Do You Need A Unique Description for Each Citation Built?

A question that has been long answered in my head, came to me today: would it count as duplicate content if my description is the same on all of the listings I’ve added? The answer is no.

I’ve thought about this long and hard, done my research and couldn’t find a lot of information regarding this question. After all, I don’t actually know anyone else that building manual local citations for their clients – besides myself.

Let me expand on why I said no it wouldn’t class as duplicate content and it doesn’t need to be unique.

Firstly, let me explain what duplicate content is. Duplicate content is when a piece of content is found on more than one website. Why is this bad? In some cases, Google will give a penalty to the site that hosts the duplicate content, which can impact your current rankings.

So here’s why I asked this question. I see on some business directories it asks if the business description you’re entering is unique and not displayed on any other websites – why? Because I guess they don’t want to be demoted in the SERPs.

Fair enough, but the question is, do you really need to provide a unique business description for each listing that you add?

I think not.

And here’s my theory, there will always be duplicate content on the web and the biggest is your NAPW (name, address, phone, website) across all of your listings. And Google encourages you to create consistency with this information, meaning they want it to be duplicated.


And, even if you did create a unique business description for each listing you create, it’s so likely that your description will become a duplicate anyway. This falls down the Local Search Ecosystem in the UK (and other countries). This means that large business directories such as GMB, Thomson Local, and Yell are huge primary data sources for all other business directories, leaving the chances likely for duplicate content from listing to another.

Unless this topic is spoken on from an employee at Google, it will remain unanswered.

Update (12/01/2018)

6 months later, I finally got some responses from the SEO community.

Let’s take a look.

Rand Fishkin, Moz

I think what Rand is saying here is that it’s a good thing to have the same description, as long as there’s only a paragraph about the business. This way Google won’t treat it as duplicate content. Obviously, as long as your NAP has its consistency.

Alan Bleiweiss, Alan Bleiweiss Consulting

Alan being well known for his in-depth SEO audits, provided a great answer. He states that it’s one of those things that cannot be helped. And I stated this earlier in the post, other directories are bound to crawl and resubmit data from one source onto another.

Then he adds in the second tweet that if you have a spammy description then it will be a weak point for your citations. So make sure your descriptions are good and provide quality information.

Chase Reiner, Chase Reiner SEO

Even Chase doesn’t think it will affect citations – so I’m not the only one.

I guess this finalises it, you do not need a unique description for every citation created. Thanks all for your input.

How to Set Up Thank You Page Tracking in Google Analytics (3 EASY STEPS)

Google Analytics has so many functionalities that not all SEOs are making the most of. One thing about GA that I love is the goal funnels, in which, you’re able to set up tracking for a specific URL, the duration on a page, how many pages the user visits within that session and event tracking (i.e. link clicks).

Today, I’m going to show you how to set up destination tracking for your thank you page. This will show you conversion data when your contact form is getting submissions.

1. Set up a thank you page

Firstly, you’ll need to setup a thank you page. If you’re using WordPress for your website, then create a new page and give it a title of your choice, preferably something that is noticeable from the other pages in the list.

Psst.. I only have two pages, so that last sentence doesn’t really apply to me.

On the page, add some joyful text for the user to see once they’ve submitted the form.

Here’s the text that I added:

Thanks for getting in touch!

Please note, due to the amount of recent submissions, please allow 48 hours before following up from your initial submission. I’m working my way around to your email, don’t you worry.

Or if you want this in HTML you can copy and paste this code into your dedicated page:

<p>Thanks for getting in touch!</p>
<p>Please note, due to the amount of recent submissions, please allow 48 hours before following up from your initial submission. I'm working my way around to your email, don't you worry.</p>

2. Make sure the page is set to noindex

This isn’t mandatory, but it’s worth it unless you want organic traffic messing up your campaign. In order to noindex your page, install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. From here, head over your new thank you page and scroll down to Yoast SEO box (generally below the TinyMCE).

Click on the cog icon and change the ‘Meta Robots Index’ to noindex.

Then hit publish.

For those of you who aren’t using WordPress, here’s how to noindex your thank you page in HTML:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex" />

That’s step 2 complete.

3. Sending your contact form to your thank you page

Next, you’ll need to send your contact form to your thank you page once the user has submitted the form successfully. I’m using Contact Form 7 so I’ll show you how to set up the redirect with that.

This is the really annoying part, you’ll need to add the snippet below into your header.php file before the end of the <head> tags.

    document.addEventListener( 'wpcf7mailsent', function( event ) {
        location = '';
    }, false );

To add this, go to your WordPress dashboard and hover over the ‘Appearance’ link, then select ‘Editor’.

Now go to the far-right side of the page and find the header.php file.


Finally, we can add our code. See the image below with the code added just before the closing <head> tag (</head>).

Old Way (Alternative Route)

Before, we were able to add the event listener within the ‘Additional Settings’ section when editing the chosen contact form. It looked something like this:

on_sent_ok: “location.replace('');

You can still use this code for now, but CF7 recently stated they will be deprecating and removing this syntax by the end of 2017.

And that’s it folks!

Give it a quick test and make sure everything is running and redirecting smoothly. Now you can start tracking your contact form conversions and view the data in Google Analytics. Great, eh?

Thanks for dropping by guys, and I hope this helped you out.

What Local Citation Service is Best? (Best Local Citation Service 2017)

What Local Service is The Best in 2017

A local citation is where your business is mentioned by other websites, which marry up to prove authenticity of your business – this includes your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information. Local citations are a key component of Google’s core ranking algorithm, which is why they are so important!

So, now you know what they are. But what websites are good to have local citations on? Because you don’t want to be marrying up information from spammy sites. Sites like Yell, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Trip Advisor and many, many more.

Alright, the last thing you need to know – where to get local citations. Below, I’ve listed out the best local citation services of 2017.

Moz local banner

Moz Local

Moz Local is an offer listing distributor in the UK. They submit via two aggregators:

  1. Central Index
  2. Thomson Local

Which gets your data on seven sites of local newspaper websites. In which these aggregators don’t have such extensive networks.


Essential – £9 pm / £108 pa

  • Active location data management:
    • GMB Sync
    • Apple Maps
  • Reputation Monitoring & Management
    • Google Reviews and Replies

Professional – £15 pm / £180 pa

  • Active location data management:
    • GMB Sync
    • Apple Maps
    • Listing Alerts
  • Reputation Monitoring & Management:
    • Google Reviews and Replies
  • Local SEO Analytics
  • Success Assurance Program

Premium – £21 pm / £252 pa

  • Active location data management:
    • GMB Sync
    • Apple Maps
    • Listing Alerts
  • Reputation Monitoring & Management:
    • Google Reviews and Replies
  • Comprehensive SEO Analytics
  • Success Assurance Program
  • API Integration


  • Submits to all big aggregators for relatively low charge
  • Manage multiple locations in one dashboard
  • Good audit tool that shows duplicate listings
  • Well supported by a knowledgeable team


  • Slow updates – listing changes take 2-3 months
  • Recurring annual fee – failure to pay means data may revert back
  • Doesn’t create accounts/claim listings on all local directories
  • No white label reporting option for agencies
  • Only submit to 9 sites directly (4 aggregators + 5 direct)

Subscribe today!

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White Spark Banner

White Spark

Whitespark is a well known software and citation services provider based in Canada. They run a full suite of software including the Local Citation Finder, Local Rank Tracker, Reputation Builder and offer some other free tools as well. They partner with a third-party business, OptiLocal, to deliver citations.


Generic Citations – $4 each (no recurring fee)

Local / Niche Citations – $5 each (no recurring fee)


  1. Review the supplied information
  2. Check for existing citations
  3. Create a local citations list
  4. Build citations
  5. Send user a report


  • Offer custom citation cleanup & research service
  • 1 time cost – no recurring fee
  • Submit to aggregators & direct to certain sites
  • Create accounts on directories which clients own/access
  • You select number of submissions & which sites used
  • Good knowledgeable team with a good understanding of the citation market


  • Outsource some citation work to 3rd party (OptiLocal)
  • More expensive than BrightLocal

Bright Local Banner

Bright Local

Bright Local is an semi-automatic citation building service, rather than manually having to build them yourselves, Bright Local will go out and create citations based on your permissions. 


Manual Submissions – $3 per site / $2 per site (bulk rate)

Data Aggregator Submissions – $5 to $55 pa


  • Lowest prices for both manual & aggregator submissions
  • Can claim & submit directly to GMB
  • Experienced, in-house team of 50 submission agents
  • Submit to all 4 data aggregators
  • Flexibility to submit to aggregators & direct-to-site
  • Create & Claim accounts on directories
  • Simple outline interface & reporting
  • If cancel service, you’ll still have ownerships of the listings forevermore


  • Cannot guarantee all submissions will go live
  • listings via aggregators can take 2-3 months go live

Fat Joe Banner

Fat Joe


25 Citations – £40 (no recurring fee)

  • 25 citation submissions
  • 4 supported countries (UK, USA, Australia & Canada)
  • White Label Report (Live Links & Screenshots)
  • Expected order to be completed in approximately 2 weeks after start

50 Citations – £70 (no recurring fee)

  • 50 citation submissions
  • 4 supported countries (UK, USA, Australia & Canada)
  • White Label Report (Live Links & Screenshots)
  • Expected order to be completed in approximately 2 weeks after start

100 Citations – £100 (no recurring fee)

  • 50 citation submissions
  • 4 supported countries (UK, USA, Australia & Canada)
  • White Label Report (Live Links & Screenshots)
  • Expected order to be completed in approximately 2 weeks after start


  • Does not use robots, 100% manual citation building
  • Full name, address and phone has consistency across all listings
  • Using only trusted directories that are indexed, trusted and rank in search
  • Every submission will been documented with a screenshot and can be available to download as a report
  • No duplicated listings


  • Have a maximum of 100 approved directories for the UK (even when repeating an order)

Yext Banner



Normal – $499 for one location per year

Bulk discounts – $250 for one location per year


  • Manage 80+ of your listings through one dashboard
  • Take control quickly and make updates when you need
  • Get great standout on directories through ‘power listing’ features
  • Good reporting & listing analytics
  • Submit to many powerful directories and map services


  • It’s expensive and the cost is recurring per year
  • When you stop using Yext the listing data reverts back to pre-text state
  • Only submits to 80 sites, many of which are low value
  • Can’t select which sites you submit too – fixed list
  • Reputation of being very sales focused with high churn rate
  • Doesn’t submit to data aggregators (only factual)

White Spark is the best local citation service for 2017

White Spark – The Best Local Citation Service of 2017

White Spark – this citation service is affordable and seems to have the best aspects that we are looking for over the others. It works out cheaper to pay for an individual site than spending a set amount each month or year. White Spark was the only service to outline that they will check current citations to prevent duplicates. 

Once a listing has been created it is available to be owned by the user so that once the citation has been built it isn’t owned by the service provider. A lot of other service providers mentioned above kept listings and with recurring fee services, once payment has been cancelled they would delete the data or keep the data unless you paid again.

With White Spark, before the citation is built you will get a report on the website before they will publish the listing – so that you have final approval on where you business will be listed.

SEO Road Map for Online Business Directory

Hey guys. Just thought I’d share how I structured a 3 month SEO contract with an online business directory website for £450 a month.

SEO Proposal

Month 1

  • We’ll start with a half hour – one hour consultation and discuss the goals of your SEO campaign, whether it be ranking for brand terms, ranking for specific keywords associated with your niche, or increase your revenue.
  • Site Audit – We send you a report of what’s wrong with your website and discuss with you what we’re planning on doing to implement the fixes.
  • Competitor Analysis – We will take a look at your top 3 competitors to see how they are performing in search, what they are doing with their on-page SEO. From here, we can then come up with a game plan on how we can outdo their on-page optimisation.
  • Keyword Analysis / Keyword Research – We’ll send you a detailed report of keywords and their search volume data:
    • Monthly Search Volume – This will tell us the amount of searches that, that keyword will get each month.
    • Competition – This will tell us on a score out of 10, the difficulty in ranking for those keywords.
    • CPC (Cost Per Click) – This will give you a price on the cost per click that people are paying to rank in the ad section of Google search results for that keyword.
    • Tracking – We’ll then track these keywords in a tool to check to your current ranking status. Giving us a notification as to when you move up or down in results.
  • On-Page Optimisation: Title tags, heading tags (document structure), meta tags, image optimisation, page load time reduction, schema markup (if it can be implemented into your website builder).
  • Webmaster Maintenance – Implementation of Webmaster tools, Analytics and sitemaps.
    • Remember we spoke about sitemaps on the call, we need to submit a sitemap to Google manually so they can start to index your website into their search results.
  • Local SEO – We setup or optimize on Google My Business.

Results after one month

  • Readability: Have your site better read by Google and it’s users by displaying your main keywords and brand in your title’s and descriptions.
  • Conversions: Be able to see when people are converting on your website through tracking.
  • Schema: Have Google better understand your site via local schema markup (if your website builder allows this).
  • Keywords: Know what keywords you should rank for and which ones give the most value to your business.
  • Local Indexing: We set up your local profiles so that they will be better read by Google and other search platforms.

Month 2 & 3

  • Content Game Plan – Look at get keyword orientated content for pages such as:
    • Homepage
    • Directory and it’s individual pages.
    • Days out
    • Events
    • Accomodation 
  • Link Building Campaign – We will reach out to other authoritative sites and ask for a backlink, this will pass what’s known as link juice to raise the authority of your site. Which will over time increase the ranking ability of your website for the keyword of that anchor text. (Depending on budget, this will determine the amount of links each month we target to obtain).
  • Advanced Keyword Research – As your site now has more authority within search and is ranking for various terms associated with your businesses niche, we will complete a more in-depth keyword analysis looking at other keyword opportunities and how we will obtain a position on the first page of Google.
  • User Experience Testing – Google looks at how users navigate around your site, so it’s best to have a great website usability. We will get members of the public to navigate around your website with a specific purpose or intention and ask them to make notes on how easy it was to do so. We can then create a report on what negatives were consistent throughout the tests and come up with the problems. From here we can implement the changes on fixing the usability problems. 
  • Information Architecture Audit – We will analyse your current navigational structure and how we can improve it with link siloing.
  • A/B Testing – We’ll try out split testing, showing one landing page to a set of users and another landing page to another. Possibly looking at doing A/B testing on the advertising page.

Expected results months 2 and 3

  • Brand Rankings: Expect to be ranking for you brand term in Google search results.
  • Local Rankings: Expect to see your website ranking in the Local 3 Pack.
  • Lower Bounce Rates: Expect to see people staying on your site longer after we do on page optimisation.
  • Higher Click Through Rates: Expect to see more people click on your site instead of your competitors.
  • Higher Conversions: Expect to see your conversion rate go up.
  • Multiple Keyword Rankings: Expect to rank for more keywords that offer value to your business.

Let me know how you would structure yours!

Dumb SEO Questions: Week #1

Hey guys. I recently joined a group on Facebook called ‘Dumb SEO Questions’ and thought it would be really cool if I answered the question and got really in depth with the answers. So, each week, I’ll release a post with new Dumb SEO Questions, here’s week one:

Question 1: Are PBNs worth it?

Dumb SEO Question: Are PBNs worth it?

Are PBNs worth it?

Really?! That sure is a dumb question! Okay…

A PBN is a Private Blogging Network that is used by webmasters to get authoritative links from, kind of like a linking chain between a set of domains.

In my opinion, this is a black hat technique in building links, BUT there’s no stopping you here, however, Barry Schwartz wrote a post on Search Engine Land back in 2014 about Google taking manual action against blogs and websites using PBNs – so, I’d say no.

Why do people use PBNs?

Webmasters who have just bought a domain and are looking to get instant authority on their site will look into using a PBN to boost their initial ranking ability.

Why people shouldn’t use PBNs?

Well, if Google is taking MANUAL ACTION to sites that are associated with PBNs, why would you want to get yourself penalised? Also, the investment that you initially put into your PBN will have gone to waste after the de-indexation of your site.

So, Adam my dear friend, PBNs aren’t worth it – not in 2017, not in 2018 and not ever.

Question 2: Should I put breadcrumbs on the homepage?

Dumb SEO Question: Should I put breadcrumbs on the homepage?

I wouldn’t say this a dumb SEO question. But it’s definitely one I would like to expand on. Coming from a design perspective, I’d say no… You wouldn’t need it on the homepage.


The whole point of breadcrumbs is to help the user navigate their way back to the homepage from their current page depth. Breadcrumbs should ALWAYS start with the homepage and end with the current page.

Chase, if you’re meaning breadcrumbs for how your snippet appears in the SERPs then you can just use Yoast’s breadcrumbs without even having to display them on your site (probably a good idea to display them though, seeing is it’s good for UX).

You can turn on Yoast’s breadcrumb feature by going to the Yoast plugin and selecting the ‘advanced’ tab:

Selecting advanced tab in Yoast SEO Plugin

Then you can turn on the breadcrumbs:

Yoast SEO plugin breadcrumbs options

And, if you did want to display the breadcrumbs in your websites theme, use this code:

    if ( function_exists('yoast_breadcrumb') ) {
        yoast_breadcrumb('<p class="yoast-breadcrumbs">','</p>');

Question 3: Why is my Linkedin photo displaying when I share my website URL on Facebook?

Dumb SEO Question: Why is my Linkedin photo displaying when I share my website URL on Facebook?

First things first, Facebook and any other social media will always look for og:image meta property first. The og:image is how social profiles pull in information into the snippet box like the image above.

After taking a look at the source code of the homepage of Long Island Webmaster, I found that his og:image meta tag was pointing to a Linkedin image URL – guessing Gregor’s profile picture.

I don’t know why it’s doing this! But I do know how to fix it!

If you’re any decent SEO (a joke), then you’ll have the Yoast SEO plugin installed. With this, if you hover over Yoast in the sidebar and click on ‘social’, you’ll get this:

Yoast SEO plugin Social tab

Then head over to the ‘Facebook’ tab:

Yoast SEO plugin facebook tab

Here, you’ll need to enable the OG Meta Data so you can import the image you would like to be displayed on Facebook when you share your homepage.

I hope you enjoyed. Post your Dumb SEO Questions in the comments below and I’ll be sure to answer them next week!