Local citations and online reputation managers 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, and manage your business locations.
There are many local citation tools around 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 beyond SEO or manage their online reputation. 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 exact same correct set of information about your business can help improve your ranking in local search results and SERPs. The accuracy of your citation listings is considered the most critical citation factor. Therefore it is imperative 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!
So how do you use BrightLocal citation service to your SEO advantage? When you open BrightLocal and create your account (it’s easy), you will be taken to your location dashboard (a location on BrightLocal just means your business).
Your BrightLocal dashboard has many features, including a rank checker, a citation tracker, a citation builder, and more!
1. Rank Checker
On your BrightLocal dashboard, you will see a “Rank Checker” tool. Rank Checker allows you to check the rank of your website in the SERPs with simplicity! You can also enter the keywords you would like to rank for, and monitor your authority on these keywords, and can also use this information to generate SEO reports and even new keywords!
2. Citation Tracker
One of BrightLocal’s best features is its citation tracker feature. One of the things BrightLocal prides itself on is being extremely user-friendly. That being said, Citation Tracker automates the process of discovering and checking your citations for accuracy, allowing you to instantly see where a business is listed, what data is displayed about the business, and where competitors are listed. Citation Tracker reports give a list of all the directories and review sites where your business is listed.
For the most important directories (e.g., Yelp, Google, Yellowpages.com), Citation Tracker makes a full audit of the NAP displayed on the directory, identifying inconsistencies in the data (which will be highlighted in red font). This allows you to 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. This gives your business the opportunity to see where your competitors are being cited, and you are not.
Citation Tracker is used to audit your business’ digital presence and then to plan effective strategies. You can also utilize the reports generated to help educate your clients on their current web presence (making it easy to visualize how Google views and ranks a business) while allowing them to understand the value of proper citation management!
3. Reputation Manager
BrightLocal’s Reputation Manager can be used for three primary purposes: to monitor reviews, get reviews, and 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, so you can respond quickly!
One may also use this tool to expand your reputation by generating more reviews on the directories and sites that are important for your business, such as on industry-specific review sites like HealthGrades.
This tool also makes it easy to see exactly what you need to see at any given moment, as you can also sort reviews by source, star rating, location, and site.
You can use Reputation Manager to create email campaigns to contact your customers and invite them to give feedback on your site, 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 own pages to drive up conversion rates.
4. Google My Business Linkup Tool
Google My Business is now the first step in a local search, and 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. A local business website’s requirements will definitely shift based on the business type.
However, no matter what industry you’re in, Google uses your NAP information on your site 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.
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.
5. Google Analytics Tool
BrightLocal’s Google Analytics tool is undoubtedly one of the most useful tools out there 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. For local businesses it can be difficult to know which metrics to watch – which is why Google Analytics is on BrightLocal!
Research found that 92% of consumers visit local businesses’ websites when deciding which business to patronize – therefore, it’s never been more important for local businesses to be able to monitor their website’s standing. But, for local businesses, we know it can be hard to know which practices are beneficial and which are not in your industry, and what practices you should be striving for.
That is where the Google Analytics dashboard comes in! It allows you to understand where the majority of traffic is coming from, and this information allows you to know where to focus your attention to optimize your site and its pages for local search content!
To sum up, BrightLocal is more than a local citation monitor – it is collection of very valuable tools, just waiting to save you time and effort on local SEO site promotion. Check out BrightLocal today!
When you are ready to use your BrightLocal report results to bring you double the organic traffic, make sure to contact TKD Design! We are here to help.