create a thousand citations but if you're not doing on-site SEO or other activities, you may not see substantial proof that creating or cleaning up their citations had any impact.

Another outlet would be to take the data within some websites and use that as further proof. For example, you can take their google business listing stats and present that. You can take their Yelp stats and present that. I believe Yext has data you can present as well.

You can also take the channel data from referral in google analytics and present that, although you likely won't see many visits from 3rd party sites unless you're running paid ads (ie: yelp ads).
 

JoyHawkins

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Interesting. Citation campaigns are only really things we do if the business has a new location, bad data is showing on Google, or they moved recently.
 

rhowe

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Sep 10, 2018
Messages
6
Oh yeah, for the few local businesses I've worked with, all needed citation work (duplicate listings, moved).
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,562
I think @rhowe is using this as an introduction to the business and then wants to upsell them. That's why she needs help reporting.

Honestly, that's a tough battle with business listings. As Colan mention in the earlier thread, correlation vs causation is an issue. Also, sometimes citations won't help if the business has larger issues.

I think you have to do 3 things here to make this successful:

a) Pitch them 2 different values of business listing cleanup. 1) That bad information could be costing them clients. There is a good BrightLocal study where they talk about this that you could cite. 2) Bad information or lack of information could be hindering their Google ranking. I estimate business listings are about 25% of ranking well. I'd pitch both scenarios so even if their Google ranking doesn't increase, it's not for nothing. You still got their information cleaned up.

b) educate them - let them know that they may or may not see a ranking increase. Cite studies and Local SEO experts that talk about how important business listings are (that's your confirmation) but then also let them know that it's possible their rankings won't increase if they have other issues (bad website SEO, no baclinks, just starting out, etc.) Tell them if you don't see ranking increases within 2-3 months, there are other issues in play that need be sorted out and they will need your help to do so.

c) track - I would do the call tracking and also use brightlocal for reporting since it's the easiest to use. Internally I would use something else that allows you to dive much deeper than BL does, like Places Scout, but externally that should work fine.

Good luck!
 

C!Note

Forum Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
4
Just had a demo of Places Scout which looks pretty cool. Seems to do alot.
Is Places Scout all i need? Or would i need anything else?
Just to echo the OPs original question ....
 

rhowe

Forum Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
6
I think @rhowe is using this as an introduction to the business and then wants to upsell them. That's why she needs help reporting.

Honestly, that's a tough battle with business listings. As Colan mention in the earlier thread, correlation vs causation is an issue. Also, sometimes citations won't help if the business has larger issues.

I think you have to do 3 things here to make this successful:

a) Pitch them 2 different values of business listing cleanup. 1) That bad information could be costing them clients. There is a good BrightLocal study where they talk about this that you could cite. 2) Bad information or lack of information could be hindering their Google ranking. I estimate business listings are about 25% of ranking well. I'd pitch both scenarios so even if their Google ranking doesn't increase, it's not for nothing. You still got their information cleaned up.

b) educate them - let them know that they may or may not see a ranking increase. Cite studies and Local SEO experts that talk about how important business listings are (that's your confirmation) but then also let them know that it's possible their rankings won't increase if they have other issues (bad website SEO, no baclinks, just starting out, etc.) Tell them if you don't see ranking increases within 2-3 months, there are other issues in play that need be sorted out and they will need your help to do so.

c) track - I would do the call tracking and also use brightlocal for reporting since it's the easiest to use. Internally I would use something else that allows you to dive much deeper than BL does, like Places Scout, but externally that should work fine.

Good luck!

Thanks - it's less about upselling and more about actually helping the business get results and buyin to do more than just citation work.

Thank you though for your tips above and the software recommendations. I definitely think there is room for me to improve on setting better expectations and using better tools. I believe these two reasons are what are stopping me from getting better results with the client and buy-in.

Really appreciate it.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,562
Just had a demo of Places Scout which looks pretty cool. Seems to do alot.
Is Places Scout all i need? Or would i need anything else?
Just to echo the OPs original question ....
Places Scout will not be the only software you need. But it is essential to get the job done right now.

You'll need to add stuff like ahrefs/majestic and others later on.
 

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