Local citations and online reputation management tools are not widely known or emphasized in the web design community, but they are essential to utilize!
They allow you to:
- Manage your online reputation
- Read your reviews in one place
- Correct your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
- Manage your business locations
There are many local citation tools on the internet, including Moz Local, BrightLocal, Yext, and Whitespark. At TKD Design, we recognize the importance of managing the reputations and citations of our clients. Therefore, out of all the tools available, TKD Design recommends BrightLocal for several reasons.
BrightLocal is a very valuable citation and business listing tool. It is a trusted and reliable local marketing platform that puts the user in control of business listings, SEO, and online reputation. It will work great for any small or medium-sized business or a large corporation looking to promote their site or business or manage their online status. It is used by thousands of business owners, from us here at TKD Design and our medium-sized clients to the vast Hilton Hotel chain. Now THAT is impressive! So what is BrightLocal all about?
BrightLocal advertises itself as a local citation service. One may wonder, what is a citation, exactly? Citations, or local business listings, are an integral part of local search engine optimization.
A citation is simply a mention of your business or website on a third-party website – typically an event site, local business directory, or review site (like Yelp). These citations will likely contain your business name, phone number, and address (your NAP), but the listing can also provide many more details about your business, like a description of your services or products, images, business hours, types of payments accepted, etc. Having lots of citations that all display the same correct set of information about your business can help improve your ranking in local search results.
The accuracy of your citation listings is considered a critical citation factor. Therefore it is essential to make sure all your citations are accurate. Although, manually going through each site to add or update a citation yourself is extremely tedious and time-consuming. That is why BrightLocal and other citation services exist!
How do you use BrightLocal citation service to your SEO advantage? When you first create a BrightLocal account (there are payment options based on how many locations you have), you will go to the location dashboard.
Citation Tracker automates discovering all of your current listings on the web. Check these for accuracy. See where your business is listed and what data is displayed. It also shows where your competitors are listed.
For the most critical directories (e.g., Yelp, Google, Yellowpages.com), Citation Tracker makes a full audit of the NAP displayed on the index, identifying inconsistencies in the data (which is highlighted in red font). You quickly realize where your NAP is incorrect and fix it with ease!
Citation Tracker tool also looks at your potential competitors and scours the web to find their NAP citations. The analysis enables you to see where your competitors are cited, and you are not.
Citation Tracker audits your business’ digital presence and then helps to plan effective strategies. You can also utilize the reports generated to educate your team on their current web presence (making it easy to visualize how Google views and ranks a business).
BrightLocal’s Reputation Manager has three primary purposes:
- to monitor reviews
- to receive reviews
- to showcase reviews
You can use the Reputation Manager to monitor your reviews across the directories and review sites that matter to users in one easy-to-understand report. You can also keep track of the growth in fluctuations in star ratings, reviews, and receive alerts when your business or site gets a new review to respond quickly! Sort reports by source, star rating, location, and site.
Use this tool to expand your reputation by generating more reviews on the directories and sites important for your business, such as on industry-specific review sites like HealthGrades.
You can use the Reputation Manager to create email campaigns to contact your customers and invite them to give feedback on your business, then direct them to your chosen review and directory sites to submit reviews.
Every landing page and email can be customized with the colors, logo, and text to match your business. You can also display your customers’ reviews from across different directory sites, and use your pages to drive up conversion rates.
Google My Business (GMB) is now the first step in a local search. With GMB, now many local business transactions can happen without the user ever visiting the business’ website. However, a website is still integral to provide examples of excellent customer experiences from your previous customers, amongst other things.
However, no matter what industry you’re in, Google uses your NAP information to determine your ranking in SERPs, the Local Pack, your GMB listing, and more. One should also know that organic traffic and on-page signals will always impact your local ranking – so try to optimize your website with lots of quality local content. The NAP should be on every page.
Setting up your Google My Business profile is just the start of your local SEO marketing journey. The competition will always be present, no matter how niche your business is, so it’s crucial to have the local SEO tools you need (like BrightLocal!) in hand to help you understand and improve your local search presence.
BrightLocal integrates with Google Analytics to understand your SERP standing and digital performance, no matter your website’s size. This tool lets users measure traffic across different review sites and directories over time. It can be challenging for local businesses to know which metrics to watch – which is why Google Analytics is on BrightLocal!
The research found that 92% of consumers visit local a businesses’ website when deciding which company to patronize. Therefore, it’s never been more critical for local companies to monitor their website’s standing.
But, we know it can be hard for local businesses to know which practices are beneficial and which are not. The Google Analytics dashboard allows you to understand where the majority of traffic is coming from. This information helps you focus your attention on optimizing your site’s most profitable areas and its pages for local search content!
When you are looking to use BrightLocal Citation Manager to monitor and improve your Local SEO, contact TKD Design!