Citation building is clearly one of the most important processes for developing a good local SEO. As the online mentions of your business, citations make sure that more and more people find out about the services and products you have to offer. To gain the customer’s trust you need to create citations on notable directories. But, that’s not all. The information you share must be correct and trustworthy since consistency and accuracy affect your online visibility, as well. To deal with all this you must figure out many different aspects of online marketing. Today, we will try to define how manual citation building compares to automated listing management tools, and help you choose what suits you the best.
Managing the online marketing
At a time when almost every segment of our lives happens online, putting your business on the web is more than important for reaching success. The good old in-store presentations are simply not enough. Not even for the local businesses. Everything you have to offer becomes more reachable to the customers if they can see it online. And to prove your business’s visibility you need some good citations.
Building citations for your local business is not just filling out the missing information to create profiles. If you consult a team of experienced professionals in the field such as AZ Citation Services, you will soon understand that citation management requires a lot of effort and devoted work. Creating a few citations for a single-location business may not be a big deal, indeed. However, when you need to build citations for multiple-location businesses, that can really be tiring, even daunting.
In what way manual citation building compares to automated listing management tools
If you want your citations to have a positive impact on your local search visibility, building them is just the beginning of your long trip. There is a set of managing actions you’ll need to take care of over and over again. And if you decide to do it all manually, that can be pretty tough. On the other hand, employing different tools to help you manage citations can make things easier, and speed it all up. But, is it all just that simple, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?
The question of time and money
Having a big number of citations is important, indeed. However, it’s mostly the kind of your business that defines exactly how many citations you should have. Thus, in business industries where the competition is strong, you need to have more high-quality citations than in some others with fewer competitors.
- Studies have shown that for building one citation manually you need approximately 10 minutes. Just imagine how much time you would need to build, let’s say, 20 citations for several different directories, and for a business that has more than 5 locations. Depending on these numbers, sometimes it may take a whole day of constant work. This is where automated listing management tools can help a great deal. They can do the whole work for you. And, most importantly, they do it more quickly. In fact, with certain tools, your listings can become active almost instantly. And although there will be some points where manual citation building is inevitable, if you want to create more in less time, an automated approach is an irreplaceable solution.
- Tools such as Yext, Whitespark, or Synup are useful indeed. However, one thing to remember is that automated listing management tools never come free of charge. People sometimes invest more than $500 a year in some listing services. This can mean success, of course, but the truth is not many people can afford to have such kind of help.
- Management platforms work for you as long as you pay for their services. That means that the listings they create for you can easily become inactive once your contract with them ends. This brings some more advantages to manual citation building when compared to automated listing management tools. Building citations manually takes time, but at least you can be sure they’ll last longer.
Adding information to the profile- how manual citation building compares to automated listing management tools at this point
When creating your online profiles and listings, it is important to remember that the more information you provide, the more trustworthy you will seem to your clients. Apart from the basic NAP, there are so many other details you can add, such as working hours, business descriptions, even some pictures. What’s more if any of the information changes, you’ll need to edit your business profiles immediately. Luckily, nowadays there are so many useful tools that can help you manage your profiles automatically, and thus again, save you a lot of time.
However, not all directories require the same kind of additional information. Thus, it is not possible to use the same pattern everywhere. And, as you know, patterns are exactly how tools function. High-quality listings require a personalized profile. Therefore, completing some steps manually is something you can’t avoid.
Dealing with the duplicates
Adding listings with the wrong information, or having duplicate local citations can hurt SEO and your online visibility. Try no to ignore this fact, and prevent it on time. Automated tools offer services that can help you find duplicates and deal with them efficiently. What’s more, they have proved very successful in cleaning up the listings. However, if you want to be completely sure, it won’t hurt to do some manual check-ups, too. Automated platforms can’t be perfect, and they can always make some mistakes, especially when it comes to the correctness of the information.
Now when we have seen how manual citation building compares to automated listing management tools, you can be sure that each of the approaches has its good and its bad sides. Simply said, if you want to ensure your business’ success, it is not possible to choose only one option and stick to it all the time. So, don’t risk. Be smart and make the winning combination for your business.