Updating and managing your online business directory listings (aka ‘citations’) across many directories is both a time consuming and tedious process.
In a recent survey of local SEO professionals by BrightLocal, Citation Management was voted the MOST frustrating task SEOs had on their to-do lists!
So it’s not surprising that Citation Management is the #1 task that SEOs outsource to third-party services like BrightLocal.
Incorrect Business Contact Information is a Major Problem
Having business listings which contain incorrect contact information is a big issue that causes concern among business owners and frustration for consumers who are trying to find out more information about a business.
In fact, this problem is so common that it affects almost every ‘local’ business that has an online presence.
And this problem multiplies every time a business moves location, gets a new phone number or changes their name (i.e. through rebranding, merger or sale.)
The consequence for business owners is two-fold:
Incorrect business contact information can lead your customers astray, directing them to an old location, prompting them to call a dead number and making them frustrated.
It hurts your Google ranking on local and map results. Google scans the web for information about your business. Google’s mission is to give searchers correct and accurate information and when it finds conflicting details about your business, it reduces the trust they have in your business — which impacts your ability to rank high in local search.
Local Data Aggregators are a Primary Source of Business Information
Contact information about your business spreads across the internet from a variety of sources (e.g. company registration sites, postal services, chamber of commerce-type organizations.)
One of the biggest sources of business data are Local Data Aggregators (LDAs).
LDAs are companies that gather data about local businesses and then sell or distribute that data out to a network of third-party online business directories, mapping services, GPS services and mobile apps.
These LDAs are often the source of old and/or incorrect business information. And because they distribute their data far and wide, their impact & reach is huge.
By correcting your business listings with each LDA you can get your correct business data distributed out to their full network of online directories, GPS services, mobile apps etc.
Big Four LDAs in USA
In the US there are four major local data aggregators. Each of these data aggregators has a different distribution network (although there is some overlap) that ensures your business’ data is correct in as many places online as possible. To get the best coverage you should update your information with all four LDAs:
A Big Time Saver. But Still Not Perfect.
If you wanted to update your data directly on every online business directory, mapping service, GPS and mobile app, it would take you hundreds of hours of pain-staking research and effort.
Updating via LDAs is a big time saver, but it still takes a few hours and an understanding of how LDAs work to ensure its done correctly.
But help is at hand in the form of services that allow you to update all data aggregator information from one simple account.
Save Time and Money on your Business Listing Management
Services like BrightLocal let you input your data one time and then they update all four LDAs automatically for you.
BrightLocal also provides free updates for 12 months. So if you move locations or change your phone number, you can get your updated details distributed to the LDAs and their networks — free of charge.
So what’s the catch?
Well, to use BrightLocal it costs US$55 to submit to all four LDAs. This is a one-time fee and covers you for 12 months of updates to each of the four aggregators.
Comparison of Similar LDA Services
To help you fast track your research, the following table compares five of the most popular services that distribute to LDAs.
Service Infogroup Localeze Factual Acxiom Cost
BrightLocal ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ $55/year
Yext x x ✓ x $499/year
Whitespark ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ On Request
MozLocal ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ $84/year
Advice Local ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ $100/year