A little local citation history.
It seems like just yesterday that Google Places, +Local, and My Business, it was helpful for Google to use local citations as a representative for links since many local businesses did not have many inbound links. This began a massive increase in SEO’s targeting local citations to rank businesses in local search for Downers Grove. Everyone got in on the game including some well-known companies like MozLocal and Yext. This became a multi-billion dollar industry.
Let’s take the aforementioned Yext as an example. While Yext offers directory submission along with local citation, they’re still worth noting.
A quick Google search of “Yext revenue” reveals that Yext is making 88.8 million, and since Yext only manages about 1% of businesses, the local citation market must be massive!
All this being said, there is now much competition with prices varying all over the place. However, the overarching direction is down. It is however, difficult to compare each company’s prices since each company has a different way implementing the service.
Let’s use our above-mentioned examples again. Yext is fully automated and sends citations to it’s 60 (give or take) local search sites; MozLocal takes a different approach by automatically sending your data to many of the big search sites.
Is all of the money being poured into local citations worth it?
Back in the glory days of SEO, local citations worked very well, almost like magic. In areas of low competition they still work. But in a competitive search market, such as Chicago, studies show that citations may be less effective than what was once believed. So this begs the question, are Downers Grove local citations dead? I don’t think so.
A couple of years ago, search engine land did a test where they fixed citation errors of 1,300 locations of a national chain, and they saw really good results: Local rankings increased more than 20%! So how are we going to reconcile results that one study shows as working well, while another shows that they don’t?
Here’s the short and skinny. If a location is already ranking for a keyword, repairing it’s citations doesn’t make a difference. However, if the location is not ranking, fixing the citations will help it increase in ranking for the targeted keywords, like Downers Grove SEO Company, or Website Design Companies in Downers Grove.
So what does this all mean, and who even cares?
All this means is, making sure that your citations are good is foundational to your SEO. And, If you’re in a competitive market don’t count on fixing your citations after the fact to give you any SEO advantage. However, if you’re focusing on a non-competitive local market, such as Downers Grove Illinois, repairing your citations can have a dramatic effect on your local search results. None of this excuses you from having to fix all of those citations. Get them fixed quickly so that you can move on to doing SEO work that has a higher value like Downers Grove content creation and getting links.