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.

Pricing:

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

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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)

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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.

Pricing: 

Generic Citations – $4 each (no recurring fee)

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

Process:

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

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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. 

Pricing: 

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

Data Aggregator Submissions – $5 to $55 pa

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

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

Fat Joe Banner

Fat Joe

Pricing:

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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

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

Yext Banner

Yext

Pricing:

Normal – $499 for one location per year

Bulk discounts – $250 for one location per year

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

But…

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:

<?php
    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!

Creating a shortcode for a button in WordPress

When I first started out in WordPress, I was using the WYSIWYG editor to create my buttons and trust me, looking back now, “Jesus, it was long winded”.

Only if I knew back then, how to create my own shortcodes for my buttons it would have been great and definitely more time consuming.

Today I’m going to share with you how I do this. So, we’ll turn this:

<button class="red">
    <a href="#">Shop now</a>
</button>

Into a working button that doesn’t require any HTML at all, we can use it with the shortcode function in WordPress.

In your functions.php file, you’ll want to add a new function:

<?php 

function button($atts, $content = null) {
    extract( shortcode_atts( array(
        'url' => 'placeholder goes here, preferably a #'
    ), $atts ) );
    return '<button><a href="' . $url . '">' . do_shortcode($content) .'</a></button>';
}

add_shortcode('button', 'button');

?>

Here you’ve created a function that creates the shortcode, here’s how it works:

  • Create the function called button
  • Extract the shortcode variables to import variables into the following array
  • Created our array variable url so that we can insert our own URL later
  • Defined the array as our atts (attribute) variable
  • Return / call out our button
  • Turn the function into a shortcode

Now we’ve created the function, we need to display the shortcode on our WordPress website. For the sake of this tutorial, let’s create a post and enter the following:

[button url="/shop/"]Button Text[/button]

This will then display something a little like the following:

[button url=”” class=””

But we want the button to have a class right? Sure, let’s make a few adjustments to our functions.php snippet:

<?php

function button($atts, $content = null) {
    extract( shortcode_atts( array(
        'url' => '#',
        'class' => 'class-name'
    ), $atts ) );
    return '<button class="' . $class . '"><a href="' . $url . '">' . do_shortcode($content) .'</a></button>';
}

add_shortcode('button', 'button');

?>

So now we’ve added an attribute to our array that allows us to set the class in the button.

In order to add a class to the button, you’ll have to add define this in the shortcode:

[button url="/shop/" class="class-name"]Button Text[/button]

The button currently looks super basic, so lets add some CSS to the button:

button.class-name{
    background-color:#4DD0E1;
    border:0;
    outline:0;
    color:#E0F7FA;
    -webkit-box-shadow:5px 5px 5px -2px rgba(173,173,173,1);
    -moz-box-shadow:5px 5px 5px -2px rgba(173,173,173,1);
    box-shadow:5px 5px 5px -2px rgba(173,173,173,1);
    transition:0.5s all ease;
    -webkit-transition:0.5s all ease;
    -moz-transition:0.5s all ease;
}
button.class-name a{
    display:block;
    padding:10px 15px;
    color:inherit;
    text-decoration:none;
}
button.class-name:hover{
    background-color:#80DEEA;
}

This is a great way to display a custom button over and over in WordPress, I hope this helped you as much as it helped me.

Displaying the current filename within HTML title tags using PHP

Primarily when I’m on a page, I refer to the page title in the tab display in my browser to remind me of which page I’m on – don’t ask me why! Obviously, I will look at the page content as well.

Recently, I’ve been brainstorming some web app ideas and I was thinking about how I see the page, one thought lead to another… You know how it goes. So it got me thinking, I wouldn’t like to have a column in my SQL table where I have to put in the title for my <title> tag.

What if there was something quicker than going through database connections and all that fun stuff?

Well, I came up with something like this:

  • Create a function 
  • Create an if statement to
    • Display specific title on the index page
    • Display another title on all other pages
  • Call our function within the <title> tags

I did this by getting the name of the file:

<?php echo basename(__FILE__, '.php'); ?>

Essentially, what the above snippet does is, it gets the trailing path of the current file and removes the .php file extension. But, by all means, if you wanted to keep the file extension then you’d have to leave out adding the .php remover:

<?php echo basename(__FILE__); ?>

Now we’ve covered how the logic of the code works, let’s jump into some in depth code.

<?php

function theTitle(){ // Create the function
    if( basename(__FILE__) == "index.php" ) { // Create the if statement
        echo "Dashboard | App Name"; // Display title if page is index.php
    } else { // Or else
        echo (ucfirst(basename(__FILE__, '.php'))) . "&nbsp;| App Name"; // Display other page title
    } // Close if statement
} // Close function

?>

See my code comments, then read the bullets:

  • Creating the function and calling it theTitle
  • Creating the if statement, if on index.php then…
  • Display a UNIQUE page title because it’s the root page
  • Else – if it’s not the index.php / root page, then…
  • Display the current filename, with a capital at the beginning and remove the file extension
  • Close if statement
  • Close function
<?php ucfirst(); ?>

The above code displays a strings first character as a capital letter.

Now the function is in place, I called the function in my <title> tags, in the <head>:

<title><?php theTitle(); ?></title>

What I just did there is call theTitle which is the function I created earlier.

That’s pretty much it, here’s my full code:

<?php

function theTitle(){ // Create the function
    if( basename(__FILE__) == "index.php" ) { // Create the if statement
        echo "Dashboard | App Name"; // Display title if page is index.php
    } else { // Or else
        echo (ucfirst(basename(__FILE__, '.php'))) . "&nbsp;| App Name"; // Display other page title
    } // Close if statement
} // Close function

?>

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title><?php theTitle(); ?></title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <p>Body content.</p>
    </body>
</html>

NOTE: I have 2 pages in my demo that I used to create this tutorial, index.php and other.php – they both use the same code, so I’m not going to include 2 snippets below for the two pages.

I hope this can help you guys, it’s a really cool way without having to use databases and all that confusing stuff.