We live in a world where everything is faster, people want their information quick, factual, and fresh. This is the very reason why local business listings optimization is important even to this day. But with the number of available local business directories online, how can you possibly claim, create, or update each one?
Easy and Painless Local Business Listing Management
For many local business owners and Internet marketing agencies, managing citations is a top priority. A wrong listing will only mean that people may not be able to contact your website. Additionally, Google may penalize your online presence due to misinformation with your local business listings.
In order to remove any possible problems with regards to business directories, certain groups have devised an “automatic” way of managing your business listings. This automated management system allows you to have a consistent and factual listing across all the directories online.
Which Directory Listing Services Are the Best?
Here at Foxxr, we recommend three of the best Local Directory Management tools and services. They are Moz Local, Yext Powerlistings, and Bright Local. Aside from being the forefront names in the world of directory listings management, all three offer a reliable and user-friendly approach to local directory listings management.
Qualities of Our Top Three Local Listing Services
Moz Local helps you manage and send your NAP (name, address, phone number) and your listing to all major data aggregators. These data aggregators then send the information they got from Moz Local into smaller directories. The best part about Moz Local is that the tool allows you to view and audit existing citations online to see if you have duplicates or if the information is complete.
Moz Local has three plans to choose from: Essential ($9/month or $99 / year), Professional $15 / month or $179 / year) and Premium ($21 / month or $249 / year). View the comparison chart to determine which plan is best for your company or agency. Moz Local currently supports U.S., U.K., and Canadian business listings only. Click Here to purchase Moz Local.
Yext brands themselves as the “1-stop solution” for all your citation problems. With over 60 different directories in their network including: Apple Maps, Bing, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo and most recently Google+, you can rest assured knowing your citations are present in all of these directories. Yext also offers a very powerful dashboard which gives you the capability to manage and take control of each of the listings. Unlike Moz Local which sends information to data aggregators, Yext directly submits the data to 60+ different local directories within their network. Additionally, Yext gives their users a way to quickly update their data on each directory and the capability to promote special offers.
With the recent launch of its Google My Business(GMB) API, Google introduced the biggest change to location search since Yext launched PowerListings® in 2011. The new API creates a completely new way for businesses and platforms to get information about their locations into Google Search, Google Maps, and ads.
There is a myth that if you cancel Yext, all of your listings revert back to the old data that used to be wrong. The truth is that Yext will just remove the lock that they placed on your listing which protected the Power Listing and the enhanced content such as: images, hours or operation, menus, biographies, featured messages, etc.. Removing this lock may cause the data to become disrupted due to the data gathering performed by data aggregators, publishers, and search engines. Additionally, any duplicate suppressions performed by Yext will no longer be suppressed, causing all of those duplicates to be exposed again. Think of Yext as a large cover with accurate data for your business that would be removed if your subscription is cancelled. Our recommendation is to stay on a Yext subscription.
Scan your business today for free with our Yext Power Listings Tool to get a complete report.
The only “manual” management service in the list, BrightLocal is still a solid contender. A few minutes after signing up, BrightLocal lets you use a feature they call the Citation Tracker. In a nutshell, it creates a report for the client that includes the vital information (who, what, where), currently listed citations online, and the best opportunities for new citations. This report gives each client a small snapshot of where they are and what is the next-best step. As soon as you check the Top 10 and Top 50 directories, BrightLocal gives you the website information or a link to get a citation. This means you have to manually create a citation per directory.
Another BrightLocal feature to watch out for is their Citation Burst. Citation Burst is a paid service wherein you will let do BrightLocal do the submissions for you at 3$ per submission. The good thing about is that while BrightLocal does the listing for you, the citation will be “owned” by the customer so cancelling your account will have no detrimental effects to your listings. Citation Burst is perfect for directories that are hassle-prone and some industry specific directories.
BrightLocal now offers submissions to four of the top data aggregators, including: Factual, Neustar, Acxiom and Infogroup. The cost is $55 / year and may be a more affordable option than Moz Local.
Managing your local directory listings shouldn’t be too troublesome with these tools in tow. But what like the old masters say, a simple tool can become a powerful weapon in a master’s hands. There’s using the tools and there’s maximizing each one. Each one of the tools mentioned above presents a learning curve. Aside from that, some of the more comprehensive tools might not get maximized in the hands of a regular business owner. This is where professionals come in. Local business directory management professionals specialize in using these tools to its potential. If you want to keep a solid listing management campaign, getting hold of any of these tools and a professional to use them should be an integral part.